Wage increase should flow to State's low paid
25 May 2004
The Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) has signalled its strong support for the NSW Industrial Commission reaching a favourable decision to pass on the full $19 per week wage increase to the State's low paid employees.

"The NSW economy continues to perform strongly, delivering significant profits to businesses across most industry sectors," said NCOSS Director, Gary Moore.

"Whilst the State's average unemployment rate remains below 6% and job growth continues to be positive, economic restructuring in NSW has led to a growing band of lower paid full-time, part-time and casual jobs appearing."

"At the same time, price increases in a basket of essential goods and services such as water, electricity, insurances, child care, health and dental costs are running well above the official NSW inflation rate."

"And the scale of personal debt, even for lower income households. continues to skyrocket."

"Middle and upper income earners in NSW are doing very well by comparison to their low income counterparts, especially when above average wage outcomes and the strong gains from property investments of recent years are taken into account."

"NCOSS welcomes the support of the NSW Government for a flow on of the increase to low paid workers on State awards."

"However, we have drawn the attention of NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca to the difficulties many not for profit health and community services organisations will have coping with a 3% plus wage increase without additional funding assistance from Government."

"The State's not for profit human services sector is already battling to maintain levels of services in the wake of big cost increases in insurance premiums, information technology, rents, utilities and other compliance requirements."

"We are giving the NSW Government several months to discuss with our sector the best ways forward so that no front line services will have to be reduced and no organisations will become unviable," added Mr Moore.