Going into 2022, many of us were looking forward to a more normal work-life experience in the wake of the pandemic and hoped for a return to normality – at least to some extent.
For so many workers I spoke to this year, it was just as challenging or more so than 2021. Returning to working in the office full-time created challenges for many and we’ve all grappled with the rise of inflation and cost of living while employers resisted pay rises that match those price increases.
But in the face of those challenges there is much to look forward to and a lot to be proud of. For me, 2022 was a lesson in the value of hard work and persistence.
After years of fighting for change, we won the campaign for paid domestic violence leave and we delivered a major overhaul of the workplace laws which will underpin higher pay and better working conditions. These are probably the most significant improvements to our workplace systems in the past 15 years and they only happened because of your commitment and participation in your union.
We also saw success in our Worth More @ Work campaign, when earlier this month the Fair Work Commission supported a 4.6% increase in award wages and a 5.2% increase in the minimum wage.
If any of our friends or family ever doubts the value of being in a union, this is the year to tell them what we achieved after years of hard work.
We also know that the pressures on members are being felt right now. So, while the benefits of those big structural reforms will take some time to flow to members, we also delivered really significant wins in enterprise bargaining agreements across workplaces. You can read about these wins in this edition of By Your Side which included pay rises, better conditions and scrapping old unfair agreements, including StarTek’s which did not provide meal breaks, penalty rates, or overtime provisions.
While we’re trying to get more money into your pocket through pay negotiations, we’re also using our collective strength to deliver better services and cost of living relief. If any members are not using Union Shopper, I’d urge you to go to the website and sign up to get significant ongoing discounts on your shopping, travel, and many other daily expenses. We’ve also invested to improve our Career Launchpad platform to help you get ahead in your career.
With a change in Federal Government, I want to lift the union’s vision on securing long-term, concrete improvements through changes to workplace laws and regulations, like equal retirement outcomes for women, sustained real wages growth, and an end to insecure work.
I’m proud to represent you and excited to continue working with you to achieve better outcomes for our workplaces, families, and communities. For any members who want to read to read our Review of the year and financial report, you can access them here.
By your side,