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Home > News > 2017 > May > The numbers don't lie: join a union for better pay

The numbers don't lie: join a union for better pay

IMG_6210.JPGThe latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, combined with recent wage outcomes in our sector, provide a clear and compelling message – join your union for better pay.

This will come as no huge surprise to our members and their employers.

However, sometimes it takes hard data to remind us of the vital role that unions play in bargaining for improved wages and conditions.

ABS data highlights enormous ‘union wage premium’ Biennial ABS data released earlier this year shows that employees on collective agreements enjoy a 25 per cent higher wage than employees left on awards or the minimum wage.

Union members have long known the power of their membership in collective bargaining and the ABS data puts some real figures around the outcomes of our collective strength.

For employees still asking the question “will I join” the answer could not be clearer. Want better pay? Join a union!

IEUA-QNT agreements provide even greater member wins

While the ABS statistics are compelling, recent collective bargaining outcomes in our Queensland schools provide an even starker picture of our union’s specific wage premium.

Similar wage outcomes have been achieved by member action across a range of Christian, independent and grammar schools.

Collective bargaining by union members in our Queensland schools has provided a staggering premium of more than 37 per cent above the award wage paid to a teacher on the same classification in a non-union school.

Wage differentials between our agreements and minimum award rates will expand to unprecedented levels in 2018 at which time our enhanced teacher classification structures provide classroom salaries in excess of $100,000 in many schools.

IEUA-QNT members personify the modern Australian unionist

ABS data, along with research by Professor David Peetz of Griffith University, confirms the reality of Australian union membership that corresponds with the majority of our members:

  • Today’s unionist is female
  • Today’s unionist is professional
  • Today’s unionist is in the private sector

Women in Australia are now more highly unionised than their male colleagues – a trend likely to accelerate given the projected growth in industries with a predominantly female workforce.

Education professionals represent the highest unionised occupation at 42.4 per cent followed by health professionals at 39.2 per cent.

IEUA-QNT members must continue to play a leading role, not just in our school sectors, but across the broader Australian community to show what can be achieved when members join together to build collective power in their workplace. 

Article contributed by IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes