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fifo Most Improved for Crushers was Brendan Fuller Greg Byrne, Downing; Ian Reed, QNP Most Improved was won by Vicky Te Oka (L-R) Megan Smith was named Best Utility, seen with Coaching staff Crushettes Rookie of the Year was won by Zoe Mackay mining Port Aboutusgenericimage_3 csg (L-R) Ryan Palmer won the Managers Award and Best Forward seen with Boofa Callanan (L-R) Crushettes Best Back was Tasma Vesey Best and Fairest was won by Rhys Giles Steve Beale and Chris Dunphy, MIPEC (L-R) Dwayne Parsons was awarded Best Back
fifo Most Improved for Crushers was Brendan Fuller Greg Byrne, Downing; Ian Reed, QNP Most Improved was won by Vicky Te Oka (L-R) Megan Smith was named Best Utility, seen with Coaching staff Crushettes Rookie of the Year was won by Zoe Mackay mining Port Aboutusgenericimage_3 csg (L-R) Ryan Palmer won the Managers Award and Best Forward seen with Boofa Callanan (L-R) Crushettes Best Back was Tasma Vesey Best and Fairest was won by Rhys Giles

Wages likely to fall further
WANT more money? Look at your lifestyle.
Wednesday 12 August 2015  

MACKAY-based workplace consultant, Craig Joy, has warned miners concerned about labour hire rates that there could be significantly more pain to come in the resources sector.

“I think a bit of a history lesson is in order,” he told Shift Miner.

“If we go back seven or eight years, back before we had a once-in-a-lifetime mining construction boom, wage rates were around $25 or $26 an hour.

“But as we all know, we had a period when the pressure was on and demand for labour from port, rail, and mine construction was sky high at the same time as we were getting record prices for coal.

“The end result was that we saw wages spiral up to $70, $80 or even $90 an hour, but that construction phase has evaporated and those wage rates are falling.

“People like me get irritated when people say we are in a bust.

“We are not; it is just that the boom has passed, and it couldn’t last forever.

“I mean, wages have simply fallen to double where they were before the boom, and people need to remember that.”

However, Mr Joy also says changing rosters are clouding the issue, and confusing people about what their hourly rates are.

In particular, he says there are a whole suite of “lifestyle rosters” that have been introduced, which significantly reduce the number of hours that miners are working leading to confusion about weekly, monthly or annual wages.

“A lot of people are focussing on just their weekly rate, without considering the implications of the so-called lifestyle roster,” he said.

“If you are working a five day, 12 hour shift, you are working 60 hours a week,” he said.

“But if you are on one of the so-called  lifestyle rosters and working 12 hours a day on a seven day roster, it sounds like you are working more hours, doesn’t it?

“But in fact, on the seven days-on roster your average hours a week is back to about 42 hours, which obviously affects your weekly wage.”

Mr Joy also says there are still plenty of examples where good people are going from casual to full time; although, he says it is just a reality at the moment that some of the labour hire work is for short term-projects and there are no long-term employment opportunities.

For example, on Curtis Island, he says no one finishing up there now was under any illusion that the CSG construction work there would last forever.

He also says it is unfair to blame labour hire businesses for the wage rates.

“I know of a labour hire company who recently cut back hourly rates from $48 to $45 and one employee left because he said he could get $52 an hour with BMA,” he said.

“Two weeks later that contract ended and he was out of a job.

“Mining is an international commodity, and if a mining company decides it needs to cut its wage costs and forces it upon their labour hire contractors, they [the labour hire contractors] have no choice but to pass it on.

“An average labour hire business might make $4 an hour from its staff, and if your charge-out rates change and you don’t pass it on, you can be quickly losing $4 to $6 an hour.”


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