Fitness First, Goodlife: Wages victory for gym chain staff after they rebelled against 15-YEAR pay freeze after name-and-shame campaign went viral

Fitness instructors at two of Australia’s largest chains of gyms have been granted a pay rise after an online petition won the support of thousands when it went viral.

The petition by the United Workers Union (UWU) claims group fitness instructors at Fitness First and Goodlife Health Clubs had been paid at the same rate, $42.50 per class, for the past 15 years. 

While their pay plateaued for a decade-and-a-half, customer’s gym fees were increasing alongside profits for parent company, Fitness and Lifestyle Group (FLG), union bosses said.

Instructors were reportedly struggling to pay for rent and bills as their pay remained stagnant while the cost-of-living dramatically spiked.

After reportedly knocking back negotiation talks, FLG agreed a deal within two weeks of the petition going live and increased staff pay by between 6 and 8 per cent.

Fitness instructors employed by the parent company of two of Australia’s largest gyms, Fitness First (pictured) and Goodlife, have won a battle to have their pay increased

UWU director, Godfrey Moase, said the pay issue had forced the instructors into unionising to confront FLG as a group.

‘Fitness workers across Australia had been labouring under wage stagnation for many years and in response, they came together and joined their union,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘The cohort of group fitness instructors working for FLG, which owns both Fitness First and Goodlife gyms, had begun organising and as part of that launched a petition which gained traction very quickly.

‘FLG bosses had flat out refused to entertain a pay rise but as a result of organising efforts and within two weeks of the petition going live, the company made an improved wage offer, which is a huge win for the workers.’

Mr Moase added the dispute is ‘not over yet’ and the union will ‘continue to be guided on next steps by workers. 

The petition remains up over a week after the pay-rise and continues to add to the more than 3,500 signees from fellow instructors concerned gym-goers.

The instructors had been paid the same rate, $42.50 per class, for over 15 years and were starting to struggle with paying for rent and bills (stock image)

The instructors had been paid the same rate, $42.50 per class, for over 15 years and were starting to struggle with paying for rent and bills (stock image)

‘A great fitness class can make or break my week,’ one wrote. ‘These instructors deserve to have their wages improved,’ one wrote.

‘Fitness instructors deserve good secure jobs with fair pay,’ a second wrote.

A third added that ‘fitness instructors have limited professional life and work extremely hard. The gyms can’t function without them’.

FLG was established in 2016 and purchased Fitness First and Goodlife shortly after, bringing in then-Goodlife CEO Greg Oliver to lead the company.

The Brisbane-based company also owns Vietnam’s largest gym network, California Fitness and Yoga, and influencer Emily Skye’s namesake fitness program.

The chain told Daily Mail Australia the issue now had been resolved.