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 18, 2024

Denise, a part-time worker from QLD says:

I have recently taken on a rental property, paying $620 p/w for a 2 bedroom granny flat in Gold Coast QLD with my son. This is 57% of my fortnightly wage! Add to that massive rises in shopping, power, petrol… and everything else!!!

March 18, 2024

Melissa, a full-time worker from QLD says:

Since Covid everything has gone up except wages. The cost of living is astronomical

March 15, 2024

Debbie, a part-time worker from QLD says:

It causes extreme stress.

March 15, 2024

Hrutik, a part-time worker from VIC says:

It is impacting each stages of life. Especially too keep up with increasing food-groceries and rent-bills. I can’t even look at anything else than essential items in coles, woolies.

March 15, 2024

Sarah, a part-time worker from SA says:

I am a very savvy shopper. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t buy my clothes from a thrift store, or went to a movie, or out for dinner. I live alone with my dog, but any extra money goes into my bill account, for car insurance, home insurance, registration etc etc and with prices going up on food and fuel, I’m just treading water. I have just changed departments and now I don’t get penalty rates and my hours have dropped. I hope I can still scrape by.

March 15, 2024

Patrick, a part-time worker from NSW says:

I had to sacrifice non-essential activities such as going to theme parks because of their expensive ticketing and pricing, and I had to make that a rare date occasion. I must note that the iconic two litre milk bottle in Coles now costs up to $6 than the previous fixed $2, three times as much!

March 15, 2024

Patricia, a full-time worker from NSW says:

I go without just go work to pay bills. And because of the cost of living my wages don’t even pay them.

March 15, 2024

George, a full-time worker from WA says:

Rarely dine out, hardly go sightseeing and minimise the use of aircon to restrict power bills to minimum.

March 15, 2024

Nosisa, a full-time worker from NT says:

I can’t pay for my bills, when I pay, I am let with little money that I can’t even serve up to the next fortnight.

March 15, 2024

Junko, a part-time worker from NSW says:

My rent is increased every year that much more, like sky-rocket than my salary. Can’t afford to pay any extra costs like car insurance and electricity bill at moment.

March 15, 2024

Alana, a part-time worker from QLD says:

I’m a single parent, I’m struggling financially to make ends meet and living pay check to pay check weekly. I have no savings for a rainy day and have no extra money to even begin to save for that. I’ve had to cut out food budget right down to 150 a week and that barely covers the essentials at times, we have had to cut back on meat intake and dairy just to ensure we can eat 3 main meals still plus the school snacks which we have to make at home as too expensive to buy. The prices of everything has gone up so much that even fuel, I only fill to 1/4 of a tank, to half if im lucky on a good week. There really isn’t any spare money for weekend fun with my child, let alone trying to afford to buy basic necessities such as new school shoes, clothing etc. Things have been so tough financially and I’m even considering trying to get a 2nd job that I can do from home as I have to work within school care and school hours but we desperately need to increase our funds to survive. Never have I ever felt so stressed about what bill to pay or how to put food on the table.

March 15, 2024

Siaauta, a part-time worker from QLD says:

Sacrifice we make when your budget is not enough for the week.
Can not afford groceries,doctors is going up their fees,petrol goes up.
When you pay everything you left with $50 only 2 items or 3 for that money now winter is approaching no heater, sometimes no hot water. At work you do everything and expecting to do everything as a cleaner and they don’t give you any courtesy or respect because you got a brown skin you are in low pecking order.
I take pride in my work and very proud when you are thorough and in order but sometimes management team expecting too much of you to clean and be a doormat to everyone.

March 14, 2024

Francis says:

At the moment for the last 18 months I have been placing all my deficits (around $400/week) on Credit Cards and or making real sacrifices of not having whatever it is that we can afford to not have, and even filtering used cooking oil to save on expenses.

March 14, 2024

Adrien, a casual worker from QLD says:

Me and my family have suffered immensely from the interest rate hikes. I live with my family and I pay a pretty decent rent from what I’ve heard. But because of the pressure from cost of living, my family is always arguing about money and whether or not the rent should be raised. It’s making me not want to live with my family, I feel like I’m burdening them with the amount of money they spend on me.

March 14, 2024

Sheryl, a part-time worker from WA says:

Most of my wages go on rent and bills I’ve had to halve repayments just to have money for fuel to get to work and it’s hard to save while rent keeps on increasing.

March 14, 2024

Nicole, a part-time worker from NSW says:

Some weeks left over money is not even possible as that little left over has to pay or get put away for a bill or trying to save for a home deposit but that little savings always gets hacked into to pay for something and then we have to start from scratch saving again.

Also we don’t get to have money to see specialist doctors for my husband or myself so we have to go without or wait long periods to save if nothing comes up in the mean time.

March 14, 2024

Cheryl, a full-time worker from QLD says:

When looking for places to rent. The real estate agents take 30% of your wages. I work full time and the agents say I don’t earn enough money to have a rental.


March 14, 2024

Susie, a full-time worker from VIC says:

I’m unable to save I live week to week. I spend my time looking for specials. i dread the bills coming in because it’s difficult to cover them.

March 14, 2024

Cameron, a casual worker from WA says:

.It really makes a impact on my family with fuel and food going up its not enough to go through

March 14, 2024

Natalie, a full-time worker from SA says:

I am having trouble being able to afford to move out of my parents house.