Finance sector workers can’t afford cuts to real wages

FSU

Workers at Westpac are applauding the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) determination to lift the minimum wage by 5.2% as EA negotiations continue with the Finance Sector Union (FSU).

Westpac initially offered between 2.75 per cent and 3.5 per cent depending on workers’ classifications, while the FSU is seeking a 6 per cent pay rise.

FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said while Westpac was arguing against the Union’s current 6 per cent wages claim, the FWC bases its rulings on a close analysis of current economic indicators which all point to the need for wages to increase.

“Anything less than a 6 per cent increase at Westpac will represent a real wage cut. Bank profits are up, productivity is up and unemployment is down, which should drive wages up,” Ms Angrisano said.

“But employers like Westpac still can’t accept that cost of living pressures on families require a decent pay rise.”

“Now that the Reserve Bank Governor has predicted inflation will hit 7 per cent by the end of the year, employers in the finance sector must respond with wage rises that keep workers’ pay ahead of inflation.”

“Westpac employees can’t afford to see their wages reduced. They are having to cope with increases in the cost of petrol, energy bills and groceries. Rents and mortgages are rising and without a pay rise that covers rising costs, our members risk the prospect of their wages going backwards.”

“This is an opportunity for Westpac to repair the damage of wage stagnation in the finance sector over the past decade.”

“Our members worked hard to keep the banks operating during the pandemic and now they want a fair share of the profits that will be generated during the recovery.”

The union will also be seeking 6 per cent pay rises for its members when bargaining starts later this year at National Australia Bank.

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