Wages Growth Still Slow

The enterprise bargaining efforts of employers and employees have not delivered big gains recently according to the federal government department responsible for monitoring agreements.

Each quarter, the Commonwealth Department of Employment publishes a survey called Trends in Enterprise Bargaining. Many employers find this a useful tool to get a good idea of what is happening in bargaining. They appreciate the information to gauge where their offers of a pay rise stand in relation to agreements generally. The survey suggests that wage rises in enterprise agreements are continuing their recent decline and are close to historic lows.

Of particular interest in the survey is the emergence of more agreements without any identifiable wage increases. These agreements instead provide for increases based on performance measures, so they are not automatic.

The survey also gives an indication of the level of bargaining activity in different industry sectors, which allows employers to see if bargaining is active or not and if they are likely to be targeted.

Meanwhile, the latest available figures from the Bureau of Stats shows annual wage growth as at the March quarter 2015 is running at just 2.3% excluding bonuses.

The survey material is available on the department’s website at: Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining, December Quarter 2014, Department of Employment, May 2015.