Wages Flatline

The ACTU reports that according to data released earlier this month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), unemployment has remained historically low at 3.4%. Unemployment rates are at levels that Australia hasn’t seen since the mid-70s, and further falls are expected. Workers were told that once unemployment fell, our wages would rise – this has not happened, with ABS data revealing that annual wage growth is only 2.6% despite inflation being 6.1%.

The participation rate has dropped by 0.4% this month as thousands of people are forced out of the workforce, including many women due to inaccessible and unaffordable early childhood education and care.

The priority of the upcoming Jobs Summit must be growing wages, as workers have the lowest share of GDP in recorded history and the gender pay gap flatlines. To increase the participation rate, early childhood eduction and care must be made accessible and affordable.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Living standards have collapsed as workers have been told to wait for low unemployment. But we’ve had record low unemployment for months now and workers are still waiting – this is unacceptable.

The absolute priority of the Jobs Summit must be growing wages and overhauling the bargaining system – without this, workers will continue to have the lowest share of GDP on record.

The whole drop in unemployment can be put down to thousands of people dropping out of the labour market”.


Meanwhile, following the unanimous resolution of the last joint meeting of UFUSA State Councillors and Shop Stewards, our union met with government representatives to discuss our concerns in relation to the EA negotiations and the latest wage offer proposed for firefighters.

Your negotiating team felt we got a good hearing and as a result, negotiations have recommenced.

As always we will keep you advised of any outcomes or lack thereof and our strength lies in our unity and resolution. As you will appreciate, we continue to push hard and a further meeting to report back to elected union representatives will be scheduled in the coming weeks.


Our union has been invited by the Premier to participate in the Task Force he has established to discuss this matter with the first meeting taking place tomorrow. Thank you to all Members who have been active in providing information and feedback on this matter and you will be kept informed of any developments and of course involved in any decisions.

Yesterday the MFS Chief Officer advised me that he has found that contrary to his previous understanding, an MOU does exist between the MFS and SAAS, signed in 2014, which has kindly been provided to our union today. Given that the SAAS management has subsequently introduced new manual handling guidelines/policy it may be said that the MOU is more than a little out of date. It might also be said that in terms of the necessary training and resourcing, the MOU has not been fully applied, nor the scope of work of firefighters recognised. The Task Force has a lot of work ahead.


Thank you to all members who have indicated support to UFU member Kim Quinn, a retained firefighter at Port Augusta Station who has suffered appalling treatment at the hands of the employer over the last few years, including in relation to the assault perpetrated upon her on a training night at the station.

The matter of Kim Quinn v Chief Executive, Department of Treasury commences in the SA Employment Tribunal at the Riverside Centre on North Terrace Adelaide, at 10:00 hours next Wednesday 31 August 2022. The expression of solidarity of all members who have indicated that you will be present to support Kim and to send a strong message to the MFS that firefighters deserve for respectful behaviours to be more than just words on paper or the wearing of a white ribbon, is particularly appreciated.


Wear it Purple was founded in 2010 in response to global stories of real teenagers, real heartache and their very real responses. In 2010, several rainbow young people took their own lives following bullying and harassment resulting from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity.

One member of this group was 18 year old Tyler Clementi who took his own life after being publicly ‘outed’ as gay by his roommate, prompting a frenzy as reports poured in of various young people sadly in the same situation.

As the world saw the faces of precious young lives lost, some young people found a new sense of conviction and purpose to ensure that young people everywhere would know that there were people who did support and love them. Wear it Purple was established to show young people across the globe that there was hope, that there were people who did support and accept them, and that they have the right to be proud of who they are.

Since 2010, when Wear it Purple was co-founded by Katherine Hudson and Scott Williams, Wear It Purple has developed into an international movement. New generations of rainbow young people continue to be dedicated to promoting the annual expression of support and acceptance to rainbow young people.

What started out small has now grown; however the message remains the same. Everybody has the right to be proud of who they are.

So, join us this year, on August 26th to celebrate Wear it Purple Day. Be part of a movement that has the potential to save thousands of lives. Be part of this change. Find out more at www.wearitpurple.org


Many members are currently completing tax returns and if that’s you don’t forget that your union dues are tax deductible. Below are the rates for the financial year 2021 – 2022.

Firefighter$ 1,024.65
Engineering$ 624.24
Retained$ 234.90
Ventia$ 854.38

Note: this is for the full year – if at any time during the year dues were not paid, please contact the office by email info@ufusa.com.au for your individual amount.

In solidarity,


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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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