RBA staff vehemently reject real wages cut

Staff working at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will vehemently reject an Enterprise Agreement that would see them cop 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, 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 RBA had ignored strong staff feedback and concerns, and pushed the substandard Agreement to a ballot from 21 to 23 August, an unusually short period of time.

“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 at NAB, ANZ, Bendigo Bank, Hostplus and Teachers Mutual Bank Limited,” Ms Angrisano said.

“The Bank has also rejected enshrining vital working conditions into the Agreement, including work from home provisions, an increase to super contributions, uncapped gender affirmation leave, and much more.

“RBA staff have made it abundantly clear that this is totally unacceptable to them, and will be voting a strong no at the upcoming ballot.”

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.

The FSU has written to RBA with notice that the Bank has not met the requirements of good faith bargaining and it intends to seek a bargaining order from the Fair Work Commission.

Ms Angrisano said RBA governor Phillip Lowe’s final appearance in Parliament today was just more of the same excuses the Bank has spouted throughout bargaining.

“During a hearing before the House Economics Committee this morning Dr Lowe continued to deflect questions about why he’s forcing this substandard Agreement to ballot,” Ms Angrisano said.

“This is someone who has previously said Aussie workers should just ‘get used to lower wages’, and made ridiculous claims that undue wage growth is the cause of today’s inflation and not profits, despite legitimate research confirming that it is, in fact, the reverse.

“It just shows how out of touch he and the Bank are with the current cost of living crisis.

“Since RBA has rejected many of our claims in the Agreement, including a decent pay increase, in turn, staff will be vehemently rejecting this incredibly poor offer and voting a strong no in the upcoming ballot. They deserve far better for their hard work.”

/Public Release. View in full here.