Everything you need to know about CBA's dodgy contracts

The Commonwealth Bank have been putting employees on dodgy contracts for more than a decade. These contracts, also known as AWAs, ITEAs and IAs (or IFAs) were used to minimise the cost of employing you and your colleagues.

The Bank used these contracts to avoid the employment entitlements in the EA that were negotiated for you by the FSU, and they did it to such an extent that they created a huge, complicated mess of underpayments. Now they want to use negotiations with the union for a new Enterprise Agreement to clean up that mess in a way that further disadvantages workers.

We’ve put together this video that explains how the Bank used these contracts to undermine your workplace entitlements. It’s a bit complicated, but the more widely understood it is, the better chance we have of repairing the damage done. Please watch the video and share it with anyone else you know who may not fully understand that this affects them.


In many cases people were told that they were paid “more” than the EA when they signed the contract – and while that’s technically true, the comparison the Bank used was the absolute bare minimum rate in the Enterprise Agreement (the conditions of employment that apply to the whole Bank). Not a market salary for the job you do. This was not an apples and apples comparison.

Even then, for thousands of workers at the Commonwealth Bank, these contracts led to them being underpaid even in comparison with that bare minimum standard. Not just because of the bad deal they were given, but because the Bank never complied with their yearly obligation to check that they were still better off financially.

For many people, the “higher salary” contract didn’t even keep ahead of the safety net rate in the EA. 

For many others, their salary passes that lopsided comparison, but is by no means a fair trade for the entitlements they’ve given up.

This underpayment mess would never have happened if everyone’s employment entitlements were set by the one, clear document: The Enterprise Agreement, now they want you to pay for their mistakes by cutting entitlements from the EA to sure up their comparisons going forward.

As a union, we can fight back. The first step is for everyone affected by this to understand the problem. If you share this video with your team we’ll be well on our way!

Ask your colleagues to join you as a union member. The CBA section of our union is growing, and with every new member our power to hold CBA to account grows.

Like our campaign Facebook page so you don’t miss a thing.

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary