The FSU and CBA are currently negotiating an enterprise agreement (EA) for 2020 & 2021. An EA sets the base conditions for all employees “covered” within a certain workplace. Most employees* at CBA are covered by the EA, and therefore have their workplace rights and conditions set by the EA.

The FSU have been in negotiations since April 2020, and there are currently only 6 of approximately 300 topics that remain outstanding. 

The goal of enterprise bargaining is to reach agreement on a set of rights and conditions that both the employer and employee can agree upon. If parties cannot reach agreement, then there are a number  of things that may happen: the employer can request that employees vote on the proposal, or the parties can settle on a “rollover” agreement that makes no major changes but usually provides a pay increase to staff.

CBA and the FSU have done many rollover agreements, and informal “pay increase only” arrangements in the past. 2020 is different. Having underpaid employees by $57million, the Commonwealth Bank have made clear that their preference is to arrive at agreement with the FSU this year. harmonised agreement will make compliance easier for CBA going forward and will help CBA to demonstrate a willingness to resolve the problems of the past to the Fair Work Ombudsman, who is currently investigating.  

The items that the parties are yet to reach agreement on are:


Full-time equivalent annual Salary as at 30 June 2021 Annual Salary increase effective 1 July 2020
Tier 1 ($0 - $75,000.00)  2% 
Tier 2 ($75,000.01 - $110,000.00)  1.5%
Tier 3 ($110,000.01 or greater)  0% 
Full-time equivalent annual Salary as at 30 June 2020  Annual Salary increase effective 1 July 2020
Tier 1 ($0 - $76,500.00)  2% 
Tier 2 ($76,500.01 - $110,000.00)  1.5%
Tier 3 ($110,000.01 or greater)  Any increase we determine, provided that we will establish a pool of funds to be spent on increases to annual Salary for employees covered by this clause (the annual salary increase) 
3% across the board.
CBA’s offer would move the minimum salaries slightly, and build in an increase during the life of the agreement, the FSU think all increases paid between the end of the current agreement, and now should be built in to the minimums for 2020.
CBA want to remove RDOs from the agreement and “grandfather” them going forward. This would affect everyone – read more here.
CBA want to change the overtime calculation from the current method to one that calculates your overtime daily. Overtime rates vary depending on how many OT hours are worked in the calculation period. The shorter calculation period would mean that employees are less likely to have overtime hours calculated at the higher rate. This also has the effect of reducing the comparative cost of overtime when reconciling IA contracts against the EA. This would mean that the amount of “built in overtime” in your contract would be devalued.
CBA want to be able to offer annualised salary arrangements as they did IAs. The FSU believes that the practice of “buying out” EA entitlements by way of a higher salary has been severely misused at CBA and the Bank’s ability to offer them should be limited to only those whose salaries are over $115,000 or whose grades are above MA.
CBA have refused the FSU’s claim to open the Dispute Resolution procedure up to help resolve matters quickly and effectively through the fair work commission. This is a common process in Australian industrial relations, but CBA prefer to maintain the status quo, where many matters are exempt even from the limited resolution process that is in place. Read more here.


*Employees on AWA or ITEA contracts, above MC grade, or employed at CMLAS are not covered by the 2020 EA currently being negotiated. Employees on IAs are covered by the EA.