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 14, 2024

Tamer, a casual worker from NSW says:

I just try to cut back on the things that are not necessary. I usually only have 2 meals a day. I always try to pay child support and rent before spending my money on groceries.

March 14, 2024

Paula, a part-time worker from WA says:

If I was single I would be having to live with someone to share the bills.I have very low super as wage is low.Lucky I don’t have dependants as I wouldn’t be able to feed them especially with the costs of living.

March 14, 2024

Mikayla, a full-time worker from WA says:

I’m one of the lucky few above award but can’t provide for my family or even keep on top of my mortgage as a single parent the wage I get can’t cover it all

March 14, 2024

Mary, a part-time worker from WA says:

Budget is tight, I am trying to support my family

March 14, 2024

Afshin, a full-time worker from NSW says:

Because of my low wages I can not afford to provide many things to my family which I know they are some others basic needs. I always have to try to find the cheapest petrol station, I always have to look for the cheapest goods, only because if we save even a few dollars, it can help me to provide the other important things to the family , let alone traveling or buying nice cloths etc….for example we recently received a bit of pay rise this year but unfortunately my landlord increased my rent for an extra $300 per months.
To us the life is not about the quality anymore it is only about affordability.

Surely more money can make our life easier so I would say any increase is better than no increase in our situation.

March 14, 2024

Kamila, a part-time worker from QLD says:

I’m spending less on groceries cos I have help from my church. They give us some fruit and vegetables. So we can pay the rent. We have down sized as much as we could. And I have a second job which means less time with my little one.

March 14, 2024

Darryn, a full-time worker from VIC says:

I am on a single income paying $400 a week for rent, $350 a week for child support plus bills, food and petrol.
I feel like I live to work, not work to live.
The cost of living is just too high.

March 14, 2024

Chloe, a casual worker from WA says:

I’ve had food hampers to help with every day needs. My children miss out on sport.

March 14, 2024

Vukica, a full-time worker from QLD says:

Not much to spend on our fortnightly shopping


March 14, 2024

John, a full-time worker from NSW says:

I don’t go on holidays anymore …

March 14, 2024

Najib, a full-time worker from VIC says:

Having high living expenses nothing left weekly from wage, I have to ask for assistance through out personal loan and charity assistance.no saving. This is no good for my children’s future which will lead into bad standard of living and poverty.

March 14, 2024

Greg, a full-time worker from QLD says:

I need a newer car and we need a new kitchen .we have to budget

An extra $50 per week would allow me to upgrade my 17 year old car

March 14, 2024

Denise, a part-time worker from NSW says:

It means be very careful on purchases that you need like groceries n not travelling as fuel to exspensive

March 14, 2024

Peter, a full-time worker from QLD says:

Groceries. Fuel. Rent increases. Utilities

An extra $50 per week would make a big difference

March 13, 2024

Gabrielle, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

I would like to work less hours because of my age. I am struggling cleaning 4days a week although only 3 hours a shift. The work is demanding and under paid l only earn $288 a week which l need so l can buy food. I also receive a part disability pension which absorbs all my bills. I would like a more reasonable wage which would be in line with todays living standards. Thank you for the last wage increase it made a real difference. However all my colleagues think the government got them the pay rise instead of the union. I believe that unions should advertise relentlessly about their gains. As membership is slipping we should as unionists being making sure how vital we are to the community.

March 13, 2024

Kire, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

Early educators are understaffed, underpaid, overworked and unsupported. For the amazing, ESSENTIAL work that we do, and the emotional burden often placed upon us in this job, we are not seen. I am tired. I am angry. And I’m sick of seeing good educators forced to leave due to the emotional and financial stress.I will never leave, but I worry for the future. I am about to bring home my first child, and yet the worry of not being able to provide for them financially is definitely a concern.

March 13, 2024

Zoe, a Part-time worker from NSW says:

I have such a great passion for the childcare sector- unfortunately the wage for a qualified educator is not liveable. By staying in my job I am barely making ends meet.

May 26, 2023

Tibebu, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Salary is very little, I have children, car rental, house rent, life is very difficult, I have no other help

May 26, 2023

Shannon, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Slowly using our savings to just buy essential items. The cost of living has skyrocketed. House bills keep going up, groceries, gas, and food. We can’t keep up.