AUSTRALIA (Commonwealth Union)_The National Australia Bank’s attempt to bypass the union’s opposition to a new wage agreement by directly polling employees has failed, with employees rejecting the proposal. Thousands of bank employees had previously vowed to strike over the “meagre” salary offer, according to the Finance Sector Union (FSU), claiming it does not address rising living costs and that the organisation is afflicted by a “understaffing issue”.
As part of a new enterprise agreement for employees, the bank provided a 5% raise in the first year and a 4% raise in the second year. Employees earning more than $100,000 would have received a 4.5 percent wage increase in the first year and a 3.5 percent wage increase in the second year.
However, NAB CEO Ross McEwan announced in a memo to employees on Wednesday that 53.9 percent of employees voted against the salary agreement. It saw 24,566 NAB employees vote in the wage poll, which was four times the number that voted in the 2016 deal. Mr McEwan called the outcome as “disappointing”, but added that they will seek feedback from employees.
“The voting result is disheartening, but I acknowledge and accept that the majority of colleagues who voted had a different opinion,” Mr McEwan said. “We will begin a conversation with our colleagues to learn more about you and better understand why we have reached this conclusion.”
“In the interim, the present Enterprise Agreement 2016 will remain in effect. We will carefully listen to and consider your feedback. In the next weeks, I will provide an update.”
The corporation also provided an extra week of paid leave each year to employees who completed their annual leave, rostered days off, and long service leave obligations within a fiscal year. The FSU, on the other hand, stated that the present offer intended to claw back criteria such as annual leave loading and rostered days off.