The Victorian Labor government has flagged it will aim for modest annual pay rises of 2%, setting the scene for an arm-wrestle with public sector unions in bargaining over a series of major enterprise agreements.
The Reserve Bank has pointed to the concentration of cutting-edge software and information technology in a small number of businesses and narrow labour market segments as a factor behind flat wages growth.
Leading online jobs marketplace SEEK has told a Senate inquiry into the future of work that Australians face a "significant shock" as technological forces continue to drive wages down, while the Productivity Commission has warned that digital disruption might ultimately require the introduction of a universal basic income.
The "near disappearance" of industrial action over recent decades is strongly correlated with the "deceleration" of wages growth, according to the new analysis released by the Centre for Future Work just days after the FWC halted the planned Sydney train strike.
The Independent Education Union is urging NSW and ACT Catholic school teachers to endorse rolling stop-work action after it negotiated a "pretty good" agreement that nevertheless contained no guaranteed access to arbitration.
The FAAA says it is delighted with a new deal endorsed by more than 90% of voting Qantas international flight attendants, but the TWU has slammed it for perpetuating a two-tiered system that pays some cabin crew less than half the money for performing the same work.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has declined to support Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe's call for workers to push for wage rises, arguing that improved company profits are a surer way to put more money in more pockets.