Record Increases for new Collective Agreement Workers

  • 10 April 2024

Recently released data by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations for the December 2023 quarter shows that average pay rises for workers covered by new collective agreements reached 4.3 percent which is a 15-year high.  The boost to workers’ incomes was fuelled by an increase in 227,000 more workers covered by collective agreements than a year earlier, with coverage reaching 2 million workers in total, or 16.7 percent of the workforce, up from 15.2 percent in December 2022.

The 4.3 percent increase represents the highest quarterly average pay rise for workers on newly approved collective agreements since 2009, exceeding the 3.0 percent average increase in December 2022.

While the Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining report revealed a boost in wages over this period, ABS data also showed inflation slowing, from 7.8 percent in the year to December 2022 down to 4.1 percent in December 2023.

ACTU President Michele O’Neil said, 'collective bargaining is how working people can win pay increases beyond the bare minimum."  "Under the previous decade of government, the number of workers covered by collective agreements collapsed and wages stagnated."  "Since the current government’s workplace reforms, we have seen this trend reverse with more workers on collective agreements, and as a result, they’re winning higher pay."