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Wages set to increase 3.3 per cent

June 06, 2017


Not really.

In fact, the National Retail Association fully accepts the decision of the Fair Work Commission in relation to today’s 3.3 per cent increase in the minimum wage and Modern Awards, and respects the authority of the independent umpire to make the decision.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said the Fair Work Commission was best placed to hear all the evidence and make a decision that balanced the needs of workers and employers, and took full account of the prevailing economic conditions.

Ms Lamb said the NRA and other employer groups would accept today’s decision, and challenged the union movement to do the same in relation to the independent Commission’s decision on Sunday penalty rates.

“Employer groups won’t go out with a national advertising campaign after today’s wage increase complaining that the decision will take money out of the pockets of small business owners, even though it will,” Ms Lamb said.

“We won’t be demanding that politicians suddenly step in with legislation to override the decision of the expert Commission, even though they could.

“We won’t promise to accept the independent umpire’s verdict before its handed down, but then renege on that commitment once we see the decision. 

“And most importantly, we won’t set out on a divisive and emotive campaign to undermine public confidence in the Commission and to portray workers as evil and greedy simply for accepting the umpire’s decision.  Because that kind of rhetoric does nothing to help jobs creation.

“It would be nice to see the union movement, who will no doubt grab today’s wage increase with both hands, also accept the Commission’s verdict in relation to Sunday penalty rates.  Because the point of having an independent umpire is that these important decisions are not made in the court of public opinion.

“They are deliberately removed from the political process to ensure fairness, consistency and – most importantly – sensible decisions based on real evidence rather than fear campaigns.  You can’t accept the decisions that you like and then stamp your feet to have the politicians overturn the ones you don’t like.

“It’s time for everybody to stop this damaging debate and move forward with implementing today’s wage increase and the penalty rates decision, in the interests of businesses and their staff.”

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