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Are you being underpaid during your apprenticeship?

Eimear test O'Sullivan

ETU organisers regularly hear stories about apprentices being underpaid, ripped off and exploited. As an industry, and as a union, we need to work together to ensure that apprentices are protected and being paid what they’re owed.

As an apprentice, it can be hard to know if you’re being paid correctly or what your rates are. ETU organisers regularly hear stories about apprentices being underpaid, ripped off and exploited. As an industry, and as a union, we need to work together to ensure that apprentices are protected and being paid what they’re owed.

We have created a page which shows the various rates of pay for apprentices, taking into account which year you’re in and whether you’re working overtime or public holidays.

(The rates refer to the minimum wages under the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010. If you are working under an ETU negotiated Enterprise Agreement, your rates will be higher).

Please check it against your pay and make sure you are getting the same or more for your work.

If you’re being paid less than those amounts, this is wage theft, and it is illegal. Other things like not having your TAFE fees or textbooks paid for by your employer are also considered wage theft.

If you are an apprentice who is experiencing wage theft in one of the above ways, please contact the ETU (or CEPU in SA and TAS). We’ll help you stand up against your employer and make sure they pay you correctly.

To date we have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for our members in unpaid entitlements and shows why it is so important to be part of the union. Please spread the word to other apprentices in your workplace too. The more aware of your rights you are, the less chance there is of being exploited.


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