Home Speeches & Opinion Typical Australians on AWA individual contracts earn 16% less
Typical Australians on AWA individual contracts earn 16% less
Government report released today (17 July 2007) shows that typical Australians on AWA individual contracts earn 16% less than their counterparts on collective agreements.
The study found a major pay gap between workers on AWA individual contracts and those on collective agreements.
The AWA pay gap is worse for women than it is for men, with female median AWA earnings almost 19% lower than that for women on collective agreements.
The study also cited a survey of AWAs registered under the WorkChoices IR laws last year that found most AWAs abolished or reduced so-called 'protected' award conditions:
The study found that AWAs paid on average well below Collective Agreements in the manufacturing industry, construction, transport and storage, health and community services, property and business services and the 'personal and other services' industries.
It found that where the wages gap between AWAs and Collective Agreements was narrow, this was in pockets where AWA individual contracts were being used by employers to avoid negotiation with unions.
It also found the wages gap for workers on AWAs versus those on Collective Agreements is wider among small businesses than it is for larger businesses and that any 'flexibility' benefits that exist from the use of AWAs are not enough to offset the reduction in workers' wages.
"This study confirms that vulnerable workers -- those with fewer skills or with little bargaining power -- are the ones most likely to lose pay and conditions under AWA individual contracts.
There can no longer be any shadow of doubt that typical workers on AWAs are worse off than their counterparts on Collective Agreements," said Ms Burrow.
Health Services Union of Australia