In 2004 money wages continued to grow at a moderate rate within Reserve Bank limits. In May, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission raised the federal minimum wage by $19 as part of the safety net adjustment. The workplace reform agenda of the federal government continued to be largely frustrated by the Senate, but the Coalition victory in October and its Senate majority in mid-2005 led the pundits to predict more energetic workplace reform in the coming months. The Australian Council of Trade Unions pursued a number of test cases before the Commission, which challenged the desire of employers and the federal government for a flexible award system, rather than one constrained by externally imposed entitlements.
Journal of Industrial Relations Vol. 47, no. 2, p. 151-170