Are you getting slammed by skyrocketing costs and your wages just aren’t keeping up?  This is our big chance to fight back and demand a major increase so families can get ahead.

Are you getting slammed by skyrocketing costs and your wages just aren’t keeping up?

The Fair Work Commission is about begin its annual review of Award pay rates for close to three million workers across Australia.

This is our big chance to fight back and demand a major increase so families can get ahead.

At the end of March, UWU will make a submission to the Commission on behalf of our 150,000 members calling for a substantial increase to award pay rates.

We need your help. We are collecting stories from hundreds of workers to help explain to the Commissioners why Award pay rates are hurting us and must rise significantly.

Our stories are powerful. Last year, pressure by unions helped UWU members on award wages win a pay rise of 5.75% – the largest award increase since 1983.

The cost of living continues to increase sharply. That’s why we need to fight for a major increase to award pay rates. It’s time to speak out and use our combined power to fight for fair pay for every worker in Australia, so we can give our families a better life.


Tell your story & help us show the Fair Work Commission the real world impacts of low wages, and help build our case for a raise in Award rates.


How low wages are impacting workers:

March 27, 2024

Wendy, a part-time worker from VIC says:

I’m single person paying a mortgage by myself and all the bills it’s very hard.

March 27, 2024

Annie, a full-time worker from VIC says:

Savings have reduced to almost nothing. I can’t remember when I bought meat or a weeks worth of veggies. I have been putting off going to the dentist for myself and the vet for my cat. I can only afford $120 for petrol a month and I will get 3/4 of a tank if I’m lucky and it seems to be less every time.

March 27, 2024

Joel, a casual worker from QLD says:

I live out of a tent just so I can save a measly $1500 for a car.

March 27, 2024

Helen, a part-time worker from WA says:

I have had to think about my priorities, fuel, air-conditioning, work shoes, sunscreen, food, mortgage, water, phone, internet, health fund, social occasions, borrowing money from my children.

March 27, 2024

Jenny Maria, a part-time worker from NSW says:

As a family our combined income is 1600 per week, half of that is Rent alone then we divide amounts between weekly payments to allow any extra to go towards groceries, petrol and electricity. On my current pay rate at times I make many sacrifices, to take our children to special events like Easter shows, camping or just a day in the city. It’s very hard to save for car insurance, registrations and a home deposit when you are living from week to week. Fortunately because I budget we have not had to ask for assistance from charity, not that there’s any shame in asking for help but we do donate all of our old clothes, shoes and unwanted items to charity or anyone who can use them.


March 27, 2024

Jake, a full-time worker from QLD says:

Luckily I’m still living at home with my parents, and my fiancé lives with us. No dependants but had to learn to cut costs on things we weren’t using as much. Couldn’t afford a portable aircon after it broke at the start of summer so spent most nights sweltering, struggling to recharge for work the next day.

March 27, 2024

Jane, a part-time worker from VIC says:

Utilities up petrol up insurance up rents up my child can’t swim can’t join his mates in sports doesn’t have the things he needs for school and let’s not for get the food costs it’s impossible to keep up the. Get treated like I’m a criminal no good parent I work hard mentally and physically in childcare

March 27, 2024

Belinda, a part-time worker from SA says:

We find things hard food prices are rising and so are our bills but not our wages as I’m a support worker. We are not able to do the things that we would like to do.

March 19, 2024

James, a part-time worker from WA says:

My rent went up $120.00 a week in November. I have non claimable medical bills for injections to my knees. I have had to draw down on super to pay rent.

March 19, 2024

Sefika, a full-time worker from VIC says:

Low wages impacted me to the point that I had to sell my house before the fixed rate ended. With the wages we earn, I would have to sacrifice majority of my wages to pay it. Hardly anything left after for food, bills and any other payments.

March 19, 2024

Margaret Joyce, a full-time worker from WA says:

No just deal with it because I have got no idea what I have to do about it and it is very painful and heart breaking life’s very hard for low paid workers.

March 19, 2024

Jasmin, a part-time worker from WA says:

I had to pick up an extra 6 hours work a week just to break even with what I was able to easily afford last year. This means less trips out to fun places for the kids and holidays are a big no go. On top of expenses food, bills, house payment there is the 4 payments a year for the kids sport. That’s around $1200 a year for swimming lessons and one sport, per kid.

March 19, 2024

Jason, a casual worker from WA says:

I only work or sleep.

March 19, 2024

Thanabalasingam, a full-time worker from VIC says:

With my salary I just can pay my rent, bills then I use the left over to buy food for my family.

March 19, 2024

Lilliana, a full-time worker from WA says:

Very difficult, I sympathise with family with you children how can they make it be question

March 19, 2024

Navata, a full-time worker from NSW says:

Not enough for pay bills because bills are increasing on everything

March 19, 2024

Mathura, a part-time worker from SA says:

Every day expenses has increased, bill, groceries so I have to compromise to buy what ever my kids want to eat, can’t take them outing it’s so costing for tickets.

March 19, 2024

Vineela, a part-time worker from VIC says:

After paying my rent, bills, groceries and public transport, I’m left with approx $100 weekly. I can’t afford to go out and have fun like eating out or chilling with friends as it would be too much for me with the prices that had gone high. It does affect my mental health as I have stress at work and there isn’t any way I can help myself to be diverting as my whole world revolves around home and work. I’ll keep the money for emergency like medicines and stuff and doesn’t risk to go out and spend all the money. I’ll have to cook and eat at home only and have to sacrifice all the entertainment.

March 19, 2024

Lianne, a part-time worker from WA says:

I am a lady who lives alone to pay all bills mortgage food petrol health etc.. some weeks I don’t go to the shops I just try & save some money for bills coming in. I can’t go on holidays or buy new things. Very sad to be in this situation.

March 19, 2024

Amy, a full-time worker from QLD says:

Single mum with two school aged boys on a TA wage and renting leaves a sick feeling in my stomach everyday. The pay is just not right nor is fair. I’m a hard working Teacher aide working full time and feel worried on a day to day basis with how everything is increasing from rent, food, petrol to absolutely everything but our pays don’t seem to increase. It’s a real struggle!