CommSec Colonial contracts

For far too long, CBA has been using CommSec and Colonial as “employing entities” to rip off workers.

For many years the bank would issue contracts to staff with “CommSec” as the employing entity when – for all intents and purposes – these people were being hired to work at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Why did they do this? Because they could.

Until last year’s EBA, the CommSec and Colonial entities had worse minimum pay and conditions for the types of work that these people were doing. CBA issued employment letters from those entities so that the people they were hiring could be paid less than if they were employed by CBA directly.

FSU tried to put a stop to this in 2003. We lost that case because what they were doing was technically legal. But as we know, sometimes there’s a difference between what can be done and what should be done.

Creating this complicated mess meant that for many years at CBA, there were people sitting side by side in the same jobs but entitled to different pay and conditions depending on which contract CBA issued to them.

CBA made a choice to engage in systematic wage theft.

They should get no praise for untangling this mess now. It is quite literally the least they can do.

Now CBA has announced they’re going to cease using CommSec and Colonial to employ people and that for those employed by one of these entities, both genuinely and dubiously, new contracts are set to be issued employing you to CBA directly.

If this change applies to you, you should be advised that CBA have written to the union about their plans to issue new contracts.

We have begun consultation with CBA, as this is a major change affecting your work and so your right to be consulted arises under the EBA. This means that CBA must engage with you and the union genuinely about this change. They must answer questions and provide relevant information.

Whether you do actually work for one of these two entities or not (some people were genuinely working there) it’s important that CBA engage with you over this.

We’ve put a number of questions to CBA today, and will continue to engage with them as members contact us.

We’re arranging information sessions for affected members where we will explain your rights in relation to this matter. Details to come shortly.

We urge you not to sign anything until you’ve attended an info session or spoken with our union.

In the meantime you can contact us on 1300 366 378 or email

Your FSU team

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary