ACTU secretary Sally McManus has dismissed RBA governor Phil Lowe’s fears of a wage-price spiral as a “boomer fantasy”, given Australia abandoned centralised bargaining and wage indexation decades ago:
“We’re not achieving 3.5 per cent, let alone 5 per cent, let alone 7 per cent. And so to think somehow that the system is going to deliver across-the-board pay increases of 5 or 7 per cent is boomer fantasy land,” she said.
“Not realising that whole system would be incapable of delivering that. We do not have centralised bargaining in this country. It would not be possible for that to happen.”
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McManus has also called for union representation on the RBA board, which has not been the case since Bill Kelty was on the board during the Hawke-Keating governments of the 1980s and 1990s:
“I know that [RBA] board doesn’t have anyone there who participates in negotiations for wages or the wage-setting system from the workers side,” McManus said.
“And that’s a pretty big problem if you’re, you know, making assumptions or trying to understand trying to analyse how things work.”
McManus’ call for union representation on the RBA board is 100% justified. The RBA board currently has several representative from the business community. The RBA also conducts regular liaison with business, which it has used to inform its forever wrong wage forecasts:
Having union representation on both the RBA board and the liaison program would provide the RBA with balance and likely improve its functioning.
Having our central bank captured by the business lobby is not in the national interest.
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