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‘Tug of war’ erupts over logistics salaries

More logistics professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.
According to the FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide, 92% of employers will increase their transport and distribution staff salaries in their next review, up from 83% who did so in their last review.
However, the value of these increases will fall. 71% intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 63% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 3% of employers intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%.
Professionals prioritise a salary increase
For their part, 26% of the transport and distribution professionals Hays also spoke to expect no increase whatsoever and a further 48% expect 3% or less. Yet while these professionals anticipate little or no increase, they’re not going to sit idly by and accept it.
In fact, more than half (57%) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. 46% intend to achieve this by asking for a pay rise, while others are looking elsewhere – 41% of jobseekers say their uncompetitive salary provoked their job search.
“Tug of war over salaries”
“Evidently, the aggregate effect of several years of sedate salary increases is taking its toll and we’re now seeing a tug of war over salaries,” said managing director of Hays Logistics Tim James.
“On the one hand, we have professionals telling us they’ve prioritised a pay rise and are prepared to enter the job market to improve their earnings. On the other, employers tell us they want to add to their headcount and are being impacted by skill shortages, yet they want to curtail salary increases.
“There are only a few exceptions. The recovery of the senior supply chain market led to demand for supply chain managers and, in turn, mid-tier demand and supply planners. In some states, salaries have increased in response to this demand.
“Tasmania’s positive economic climate led to a surge in interstate and international exports. Looking ahead, salaries are expected to increase in the state for multi-combination drivers and warehouse supervisors, who remain in short supply.
“While salaries for warehousing roles remain steady in smaller organisations nationally, larger companies are offering salaries over $90,000 for highly skilled and experienced candidates, especially those with safety qualifications and experience.
“In addition, in New South Wales and Victoria, higher vacancy activity has significantly drained the available pool of candidates and created a war for talent. As a result, employers in these states have begun to offer higher salaries for senior warehouse supervisors, operations managers, transport managers and fleet managers and controllers.”
In other key findings, the 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide found:

  • 67% of organisations offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefit is salary sacrifice, offered by 55% of employers to all employees. This is followed by above mandatory superannuation (offered by 37% of employers to all their employees), parking (33%), bonuses (27%) and private health insurance (26%).
  • Of the benefits offered to a select few employees, private expenses tops the list, with 70% of employers offering it to a hand-picked number of employees.
  • 68% of employers said business activity had increased over the past year, with 70% expecting it to increase in the next 12 months.
  • 57% intend to increase permanent distribution staff levels over the coming year.
  • 70% say skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their business or department in either a significant (28%) or minor (42%) way, up from 67% last year.
  • 54% of employers are restructuring to keep up with changing business needs – the key driver of these restructures is a change in the required skill sets.
  • In skill-short areas, 57% of employers would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate.

AusPost eliminates gender pay gap

Australia Post has achieved gender parity in pay, beating the national average of 16 per cent.
Improving from a difference of 1.4 per cent reported in 2016, Acting Managing Director and Group CEO Christine Corbett said this is the result of targeted programs addressing pay equity and nurturing talent.
“Australia Post is one of the largest employers in the country, so we are extremely pleased to report that we have reached an average zero per cent pay gap – which underlines our position as a leader when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
“Over the last seven and a half years we have focused on improving the representation of women across all levels of leadership and addressing unconscious bias. This culminated in October 2015 when we launched our landmark Gender Action Plan to focus and fast-track professional development.”
Since then, the company has focused on recognising and championing our female workers, and over 400 women participated in career development programs over the past 12 months.
With new Managing Director and Group CEO Christine Holgate joining Australia Post’s Board at the end of October, five of the nine directors will be female, including the Deputy Chair Holly Kramer.
Analysing the pay and roles of over 34,000 staff, Australia Post reported that from 30 June 2016 to 30 June 2017, women now account for:

  • 37.5 per cent of all management staff, up from 36.4 per cent
  • 17.7 per cent of all delivery managers, up from 14.4 per cent
  • 53.6 per cent of all postal managers, up from 51 per cent
  • 37.7 per cent of executives, up from 35.4 per cent


Modest pay hikes for Australia’s logistics workers

Seventy-one per cent of Australia’s transport and distribution employers will give their staff a pay rise of up to three per cent in their next review – compared to 65 per cent of employers across all industries nationally.
The annual Hays Salary Guide, released in early June also shows that 16 per cent of transport and distribution employers will not increase salaries at all, above the 11 per cent non-industry-specific average.
Hays Logistics reported that 10 per cent of transport and distribution employers intend to award a salary increase of between three and six per cent in their employees’ next review, and just three per cent will increase salaries at the higher level of more than six per cent, compared to19 per cent across all industries.
The Salary Guide shows that many employers have a positive outlook yet remain cautious when it comes to salaries.
“2016–17 proved to be a mixed year for the logistics industry and, while costs remain tightly managed, recruitment activity has increased across all job levels,” said Tim James, Director, Hays Logistics.
“3PL providers continue to grow and the trend towards outsourcing logistics functions means salaries are being squeezed to accommodate aggressive pricing strategies geared to win new business on lower margins.
“Across Australia, positive productivity is linked to efficiency improvements, be that in warehousing, transport or supply chain. Companies are targeting candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes, combined with a proven track record in reducing costs and achieving demanding KPIs.
“From a supply chain perspective, companies continue to seek jobseekers who have strong systems knowledge, especially SAP/APO. However these skills are scarce and subsequently salaries for these roles have increased, especially in NSW and Victoria,” he said.

Apprentices win pay rise

The Fair Work Commission has awarded first and second-year apprentices pay rises of up to $100 a week.

As reports, first-year apprentices who have completed Year 12 will now receive $398.50 per week, or an increase of 30 per cent. And the pay of second-year apprentices who have completed year 12 will increase by 18 per cent.

The move was welcomed by The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver called the decision a "great outcome for current and future apprentices and for the broader economy".

"Current wages see apprentices barely able to meet living costs; they are considerably less than other job options and barely more than the Newstart allowance," he said.

"There is also little recognition of the needs of adult apprentices. Today's decision is a real step forward."

However, as the ABC reports, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) was less enthusiastic about the decision.

Andrew Dettmer from the AMWU criticised the decision on the grounds that those who are already in the system will receive no pay rise.

"We know that there are many apprentices who are failing to complete their apprenticeship because of the low rates of pay and that was the evidence that we led and wasn't contradicted," Dettmer said.

"We know therefore that by only applying to prospective apprentices that we're going to have a situation where the existing apprentices won't see their rates of pay addressed."

The decision was not welcomed by Master Electricians Australia (MEA). The Australian reports that the organisation said the increases "would destroy the apprenticeship system and kill future apprenticeship opportunities for the building and construction industry".

MEA Workplace Relations Manager Jason O'Dwyer said the wage rises "represented a significant blow for productivity in the industry and for Australia's economy".

Pacific National Coal pay dispute continues

 Pacific National Coal has agreed to return to the Fair Work Commission in an effort to resolve an ongoing pay dispute with its workers.

The dispute between Pacific National Coal and the Rail Tram and Bus Union over a new enterprise agreement resulted in 48 hour strikes over the weekend, stopping millions of dollars worth of coal reaching port.

The dispute for the new EA has lasted over 12 months, with the pair failing to resolve the pay dispute during mediation with the Fair Work Commission last week.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten has stepped in and with the commitment of no further industrial action during the discussions, Pacific National Coal has agreed to return to mediation.

In a statement released today the coal haulage company say it is “…committed to reaching an outcome that recognises the interests of all stakeholders.”

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