Fair Work Australia (FWA) has ended the country's work week with good news - workers will be getting a pay boost starting on July as the industrial watchdog said on Friday that the country's minimum wage level will be given a fair uptick.
The rise has been determined at $17.10 each week, according to FWA president Justice Iain Ross, pushing the base weekly pay of $589.30 to $606.40 by next month.
In a statement, Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the FWA decision as a welcome development for the country's labour sector, especially for Australia's low-paid workers.
Ms Gillard said that her government has been working hard "to see low paid workers doing better," adding that the salary increase should complement the benefits were laid out in the budget that Treasurer Wayne Swan had present last month.
Justice Ross confirmed that the pay hike was moderate enough and was decided upon in close consideration of compensations that "has already been provided through tax cuts and transfer payments."
"We conclude that we should not provide any additional assistance to compensate for the anticipated price effects associated with the introduction of a price on carbon," the FWA chief was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying on Friday.
"Further compensation by minimum wage adjustments would amount to double-dipping," Justice Ross added.
The pay boost, he noted, was way below of the $26 pay per week that the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has been pushing, with the labour group arguing that the amount would at least lend a decent living standard level for many Australian households.
But Justice Ross stressed that what was decided by the FWA would "improve the real value of award wages and assist the living standards of the low-paid."
Workers will soon get better take home pays that reflect higher level that what the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) had envisioned when it proposed a pay jump of only $9.40 every working week, the FWA chief said.
The FWA, he added, also based its decision on the general state of the economy, domestic and global, stressing that the "uncertainty and the diversity of experience in the economy have been significant factors in our determination of the level of increase in minimum wages."
He also took pains in ensuring that "an increase in minimum wages is likely to provide some measure of assistance in promoting pay equity."
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