Bargained wage rises in the private sector dropped to 2.7% a year in the September quarter, according to newly-released Attorney-General's Department data that also shows some large retail employers are starting to tie increases to the FWC's annual review.
An employer that unilaterally reduced the classification levels of two workers previously handed a pay upgrade has failed to convince the FWC it had no power to intervene in a contractual issue "masquerading" as an enterprise agreement dispute.
An FWC presidential member had no power to approve an agreement before he received written undertakings to satisfy the BOOT, a full bench has found in a ruling in which it also uncovered incorrect claims by the employer that employees would not be worse off.
The SDA has hit back at claims by RAFFWU that a Hungry Jack's deal awaiting approval in the FWC is the worst since the unregistered union's inception, rejecting contentions that it tries to "casualise part-time work" and denies workers a choice of super fund without paying enough to leave them better off.
After providing $150,000 to settle an underpayments claim brought by five fruit pickers last year, labour hire company Agri Labour Australia is facing a new claim from 26 seasonal workers alleging they were short-paid more than $200,000.
In a development that might fuel debate over the links between union power and wage rises, substantially above-average pay increases secured in the heavily-unionised construction sector have pushed bargained private sector wage rises off their recent historic low.
APS Commissioner John Lloyd denies that a new public sector bargaining policy contains an added push towards individual flexibility arrangements, but the CPSU says its "explicit encouragement" along with the extension of a 2% pay rise cap undermines bargaining, wages and conditions.