Union membership supports the TIA campaign for better rates of pay and conditions for interpreters.

Broader union campaigns like Change the Rules are pushing for broad reforms to workplace arrangements that directly affect YOU. Here is one of many: The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has reported that the wages of the working people continue to fall backwards whilst the profit margins of big business and employers swell. An Economic Briefing Note prepared by the ACTU, citing International Monetary Fund (IMF) research, suggests wages continue to drop because of weakened worker bargaining power.

 “The system is completely out of balance and is only working for the biggest businesses...we need to restore balance so that the working people get their fair share,” said Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary.

The IMF examines the impact of reforms in employment protection legislation determined that weakened employment protection legislation (EPL) was a major factor in this decline.

Dr Jim Stanford, from the Centre for Future Work estimates: “...that if the proportion of national economic output being paid to wages was at the same level as in 1975, Australian workers would have received... $16,750 extra income, on average, for each employed worker.” The briefing note continues to say: “...weaker job protections and employment market deregulation is the neoliberal attack on unions and labour legislation over the last 30 years … if Australia is to reverse the decline in labour share then policy reforms to strengthen workers’ bargaining power will be crucial.”

 These attacks include the reduction of unions and collective bargaining, the failure of minimum wages to keep up with wage trends and productivity growth. The power of union members is the ability to mobilise other working people to demand for their share. We have let the power balance shift too far to businesses and because of this, your wages have stagnated and, in most cases, have gone backwards.

Your working conditions have deteriorated or are non-existent. The time to act is now! Join your union to demand your share. Join your union to send a message to your employer and the government to stop helping business profit margins and help you earn a pay and decent working conditions.