SDA hits University O’Weeks

University is back! As uni students across the country settled back into another semester of study, the 100% Pay at 18+ team headed to O’Weeks to talk about the need to pay younger workers fairly.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that university students are at real risk at the moment, with many 18 and 19 year olds still being paid less than the full adult wage and the penalty rates of workers under threat.

“Unfortunately university students are at risk of being hit twice – once by junior rates of pay and then again by the potential cuts to penalty rates,” Mr Dwyer said.

“Many university students work weekend jobs to help fund their university studies during the week. At the moment, if they’re 18 or 19 they could be getting paid up to 30% less than the full adult rate of pay – even though they’re considered adults everywhere else in society.

“And to make matters worse, the Federal Government is looking at cutting penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers across the board.

“It’s a real double whammy and it’s people like university students, who can often amongst those who can least afford it, who will be hit the hardest.

“That’s why the SDA teams were out in such force at O’Weeks across February and March. We set up stalls at a large number of campuses in every branch area, signing people up to our campaigns and talking about the importance of fair pay. It’s critical that university students understand what is at risk.

“Both the SDA’s 100% Pay at 18+ campaign and the Protect Penalty Rates campaigns are standing up for the rights of workers, particularly our younger workers. The bills come in thick and fast at this time of year for university students, with books to cover and course fees to pay on top of the usual rent, car and food bills.

“They are adults and they deserve to be paid the full adult rate for the work they do, and they deserve to have their penalty rates protected.”

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