Important Bargaining Update

We wrote to you two weeks ago about our application in the Fair Work Commission for good faith bargaining orders, in response to the CBA’s proposal to pay interim increases while we are still negotiating.

For those who prefer these updates in video form – here’s the link on YouTubeFacebook, and our website (in case you can’t access those at work).

Our concern was and is, that paying a partial increase is designed to slow the momentum that has built behind the union’s campaign. Especially in circumstances where we are otherwise so close to being able to agree. It is the union’s view that everyone’s objectives would be better served if CBA would come to a position the union could support – a possibility that’s within reach.

Since filing in the Commission we’ve continued to negotiate with CBA. Yesterday afternoon we filed a discontinuance of our application. Over the course of these last two weeks we’ve extracted important commitments from the Bank around their intent to keep negotiating with us regardless of the partial payment they intend to make, and that it will have no bearing on their pay position going forward.

The CBA has committed in view of the Fair Work Commission to continue to negotiate in good faith with the FSU, and not to reduce their pay offer once partial increases are paid. This is a commitment we can hold them to.

Positive steps in bargaining

More critically, as a result of discussions this week, something else has changed: the Bank’s position has shifted again. Not necessarily in the direction that union members have been pushing – but nonetheless, it’s positive progress.

CBA are now prepared to offer the following pay increases:

EA IA/Contract
$0 – $75,000 3.25% 3.25%
$75,000 – $110,000 3.25% 2.25%
$110,000+ 3.25% 2%

They’ve moved slightly closer to the union’s claim on contracts, and still refuse to maintain RDOs in the EA.

This is CBA’s best pay offer to date. But it’s still not 3% for everyone.

3.25% is fabulous. But we should be careful that it not deter us from pursuing our remaining claims. Especially now that CBA are likely to pay an interim increase now.

An extra $178 a year – or whatever .25% is for you, should not mean that we stop pursuing the same increases for the rest of our colleagues. Nor should it mean that we drop our claim on retaining RDOs. (If you’ve not watched our video on why this is important – even to those on IAs, please do!)

Nor does it mean that we won’t continue to pursue CBA to include a fair contracting clause that won’t result in millions in underpayments again.

This is positive progress, but it’s a small step.

We’ve fought CBA as hard as we can on this good faith bargaining matter. We’ve defended members’ interests, and ultimately if CBA pay partial increases without an impact on bargaining – then that’s a positive thing! We’re all for our members getting something now. So long as there’s no impact on our capacity to negotiate on your behalf.

We know this is taking too long. We’re frustrated too. But there are only a few matters outstanding, and they’re crucially important, so we can’t afford to give up!

Have you got your ballot?

This week protected action ballots are arriving with members across the country. You’ve likely already received many, many emails about that! This ballot of members is an important way to show CBA that we are united – despite their unusual pay position, and unwillingness to move on RDOs in particular.

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary