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John Passant

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April 2009



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Commonwealth Bank cuts workers’ wages

Ralph Norris, the head of the Commonwealth Bank, is going to cut his salary by ten percent. That’s $300,000.

That could save around 5 jobs, this year, out of about 30,000 staff. 

Norris’s remuneration package (salary plus options, shares and other benefits) is actually worth nearly $9m. He earns about 200 times the average salary of his workers.

So the cut is more like 3 percent of his pay. For a man on $9 million a year this is no sacrifice at all really. 

The real target of this spin job is his own staff. Norris is freezing the salary of those on over $100,000. 

Those below that figure are getting a wage ‘increase’ of 1.5 per cent this year.

This is an effective wage cut of almost two per cent (assuming inflation is still around 3.7 percent, which I’ll grant it may not be.)

[In fact since I wrote this one indicator of inflation is now at 2.7 percent, but core inflation is over 4 per cent.  Core inflation is the figure the Reserve Bank worries about – Bill 27 April.]

Norris’s tokenistic posturing is aimed at convincing staff to accept this real wage cut. I hope the usually timid Finance Sector Union and its members fight against these wage cuts and don’t accept the lie that this is all the Bank can afford.

Bank profits are at record levels, with the CBA making about $4 bn. That’s more than enough to pay a miserly 4 percent pay increase to overworked staff.

And I hope the Union and its members don’t fall for the lie that this real wage cut will save jobs. 

Qantas shows that this is not the case. Wage cuts and job losses last year didn’t protect the 1750 Qantas workers earmarked for the sack this time around.

30,000 Commonwealth Bank staff could strike tomorrow and stop the flow of profits to Ralph Norris and force him to grant real wage increases with no job losses.



Pingback from En Passant » Commonwealth Bank shows we are not all in this together
Time June 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

[…] And which Bank is cutting the real wages of its staff?  The Commonwealth.  I have written on this wage cutting before on this site. […]

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