Catholic Church launches e-book on Australian wages, families and poverty

Media Release, 28 April 2014

Working Australia, 2014 e-book

Working Australia, 2014 e-book

The Australian wages safety net is failing to keep workers and their families out of poverty and provide them with an appropriate standard of living, the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER) said today, 28 April.

The Council believes that full time work should be sufficient to keep families out of poverty.

The current objective of the ACCER is to increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW), currently at $622.20 per week, to the same rate as the base wage rate for cleaners, which is currently $42.40 per week more than the NMW.

The ACCER, a Council of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, believes the increase should happen over time starting with $10.00 per week in 2014.

The ACCER published a free e-book today ‘Working Australia, 2014: wages, families and poverty’.

The e-book can be downloaded at:

The book incorporates submissions made to the Annual Wage Review over the past number of years.

Each year, the Council makes a submission to the NMW reviews. The purpose of the submissions is to promote the interests of low paid workers and their families.

Launching the book, Greg Crafter AO, Chair of the National Catholic Education Commission, said: “Decisions made in the annual reviews have an immediate impact on the lives of the lowest paid workers and their families and a wider impact on Australian society. However, the issues and evidence considered in wage reviews are not widely known in the broader community.”

“The e-book highlights that the real debate in wage setting is not about whether workers should be protected against poverty, they should, but how to identify and use the evidence to close the gap,” Mr Crafter said.

It is a great resource for parish and Catholic school-based groups that are interested in the way in which Catholic social teaching can be applied in the real world, he added.

For further information about the e-book, please contact Brian Lawrence on 0402 103 184