LOW PAY NO WAY

SHARE YOUR STORY.

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?

Each June the Fair Work Commission reviews the Award wages of close to 3 million workers across Australia.

This is a big chance to fight back and demand a major increase so families can get ahead.

The United Workers Union is making submissions to the Fair Work Commission on behalf of our 150,000 members.

But we need your help. We are collecting stories from hundreds of workers to help explain to the Commissioners why Award pay rates are much too low and must rise significantly.

Our stories are powerful – last year, unions helped Award workers win a $40 a week boost to our wages.

The cost of living is up sharply, so that’s why  this year we’re calling for a 7% increase to Award wages. 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.

YOUR STORY WILL HELP BUILD THE CASE TO RAISE THE AWARD RATE.

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.

TELL YOUR STORY

How low wages are impacting workers:

May 26, 2023

Tandin, a Part-time worker from WA says:

It’s hard to meet university fees + weekly rent by myself as the rent and university fees are very high….

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.

May 26, 2023

Christopher, a Casual worker from VIC says:

I have had to take some no interest loans to pay rent and also sometimes use afterpay to purchase groceries, that helps at the time in need but then comes back and bites me as I have to pay that back and make sure I am not in debt with loans and afterpay

May 26, 2023

James, a Part-time worker from NSW says:

My current pay rate results in nearly 60-80% of my total wag be paid to rent alone, the cost of living has resulted in a disproportionate result where wages go up mch more slowly than the cost of living. These increases seem like nothing to those earning big dollars in the 80k-100k range but this result looks to a decline in general health, using 2 min noodles as a cost efficent way to sustain, cheap cokes as ‘treats’ resulting in further declines in well being and nutrients, which over all just unsustainable. Being in predominate darkness at night to ensure electricity wont be excessive either.

May 26, 2023

Daniel, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

I’m always late with bills. I go without food sometimes.I have used a food bank at various times.

May 24, 2023

Jenkins, a Full-time worker from SA says:

I am a older woman in the disability industry. I have 3 more years until I retire. We have not had any pay increases for nearly 3 yrs. Everything has gone way up in prices for my cost of living. I pay for everything myself I have no spouse.

May 24, 2023

Mellisa, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

I have a nephew placed into my care fulltime. I’m still awaiting on Centrelink for payments, its been 6 weeks! Through this time, the amount of money towards food plus electricity has more then doubled. With petrol costs, clothing, recreation activies for a 12yo. I have cut back on bills and applied for hardship to cut costs coming out of my pay, to make ends meet! There is no money left over for clothing or meals or outings anymore… I am living from week to week, and times I have had to get loans to keep me afloat to next pay. Then I am down to budgeting, due to repaying family back money. I’m struggling!!!!

May 24, 2023

Bimal man, a Part-time worker from VIC says:

Rising costs of fuel, groceries, insurance, rates, maintenance around the home. A pay rise would make living much easier.

May 24, 2023

Debbie, a worker from QLD says:

Actually impact us cost very high to pay bills and food. Also my children offer ask for help too but my wage is not enough live on!! Believe everyone is same and some are worse too. I think it’s time to have wages go up. It’s unfair that we get lower wage.

May 24, 2023

Aroma, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

I am just getting by with bills and being able to put food on the table for my family I never have enough to even put away for a savings so right now me and my family rely on each other

May 24, 2023

Kyle, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

It’s just getting too expensive to live with all the price and mortgage increases

May 24, 2023

Kim, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

I have always had to budget but now it is soo hard we just work to get by!

May 3, 2023

Kishor, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Since grocery, current bill fuel prices gone up over 50%, I feel a lot of pressure and it is hard to find bulk billing doctors. It is hard keep on going.

April 11, 2023

Ranju, a Part-time worker from VIC says:

Low wages impact in my daily life as we all know we have to pay all the bills, groceries, fuels etc are gone up to the sky like a rocket so we are all struggling.

April 11, 2023

Tanya, a Part-time worker from SA says:

Low wages impact my ability to secure a decent rental property for my daughter and I. My previous rental was sold 2 years ago and my daughter and I have been seperated since that time. I’m currently paying storage fees of over $600 per month and living with my elderly parents and daughter is living with her father.I have had to rely on various Foodbanks on more than one occasion to get by.

April 7, 2023

Helen, a worker from QLD says:

Very difficult to save. Don’t want to commit to any new expenditures. Got power bill, $100 more than usual. Surely it must be wrong! Rent increased by $95 in last 12 months.

April 4, 2023

Divya, a Part-time worker from WA says:

The cost of living is rising day by day, me and my partner living in rental house with 2 small kids, rent is raising up, all daily expenses raising up, but our salary is less able to meet all these expenses, it gets more stressful for average income earning family.

April 4, 2023

Margit, a Part-time worker from SA says:

I have been cleaning or coming up to 15 years now, working for this long is a real struggle for me. Every pay each fortnight I have to stretch the money to make sure I have paid everything, such as phone bills, medication, water, electricity, council rates, my mortgage, my shopping. I am part time worker on 20 hours per week which is low income. I also look after my elderly mother in the day time before going to work for 3.30pm start. Cost of living, inflation is a killer. Everything is doubled in price so I am spending more money on things and getting less for it! I have quite often had to miss out on things such as grocery items I used to buy due to price increase. When you have to live off what little money you have I appreciate any help and a pay increase to keep up with inflation to help make ends meet will make life less stressful

March 27, 2023

Timothy, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

An observation:
Businesses just passes their costs on to consumers. I have been going to the same mens’ barber, Alex, for 15 years. In 2008 he charged me $11 for a haircut. Today it is $34. Same haircut, same barber, same business. The cost to me has tripled. My wage has not tripled since 2008, not even doubled. I can’t pass my costs on to anyone.

March 27, 2023

Catherine, a Full-time worker says:

It makes you second think everything you do. No spending money or buying coffees at work or going out on the weekends. continual worry about paying the bills.

March 27, 2023

Teresa, a Part-time worker from NSW says:

I have worked in Agedcare for 21 years. When I started (unskilled, ready to train) I earned $19ph, after 21 years and completing every upskilling course and opportunity available to me I now earn $24ph! My hours are uncertain (employers used Covid as an excuse to drop everyone’s contracts while increasing their availability), My entitlements are constantly under ‘reinterpretation’ and inflation/cost of fuel means I am working just to keep my car running! All my coworkers have secondary employment either in the sector or out and all plan to leave altogether in the next 5 years. Who will be there to care then?

March 27, 2023

Joao, a Casual worker from QLD says:

The low wages impact for me and my family because if I get less than 30 hours per week it will be hard for me to pay the bills and save some to support my family back in Timor that’s why I personally want to require to the union to give a fair advice to Australian government and the company to increase a maximum wage and a fair work hour for us.

March 22, 2023

Rose, a Part-time worker from SA says:

I am permanent part-time worker had to cut down my shopping each fortnight, cut down phone credit from $40 down to $10. a month. i can’t save money like i used to before, i am so struggeling to pay my bills since everything are gone up high like a rocket paying my home loan is so stressful, i hope we can do something for our daily living.

March 22, 2023

Sefika, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

Low wages impacted me to the point that I had to sell my house before the fixed rate ended. With the wages we earn , I would have to sacrifice majority of my wages to pay it. Hardly anything left after for food, bills and any other payments.

March 22, 2023

Nishant, a Full-time worker from SA says:

I have been living in SA for 8+ years. Finally we were able to collect some money to be able to pay a down payment amount to own a house, but suddenly our Rent has increased, Grocery expenses and living expenses are over the roof. We had to postpone our decision to own a house. We are heart broken. I am being paid nearly bare minimum and practically no salary sacrifice.

March 22, 2023

Salote, a Part-time worker from SA says:

It’s very hard for me as a mother of 3 children to have this wage like this.Its very hard to make ends meet in our every day living.Sometimes we have to rely on charity organizations for foods because of our low pay and food prices are so high.

March 22, 2023

Ken, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Rising costs of fuel, groceries, insurance, rates, maintenance around the home.
A pay rise would make living much easier.

March 22, 2023

Caroline, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Low wages mean I have to decide whether healthcare issues are urgent enough to justify the costs. I know taking care of my health now is important for long term wellbeing, but when an appointment with health professionals costs so much more than I earn, I find myself delaying treatment.

March 22, 2023

Jake, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

I’m married, father of one. My wage is $22 per hour. I have a mortgage, I’m having to pay installments at the bare minimum and interest rates are over double my monthly instalment.
My wife works one night a week, my low wage impacts whatever government assistance she can get. We don’t want to put our child in child care and mothers shouldn’t be pushed back into the work force as soon as child is born. Every cent has to be budgeted to afford groceries and bills. This means rarely socialising or doing something for ourself.

March 21, 2023

Naw be, a Part-time worker from ACT says:

My pay rate is not enough to make ends meet as I have to put my health aside so that I could put food on the table. This affects me physically and mentally as well overall quality of life for my family. I am constantly stressed about my financial situation but can not afford to maintain it as a result of not being able to keep up with everyday living cost and the medical bills.

The living cost have increases so much that I do not have any money to go and see my specialist for my health issues as continuesly as I should. But when I do, I needed to rely on credit card to paid for my medical expenses just because I don’t have any spare money to pay for all the medical and specialist bills . Which I am struggling to pay back as I hardly have any spare money from working and paying for everyday costs, to pay off my debt.

I am a young mother of 2 children as well and all the baby related costs have also been really hard to catch up with despite me working part time and my husband work full time.

I believe that with if wage increases, I would be able to atleast afford to pay off my debt quicker and give me some relief.

March 21, 2023

Jeff, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

My weekly salary is so low it doesn’t ever cover my cost of living, once I paid I already have nothing leftover.

March 21, 2023

James, a Full-time worker from NT says:

Put my family in a chaotic situation financially.

March 21, 2023

Naomi, a Full-time worker from WA says:

Feeding the family on yellow labelled items on shop shelves as become like a normal trend .
Always looking for items on sale .
Living by cheque to cheque, year after year. Holidays time has become a conversation off the table for my family. I have had friends who know my situation well and they dropped food parcels at my door step.

March 21, 2023

Nenita, a Part-time worker from SA says:

No eating outside now, it’s not enough no socialising activities due to lack of budget. No support from anyone.

March 21, 2023

Thinh, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

I’m struggling to keep my family stable and dealing with bills and mortgage payments.

March 21, 2023

Rose, a Part-time worker from SA says:

I had to cut down my shopping each fortnight, cut down phone credit from $40 down to $10. a month.
i can’t save money like i used to before, i am so struggling to pay my bills since everything are gone up high like a rocket paying my loan is so stressful, i hope we can do something to stop this hardship.

March 21, 2023

Scott, a Full-time worker from NSW says:

With my current pay rate we are struggling just like most families to make ends meet. With 4 kids and a mortgage going up every month at the moment, both myself and my partner work around the clock and it’s becoming impossible, all this while the big companies are recording massive profits.

March 21, 2023

kyle, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

low wages affect not only my mental health & that of my loved ones but the ability to plan for the future & live a happy & fulfilling life outside the work as we spend roughly 1/3rd of our life working potentially moving from job to job trying to make ends meet sacrificing almost everything to keep a roof over your head I’m fighting for fair wages so there might be something more to life for others outside the perpetual loop of workplace purgatory we currently find ourselves in

March 21, 2023

Gwyneth, a Part-time worker from WA says:

I have had a knee issue and I can’t really afford to have a MRI as even though I have private health I can’t afford the difference so I will just have put up with Dr guessing what is the issue.

March 21, 2023

Rhys, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

I’m currently supporting myself and my non-binary fiance who is in the process of being diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and others as an adult. My rent in my home that is unsafe at best and still the best option during this rental crisis has gone up 25%. I can’t afford to live with my fiance alone, so we share and even then my fortnightly rent has raised $150. My grocery bill has increased $20-40 dollars on average and my purchases of meat have reduced. I’ve cancelled private health, I’ve cancelled quality of life entertainment. I’ve watched every bill I pay rise at varying rates. And yet my pay hasn’t moved at all. I recently had a sole car traffic accident and the only reason I now have a replacement vehicle is because my mother is dipping into her super. And were it not a hybrid, the fuel costs alone would teter me on the edge. I could go on, but I don’t think I need to.

March 21, 2023

Julie, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

I’m 29 without children but use to own a house but have lost due to covid amoung other things due to no fault of my own. When i first started this job it was great till i found out that my cost of living was far more than what wage it offered, but worried i wont be able to get another job, i live rural not too many option within distance. I love my job but i just feel a little like im just keeping afloat. .. I ask my parents from time to time.. still… with the rising cost of living, like fuel food and electricity not many have this option… it’s been overwhelming at times to say the least. The job school cleaners do across the board is not for the faint hearted and I believe every cleaner(person) who feels secure in the job/financial situation is a recipe a healthy happy and reliable worker.

March 21, 2023

Josie, a Casual worker from VIC says:

Last year I was working under the fast food award. Being 19 I was paid on junior rates, despite serving alcohol and being a restaurant supervisor. I’m from Melbourne, but was living in Sydney for University. When it came to look for another place to lease in 2023 as my accomodation was closing, I couldn’t afford any rentals. I had to move back to Melbourne so I could live with my mum, as I had no where else to live. This was particularly devastating as I had to change universities, which I really didn’t want to do.

March 21, 2023

Michelle, a Full-time worker from NSW says:

I’ve been working in the child care sector for 26 years, I never went into this career for the money but for the love of educating young children and feeling like I’m leaving a legacy. At the end of 2021 my partner of 17 years who shared all expenses had a sudden cardiac arrest with seizures leaving him with a significant brain injury, he receives a pension but that doesn’t cover much in terms of everyday expenses. I want to continue our modest living but with soaring food, electricity costs sky rocketing I’m hoping our quality of life is not affected.

March 21, 2023

Carlene, a Full-time worker from WA says:

I was forced to move out of the rental property i rented for 3 years, as my owner wanted to increase the rent and I couldn’t afford to , as now my daughter and I had to move in with in to my parents house . I can’t afford to rent another house around close to work as my daughter only works casual and I was struggling to pay the electricity bill, as working shift work (night shifts) I needed to get a good sleep after night shifts , and especially in summer to run the aircon when hot or cold, I was worried with increasing cost to use the aircon. The cost of paying to seeing a doctor to get prescriptions, I can’t afford all the time to see a doctor.

March 21, 2023

Robert, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

I’m going to make this short and sweet so I’m not wasting anyone’s time.It doesn’t take a genius to work out that $27 an hours cannot sustain any sort of a lifestyle when mortgage rates go up 10 times.Yes like every other worker I’m doing 10x more work without and pay increases.

March 20, 2023

Carol, a Full-time worker from NSW says:

Yes I have relied on charity to get food and help pay electricity and gas as my rent increased $100 a week which was my money for those bills

March 20, 2023

Louise, a Full-time worker from ACT says:

By the time we pay rent and living expenses we have to ask our parents and/or charity as far as bills and medical appointments. All doctors should be bulk billed for adults as well as children. Also to keep up with our two cars one I use for work and one my husband also uses one.

March 20, 2023

Pongtip, a Part-time worker from WA says:

House rent, utilities, gas, everything is now expensive. I hardly have any money for emergencies.

March 20, 2023

Gerrard, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

I have to basically never go out and gets drinks with mates, it will take years before I can get certain medical treatments and meanwhile I perform back breaking labor. Our rent just got increased by 40%! All the employers have said is that sometime in the future my rate will go up $1… Useless. We now need to move and if I choose to stay at my job I’ll have to travel on top of all this. I hate our system, I hate capitalism and all those who earn above what they actually need and see fit to own a yacht while others lick up cigarettes from bins, a filthy thing we’ve put up with.

March 20, 2023

Quang, a Full-time worker from SA says:

I have a 17year old daughter to take care of and I work nights so it’s hard to be there for her and pay to support her with things she wants and needs I have relied on charity assistance a few times generally around Christmas as it’s an experience time of year and as I’m working full time I shouldn’t have to do these types of things

March 20, 2023

Dwarka, a Full-time worker from SA says:

I am a separated man working full time and I pay child support of $126 plus tax and renting at $400 plus, all on a small income to pay bills. No money left at the end of the week and can’t even can buy a proper meal. A $40 increase is not enough for anyone. You need to put gas for your car to go to work buy food. Why don’t the politicians live like a poor people. Then they will understand the real life of Australian workers.

March 20, 2023

Christopher, a Casual worker from TAS says:

With the cost of living after essential bills there is not a lot left for quality food choices I also find it diffcult to afford my child support costs, I have had to have a small amount of assistance for food from Salvation Army, etc with the cost of essentials going up constantly

March 20, 2023

Natalie, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

I’m a parent, and the current cost of living is making everyday needs. Very hard, I’ve had to say no to my children doing sports.

March 20, 2023

Nataliya, a Part-time worker from WA says:

The cost of living increased tremendously. All my bills increased. My weekly rent was increased by $ 100/w (from $300/w to $400/w). All this leaves me with much less of money to spend and save.

March 20, 2023

Jennifer, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

My pay no longer meets my needs after l pay bills l am routinely picking betweeen food, fuel, getting medicine or socialising as l can no longer afford to do all or two of these after bills.

I am unable to buy enough groceries to maintain healthy eating habits, I have no money to save with or meet changes to my house or do maintenance for it. I am constantly late for birthday presents and unable to prepare food or nice thing’s for visitors to my house. Unable to save to see my family or take a short holiday.

The financial stress as well as the emotional and mental stress from work are effecting my sleep, happiness, attitude and health and there is no hope for an immediate change.

March 20, 2023

Carolyn, a Part-time worker from WA says:

Low wages mean I have to work more hours and weekends to make ends meet. With the interest rates on the rise again and utilities becoming increasingly high I’m struggling to keep on top of my bills. I’m the main breadwinner and at 58 I can’t continue working more hours to recoup funds eaten up by inflation when my pay packet remains the same.

March 20, 2023

Donna, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

I sacrifice myself to make sure my family comes first..I would love to get my hair done have a holiday for my hard work etc..but I miss out all the time as a single wager

March 20, 2023

Julie, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Low wages mean there’s not a lot left over after meeting all my financial obligations. Any “pay rise” is often reduced by the cost of living expenses and any taxes that are taken out. Teacher aides aren’t paid what their value is and what there jobs require of them (toileting, medical needs of students etc) . Any allowances aren’t sufficient for what they are required to do. I make ends meet by being extreme my careful with my spend. My children go without alot. There is often nothing left of my current pay after meeting my requirements. I go without alot for my children to have the basics

March 20, 2023

Mercedes, a Full-time worker from WA says:

The cost of living continues to increase yet wages are staying the same. I thought going from relief to full time, would make living more manageable, but it hasn’t. I am still living paycheck to paycheck. Every pay there is a new bill waiting. It is impossible to save when all your money goes towards bills.

March 20, 2023

Leanne, a Part-time worker from WA says:

Cost of living has gone well and truly over the top. Our wages are appalling we don’t have enough to pay bills and buy groceries. I only buy what I need in groceries, left overs are never thrown out , price of petrol electricity water and gas are ridiculous, winter I go to bed very early to get warm as can’t afford to run a heater summer I sleep on the floor tiles to keep cool as cannot afford the privilege of running an air con. There is no chance of a holiday as holidays are paid out in cash for essentials. The govt need to work in a nursing home for 1 month on our wage.

March 20, 2023

Jasmine, a Part-time worker from NSW says:

I still live with my parents, on my wage at my baseline typical 3 day a week roster after tax I earn about $540. there would be no way I would be able to afford to pay rent and all the bills that go with living in a house plus pay for my car and phone and still be able to eat all while living alone.

The only way I would be able to do that is I had at least two roommates and that rarely works out for anyone.

I can barely keep up with making sure my car is road safe and full of fuel, paying for any vet bills and making sure I pay my health insurance on time each week.

March 20, 2023

Annette, a Full-time worker from WA says:

I had to sell the family home as I weren’t even making enough in the end to keep up with mortgage repayments . I had to rely on our children as my husband is on a aged pension but as they pay according to my gross ( before tax) he gets about $200 a fortnight. So we now live at my sons place and he helps us out.

March 20, 2023

Rosemary, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

I don’t have dependents at home now but I am fighting for higher wages as regardless of who you are we should not be receiving pay rates which are degrading to the industry where we are caring for children while other trades are earning three times what we earn. I come with years of experience but this is not being rewarded. We are not recognised or respected and this is shown in the low pay rate.

March 20, 2023

Aden, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

My partner has type 2 diabetes, and the cost of her medications and blood sugar sensors is phenomenal. Her salary as a teacher does not cover these expenses.
Groceries and living expenses have all gone up.

March 20, 2023

Satwinder, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

Bills piling up. Mortgage payments behind. Cutting back on food.

March 17, 2023

Kush, a Full-time worker from WA says:

Rising mortgage cost has been a huge blow to our budget with rising other cost. We have stopped sending kids to extra afterschool activities this year.

March 17, 2023

kasey, a Casual worker from QLD says:

I’m a single mother of two kids, rent is so high it’s a joke $650 a week. Kindy fees 500 plus a fortnight. Food, petrol, insurance ect. I’m living week to week and always play catch up with my bills.

March 17, 2023

Rachel, a Full-time worker from WA says:

3 children in school – 2 working parents, rents gone up another $60 this year food prices up fuel prices everything is up we are 2 full time workers juggling our family and still living week to week with no chance of buying a home of our own. I have used afterpay to get gift cards to pay for groceries, used food bank over Christmas so our family had a wonderful Christmas and my children can see why mum and dad both have to work 40 hours + a week

March 17, 2023

Thomas, a Full-time worker from NSW says:

Over the last year or so cost of living for me has become an insurmountable challenge, with genuine impacts on my health and quality of life.

The most recent hit to my household budget has been my fixed term on mortgage expiring leading to a 5% +/- jump in my interest rate.

This has caused incredible amounts of stress, sleepless nights, skiped meals and the inaffordability of doctors appointments and medication.

On top of my 38 hour full time job it’s now looking as if I will need another job, alternatively I could sell my home or try to find help from a charity to be able to eat every week or to get the medication I need.

March 17, 2023

Amandeep, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

Since the pandemic finish I have been working fulltime 40 hours . I could not save even a single dollar . I am basically working for bills not for myself or my family. The inflation rate has skyrocketed it does not reflect the wages.

March 17, 2023

Manish, a Part-time worker from SA says:

I can attest to the fact that low wages have a significant impact on myself and my family.

With the rising cost of living, it has become increasingly difficult to make ends meet on my current salary. My family and I have had to make sacrifices in order to cover basic necessities such as rent, bills, and groceries. This has caused a great deal of stress and anxiety for all of us.

As a parent, my current pay rate has a direct impact on my children. It limits our ability to provide them with the things they need and want, such as extra-curricular activities, quality education, and health care.

Unfortunately, I know as my co workers share stories with me and one of them was that there are some families, they have had to rely on assistance from charity organizations in order to make ends meet. This is not a sustainable solution and it is not fair that disability support workers have to resort to this in order to survive.

March 17, 2023

Inareskai, a Casual worker from NSW says:

The impact is horrible.
My roommate recently had to leave an incessantly toxic and stressful job. It was taking such a severe toll on her, she was losing hair, greying, and getting severe chest pains. She is currently twenty.
As she needs extensive time to recover, physically and emotionally, from such a horrifically demanding workplace, I am paying for rent, food, and bills. Which I am okay with, emotionally. I am happy to support her.
But I’m a casual bartender. If I’m lucky, I get 17 hours per week.
I average around $500/w. Rent is $400/w. We have two cats. I am supporting two people and two cats (with special dietary requirements) on a budget of $100 a week. No amount of “careful spending” changes the simple fact that that amount isn’t anywhere near enough.
I relied and continue to rely on the occasional online donation to get by.
She’s applying for new jobs and so am I, but I’m scared. We are both so scared.

March 17, 2023

Shay-Lee, a Part-time worker from SA says:

With rent, petrol, insurances, bills, etc.. I have had to stop doing things that I enjoy doing with my family (going out for dinner, seeing a movie, etc) because I am barely able to afford the things I need to pay for. Everything is going up, except for our wages. I love my job, but it’s not worth doing for this amount of pay.

March 17, 2023

Sarah, a Casual worker from QLD says:

I,ve been a cleaner for many years and it seems that the base pay rate has not risen much, when I started cleaning back in 1992 the base pay rate was $19 per hour, now in 2023 the base pay rate is $22 per hour, it’s definitely harder given the higher cost of living we have now, I,ve tried to get better paying jobs ,improve my education and training so why does it seem so frustrating?

March 17, 2023

Marvie, a Part-time worker from SA says:

It’s a huge impact to my family,the cost of living is too high,sometimes we are strugling to budget with the tiny wages, paying bills, paying rent, groceries and etc.

March 17, 2023

Vicki, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

I make ends meet by going without certain food items and being very stringent with my money and don’t go on holidays

March 17, 2023

Scott, a Full-time worker from NSW says:

With my current pay rate we are struggling just like most families to make ends meet. With 4 kids and a mortgage going up every month at the moment ,both myself and my partner work around the clock and it’s becoming impossible, all this while the big companies are recording massive profits.

March 17, 2023

Talwyn, a Casual worker from VIC says:

I can barely make rent with the cost of living crisis. I don’t understand how prices of everything keep going up but wages are not. How are we meant to survive? How are we meant to live? It’s not working. Something needs to give. I can’t afford petrol, I can’t afford to run the AC in my house. We need change!

March 17, 2023

Kevin, a Full-time worker from WA says:

My wife and I both work for the same company. She is part time and I am full time.
We have little to save after paying utilities, a mortgage, fuel twice a fortnight, and food shopping. Also any work needing done around the house or medical needs cut into our savings.

Fuel is expensive, so we can pool to work together, even though she works night shift sometimes and I work in the daytime. So we both stay back or wait early in the morning for each other, taking up extra free time that could be spent more productively.

March 17, 2023

Danny, a Part-time worker from TAS says:

Very hard to live

March 17, 2023

Hakan, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

Low wages and the loss of workers’ rights have not just affected the family life but the economy as a hole. Who in the right mind thought that this system of putting profits over people’s humility, and their basic needs was a good idea? Why? to show the financial system that the rich is getting richer, which must mean the economy is doing well. How stupid to starve the population then try to control their spending to even the books. News flash the worker doesn’t have money, at best all we have is debt, so putting pressure on us is only going to put pressure on not just on families and our children but it’s going to affect the banks which means the whole system is about to collapse. How greedy do you have to be to hoard the worlds wealth, suck everything to the top and still expect us to give you the little dignity we have left to the system. When are we going to say enough is enough. When are the politicians going to put an end to this evil? I thought politicians were for the people not the corporations. We have nothing left. Have a look at France, England, America. First world countries are becoming like 3 world countries because of greed. Kids in our country are going to bed with an empty stomach. How did we come to this? and who let this happen?

March 17, 2023

Kyle, a Full-time worker from ACT says:

The low wage impacts me and my family in restricting foods we can buy and things and activities we can do cause the cost of living so so high and house and land rates keep going up those things can’t not get paid

March 17, 2023

Jolenie, a Part-time worker from WA says:

It’s hard because cost living and household expenses are getting high and I cannot cover every week’s rent. No I’m not relying on assistance from charity at all

March 17, 2023

Tammie, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

We have had to cancel family holidays we had planned, cut backs to grocery shops, I haven’t been able to buy medication needed as it’s just too hard already spreading the finances with electricity, fuel, food school fees for daughters, and those other little expenses/ items that pop up. Rates come in and adds even more a burden to the already slimed down budget. We have cancelled some private health insurance as we just had to make cuts where we could, next we will have to cancel it all together as our mortgage rises again. An extra $205 a week we are now paying a week on a small mortgage, it’s getting out of control

March 17, 2023

Mandy, a Part-time worker from WA says:

My personal concerns for my future earnings is that according to our industry earnings is that I’ve reached the highest rate that under my contract I can achieve.
So if I stay in my present job, which I do enjoy, I cannot achieve a higher pay rate( hourly)
So for the next 10 years I will be paid the same…
But the cost of everything on this planet will continue to increase
As a woman in the age demographic which has been proven through these times is the worst of throughout society
This is of major concern to me personally
But I’m one of the lucky ones, so far, I have a roof over my head
But for how long??
Thank you.

March 17, 2023

SCOTT, a Full-time worker from NSW says:

Every thing keeps going up politicians dont care they get a $5000 pay rise no questions ask that is not fair how about workers get a decent wage

March 17, 2023

Ben, a Part-time worker from NSW says:

I have 2 kids under 3yrs old, my wage covers bills, the kids needs & my own (barely)
I have to work extra shifts, extend my shifts where possible & spend up to 120hrs a fortnight at work to make a decent paycheck to support my kids & pay my bills + maintain my sleeping pattern to ensure I carry out my duties safely – I really hope I never have to use a charity due to wage issues

March 17, 2023

Katrina, a Full-time worker from QLD says:

We budget like crazy. We are also saving for a house deposit which makes it even harder. My children miss out on some social things. We haven’t had to rely on any assistance yet. As we have a tight budget and stick to it we have to

March 17, 2023

Phuc, a Full-time worker from VIC says:

I need pay rise because now everything more expensive

March 17, 2023

Oren, a Part-time worker from VIC says:

The family I live with has had costs skyrocket so much in the last year that after all bills and need sit survive are paid, there is less than $10 of savings, recently I’ve had to start giving over a third or more of my fortnightly pay just for us to survive as a 19 year old who’s just trying to save for my future

March 17, 2023

Gwyneth, a Part-time worker from WA says:

My rent has gone up $100 in a year and my pay hasn’t gone up at all. . I can’t afford to move as there are not many rentals to choose from and no cheaper. This amount is 3/4 of my wage and I don’t know how I will manage other bills I just see me getting in debt on my credit card for other bills like car service/ car rego / gas / electricity/ petrol etc

March 17, 2023

Roy Mathew, a Part-time worker from SA says:

Paying extremely high rent,  cost of living is sky-rocketing, I’m not even able to save money for my health and other needs.

March 17, 2023

Thomas, a Part-time worker from QLD says:

Because of my low wage in this time of interest rates my kids have had to miss out on school excursions and weekend activities as I am having to stretch money out to keep on top of payments.

March 17, 2023

Alanna, a Casual worker from NSW says:

I live in a city where cost of living is out of control. Low wages are forcing all of us to make tough choices. You either pay your rent, pay the bills, or afford to eat – you can’t do all three. When people can’t afford the bare minimum necessities, there’s something very very wrong with the current award rates.