Members often ask if they are entitled to a pay rise. ASU members’ terms of employment can vary. Below is a general summary for members to consider, though you may need to keep in mind that these don’t always apply to everyone.
Members who have concerns regarding their pay and how to go about getting a pay rise can contact ASU Assist for more detailed advice.
If you have an EBA…
Some of our members’ pay and conditions are governed by an enterprise or workplace agreement which usually identifies their classification, pay rate and when there will be a pay rise during the particular year. When these agreements expire, for example, after three years, the agreement is replaced by a new one, thus identifying the basis for new pay rates.
If you are not covered by an EBA…
For other employees they often have to rely on what applies under their individual contract of employment, which identifies their salary and sometimes how their pay increases are to be applied. For example, a contract of employment will often state that the employee will have their salary reviewed as part of a general annual review. Individual contracts normally don’t specify a pay increase, but some contracts may do so. Usually, pay rises are the employers’ discretion, and may be determined by company policy or by a determination to the individual circumstance.
How about ‘award’ rates?
It is important to note that most, but not all, members who have an individual contract have an industry award that regulates their minimum conditions and pay rates. This is regardless of whether that award is stipulated within their contract. There are over 100 awards, the most common award for ASU members is the Clerks-Private Sector Award 2010. Under this award there are ten minimum pay rates which are listed below:
|Classification||Per week ($)|
|Level 1 – Year 1||681.40|
|Level 1 – Year 2||715.10|
|Level 1 – Year 3||737.60|
|Level 2 – Year 1||746.20|
|Level 2 – Year 2||760.10|
|Call centre principal customer contact specialist||793.80|
|Call centre technical associate||943.40|
These pay rates are dependent upon the employees classification level which are described in the Award. The pay rates are currently adjusted every year and are done after a review has been conducted by the Fair Work Commission.
These adjustments are usually made around the start of July. They act as a minimum, which means that the employee cannot be paid less than a particular rate. The list of pay rates in relation to the Clerks Award identified above displays the current rates as from July 2014.
The Contract Call Centres Award 2010 is also another common award that applies to ASU members. Details of all the awards can be found on the Fair Work Commissions website.
Normally, employees are paid above the award rate, but this can vary a great deal depending on who you work for. For an employee on an individual contract salaries or pay rates can be expressed as a base rate or as total remuneration which can factor such thing as allowances, reasonable overtime and shift penalties. It is important that members seek to identify whether their salary incorporates provisions, such as overtime and allowances, or whether their pay rate operates as a base rate, where all penalties and allowances are additional. There is a clause in the Clerks Award discussing this issue. It may be useful for members to read through their award to familiarise themselves with how it operates.
If I have an individual contract…
How does an employee under an individual contract go about securing a pay rise when it is up to the employer to provide one?
Obviously it is important to be able to demonstrate the good work you have done or results achieved when an annual review is conducted. Employees can prepare the information before the review meeting is conducted, so they are clear and on message. Other things you could consider are:
- Are you being paid properly as against other staff in your organisation? Simply put, are you able to demonstrate that other employees doing your type of job are getting paid higher than you? Keep in mind that you should only raise this if it would not compromise yourself or the workers you are referring to.
- Are you able to demonstrate that you are underpaid for the work you perform in relation to industry standard? An online job search could help by using your title and adding ‘market pay rates’.
- Finally, if it is of benefit, you can search the Australian Bureau of Statistics for average earnings increases for the year. Currently the figures are showing a 2.4% for the May 2013 to 2014 period which is relatively low. The information can be obtained from the ABS website.
It is also important to note that if you are paid bonuses, you should be aware that bonuses, however they are paid, are not pay increases, and as such, do not have an accumulative effect on the employees per say.