Voting opens today for staff working at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to consider a substandard Enterprise Agreement that would see them suffer a pay cut in real terms, and put them at the bottom of the ladder for pay and working conditions in the finance industry.
Despite being in negotiations with the Finance Sector Union (FSU) since May this year, the RBA has repeatedly refused to provide staff with a pay increase that meets the current cost of living and keeps up with inflation.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said today that the RBA’s assertion that their pay offer was average for the finance industry was simply not true.
“RBA staff know that the total remuneration growth in the finance industry, including bonuses and benefits, has been 11.3% for this year, according to the ABS.
“The RBA is offering 4%.”
“This Agreement would put RBA staff at the absolute bottom rung of the ladder in terms of pay and conditions when compared to our colleagues in major finance industry institutions such as NAB, ANZ, Bendigo Bank, Hostplus and Teachers Mutual Bank Limited,” Ms Angrisano said.
Ms Angrisano said that the RBA was trying to get ahead of a public sector wide Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) update due August 29, that is expected to improve bargaining arrangements for public servants.
“Bank staff should vote no, stick together with the APS workforce and keep fighting for a better offer – a new one is just over a week away.”
The RBA’s current pay offer of 4% in 2023, 3.5% in 2024 and 3% in 2025, replicates an offer that was recently put to APS employees who overwhelmingly voted it down.
Senior economist Dr. Jim Stanford has also weighed into the dispute, saying that real wages for RBA employees has fallen significantly in the last two years.
“The Bank’s insulting wage offer to its hard-working staff will lock in a real wage cut for many years to come.
“It’s time for the Bank to accept that Australians will not easily accept a permanent reduction in their living standards from inflation, which they clearly did not cause. And there’s no better place to start, than by repairing the real wages of RBA staff.”
Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079