If you’re feeling confused by management’s latest bulletin explaining the pay increases on offer don’t worry, there are many others in the same position.

The current pay offer
2019: 0%
2020: 2%
2021: 2%
2022: 2%
2023: 2%
Average per year: 1.6%

The 2020 pay rise will be back paid until 1 July 2019, so this increase is effectively the 2019 pay rise but it’s not an additional increase, so whichever way you look at it in the two years of 2019 and 2020 you are only getting one pay increase!

To get you to agree to their bad pay offer management are dangling a 1% sign-on bonus, which we estimate would be worth around $700 or so before tax (likely closer to $400 after-tax). Keep this amount in mind as you keep reading…

What’s the impact of skipping one year’s pay increase?
Let’s assume you are paid $70,000pa. This is how management’s current offer with 4 increases of 2% over a 5 year period compares to getting the same 2% pay increase each year:

Year Management’s Offer 2% every year Difference
Current: $70,000.00 $70,000.00  
2019-20 $71,400.00 $71,400.00 $0
2020-21 $71,400.00 $72,828.00 $1,428.00
2021-22 $72,828.00 $74,284.56 $1,456.56
2022-23 $74,284.56 $75,770.25 $1,485.69
2023-24 $75,770.25 $77,285.66 $1,515.41

Note: We’ve calculated the 2020 pay increase in 2019 to factor in the backpay.

During the 5 years, the Agreement would cover a worker on $70,000pa will be $5,885.66 worse off, and their ongoing salary would be over $1,500 less every year as a result.

If we compare a 2.5% increase each year to management’s current offer this means $11,458.76 less pay over the 5 years, with the ongoing salary more than $3,500 less every year.

This is what they hope you will give up in exchange for a one-off bonus of around $700 before tax.

Can they really take back pay off the table if their offer is voted down?
Of course they can; it’s a negotiation. Everything can be taken off the table at any time, but that’s not in the interests of trying to resolve the impasse in good faith.

The reality is if their offer is voted down we’ll resume negotiations, and taking back pay off the table will just mean their next offer will be voted down too because we won’t be bullied into giving up our livelihoods.

Instead of issuing threats management should be issuing improvements.
Instead of consulting with lawyers they should be consulting with their staff.
Instead of spending money on strike-breaking contractors they should be improving their pay offer.

What’s next?
The ASU has requested we return to the Fair Work Commission to continue negotiations, though we understand management intend to put the offer out to vote regardless.

We’ll keep you informed throughout the process.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments contact your local ASU Delegate or ASU Organiser Luke Cherry on lcherry@asuvictas.com.au

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