Bankwest employees to consider industrial action

FSU

Frustrated Bankwest employees will consider industrial action over the bank’s failure to agree to reasonable pay rises.

Finance Sector Union (FSU) local executive secretary Dianne Marshall said staff at the Commonwealth Bank subsidiary have been attempting to conclude a new Enterprise Agreement for the past 10 months. Among issues up for negotiation, only the amount of the pay rise remains unresolved.

“Our members at Bankwest are fed up with the way they have been treated during these negotiations and they have indicated to the union that the current offer of 3.25% over three years is not good enough when inflation is eating into household budgets,” Ms Marshall said.

“Bankwest staff are not prepared to accept any wages outcome that represents a real pay cut.”

Ms Marshall said cost of living pressures had increased substantially during the period the Bankwest Agreement was being negotiated.

Staff have written to CBA chief Matt Comyn pointing out that they had helped deliver the Bank’s recent $4.7billion half-year profit but that their contribution was not recognised in the Bankwest pay offer.

The letter says: “Cost of living increases are placing real pressure on household budgets, making it harder to pay the bills and put petrol in the car. You can resolve this so none of us are worse off.”

Ms Marshall said Bankwest staff were seeking increases of 3.25% in 2021 (backdated), 3.6% in 2022 and 3.25% in 2023.

FSU members will now consider implementing strategies ranging from work bans to strike action.

Quotes from FSU members at Bankwest to Matt Comyn:

“This is the first time I have felt disappointed and let down in the 11 years I have been with Bankwest. We are only asking for wages to match our cost of living.”

“It’s such a tiny thing we are asking for. I don’t understand why it’s been going on for so long. You yourself have stated the likely cost of inflation. We’re not even looking for a raise (which to be honest we deserve), just not to lose money.”

“Times are getting very hard – employees worked through all the Covid issues from beginning to end, dealing with financial hardship and our own difficulties. We turn up and put Bankwest to the forefront of everything and look after our customers always putting them first.”

“Matt, some of us are living as a couple on a part-time wage. We need decent pay rises to keep up with the high cost of living. Management pay rises are decent, so why not the backbone of the company….the staff, the people who keep this business in the position that it is?”

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