NAB offers staff WFH, 17.5% pay hike

New enterprise deal also grants employees expanded leave entitlements

NAB offers staff WFH, 17.5% pay hike

Employees of the National Australia Bank (NAB) will get a massive 17.5% wage hike, the right to work from home, as well as other leave entitlements after the institution reached an enterprise deal with the Finance Sector Union (FSU).

In a statement on Friday, the FSU said the agreement will see staff who are earning up to $100,000 a five per cent increase this year and the next year, followed by a four per cent, and 3.5 per cent annual increments.

"More than 80% of NAB staff have now secured guaranteed fixed salary increases instead of relying on NAB's market-based model which eroded our members' standard of living," said FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano in a media release.

The new pay hike is an improvement from the previous NAB offer which was supposed to give employees a five per cent increase in the first year and 4.5% in the second.

"Union members acting collectively gave the NAB a clear message that they deserved better pay rises than the bank was prepared to pay them and by standing their ground, they have achieved a much fairer outcome," Angrisano said.

Remote work, leave entitlements offered

Meanwhile, the new deal will also secure work from home rights for NAB's 32,000-strong workforce. It also introduces the following benefits:

  • Increases to parental leave including access to both parents
  • Measures to address the gender pay gap including superannuation paid on all periods of paternity leave
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leave
  • Recognition of Mental Health and Menopause/Menstruation

The deal also secures an "ongoing consultative committee to address job security amidst the changing nature of the bank/industry," according to the statement.

"While some improvements have been made to address the hours of work crisis at NAB that is putting immense strain on employees physical and emotional wellbeing, more needs to be done," Angrisano said.

Voting on enterprise deal in August

The new enterprise deal comes after 16 months of negotiations between the FSU and the NAB.

A spokesperson from the NAB also called the agreement an "important milestone," The Guardian reported.

"With negotiations now complete, we are focused on ensuring colleagues are well informed before putting the proposed enterprise agreement to a vote," the spokesperson said as quoted by the news outlet.

In its statement, the FSU also said it is recommending NAB staff to vote to accept the new offer in August.

Work-from-home dispute

The FSU dubbed the new enterprise deal as an "industry-leading" agreement amid recent controversies surrounding Australia's major banks regarding remote work.

The union recently launched a challenge to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) return-to-office mandate, which requires employees to spend 50% of their monthly hours in the on-site starting July 17.

"We have asked the Fair Work Commission to intervene in this matter. Instead of issuing edicts, we want the bank to engage in a consultation process with the FSU and affected staff in accordance with the CBA Enterprise Agreement," Angrisano said in a statement.

"What the CBA has done is ignore the Enterprise Agreement and instead, dictate changes to work from home arrangements that currently suit many of its employees."

The CBA, however, said that it held a "cordial discussion" with the FSU on hybrid work last month.

"The FSU representatives raised a number of issues which we have considered and we've provided a written response to the union. CBA respects and adheres to the terms of our 2020 Enterprise Agreement and those matters that require consultation," the spokesperson said as quoted by the Guardian.

In Australia, six in 10 employees believe that the where and when of workplaces are more important than compensation or promotion.

In the wake of this strong demand for flexibility, the country's public servants will gain expanded flexible work rights, including the capability to request for work from home without a cap on the number of days a week, also after a union deal.

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