The unrepentant wage thieves at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia are now officially liars too.
They’ll need to decide whether they can stomach officially acknowledging that fact in order to have their EBA approved following a decision of the full bench of the Fair Work Commission yesterday.
CBA lied in pursuit of their preferred enterprise agreement and will now be required to make substantial undertakings in order to have the agreement – currently on life support – resurrected and approved.
CBA have been thrown a lifeline by the FWC, but to take it, they’ll have to acknowledge that they oversold the an agreement that was incapable of passing the Better Off Overall Test, lied to employees about its effect, and, further: they’ll need to commit to making the agreement’s pay increases unconditional and applicable all to staff on packaged arrangements.
This places CBA at a major ideological cross-roads. The lack of access to guaranteed pay increases for staff on packaged arrangements has been central to how CBA has structured its approach to employment for over a decade.
CBA has always strenuously resisted the FSUs claims to incorporate guaranteed, collectively negotiated pay increases and make them available – without conditions – to all employees regardless of contract type.
The following quotes can be attributed to FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano:
“This is what happens when you try to be too clever by half and cheat union members.”
“Working people won’t cop it, and their union will not let go of it.”
“Make no mistake: CBA could always afford to do the right thing. There is no excuse for Australia’s richest Bank to put forward a set of conditions for employees where people could be worse off than under the minimums of the Award. It’s unconscionable.”
“All CBA had to do to avoid this mess was negotiate a fair deal with their employees. That’s what they should have done all along.”
“We were close, but in CBA’s arrogance they decided to head to a vote and lie to sell a bad deal. That’s how important it is to them to have an agreement that fails BOOT and validates their decades long unlawful practices.”
“Leaving RDOs as they were, putting better protections in place for annualised salary contracts and making the pay increases fair and guaranteed were the three major things FSU members wanted. All absolutely achievable for Australia’s richest Bank. We could have shaken hands and called it a day – but CBA were arrogant, greedy, and they underestimated the FSU.”
“Never underestimate working people.”
“Our members look forward to hearing whether CBA acknowledge that they lied to sell the agreement by making the undertaking.”