The CWU has told NBN Co (now known simply as nbn) that it cannot recommend its proposed Enterprise Agreement while the pay offer it contains remains so low.
The company is proposing a three year agreement with annual pay rises of 2.5%, 1% and 1% between 2015 and 2018 – an offer that would almost certainly deliver a real wage cut (i.e. a total rise below inflation) over that time.
The CWU met with nbn on Monday 4 May to discuss the proposed agreement for technical staff which was provided to the union on 29 April.
The agreement would essentially preserve current conditions except where, according to nbn, changes are necessary to comply with current federal government policy.
Predictably, those changes are largely designed to give more flexibility to the employer and to limit the activities of workplace delegates and the union generally in the company.
In fact both the proposed pay rise and the changes to the content of the current agreement simply reflect the current policies of the Abbott government, rather than the genuine interests of either nbn or its employees. The CWU considers that given this situation, the bargaining that has gone on so far between nbn and its unions can’t be said to have been conducted in good faith.
The CWU intends to meet with the other unions involved in this round of nbn bargaining to consider its next steps. For its part, nbn has indicated that it intends to put the agreement to employees in mid-May with a view to holding a vote on it by the end of the month.