Australian workers may owe $ 45 million for being denied TEA BREAKS – with thousands of staff hoping for a windfall
- Finance Sector Union accused the Commonwealth Bank of owing staff $ 45 million
- Union says the bank did not give retail bankers legitimate paid tea breaks
- Union claims that about 3,000 workers are entitled to $ 15,000 each in back wages
- The CBA has disputed the union’s claims, saying there is no evidence to support this
The Commonwealth Bank has disputed a union claim that thousands of employees owe $ 45 million for not getting their rightful tea breaks.
The Finance Sector Union says retail bankers at the company are entitled to one ten-minute paid tea break after three hours of work and one after five hours of work.
The union claims that about 3,000 employees were not given these breaks, so they each owe about $ 15,000 in back wages.
However, the CBA disputed the claim.
Commonwealth Bank has disputed union claims that thousands of employees owe $ 45 million for not getting their rightful tea breaks
“This is an ambit claim and we have not seen any evidence to support it,” a spokesman said.
“If someone makes a legitimate claim, we will investigate.”
The union’s national secretary, Julia Angrisano, said massive cuts in the workforce at the highly profitable banks meant that CBA was failing to comply with the 2016 Enterprise Agreement, which entitled employees to their breaks.
“This is a claim about tea breaks, but the real problem here is that every bank branch has so few staff that everyone walks on their feet without even a moment to have a cup of coffee,” she said.
Bank branch employees are at a breaking point due to staff shortages and the consequences of being massively overworked.
“Nobody should work so hard that they don’t even need a few minutes during a shift to recover a cup of tea and coffee.”
The union has filed the tea break claim as it is also negotiating an annual wage increase of 3.25 percent for 33,000 CBA employees.
A further 3 percent pay rise will be implemented the following year, along with an additional three days of annual leave and scheduled days off.
The CBA has negotiated these matters with the trade union, but has not been able to make agreements about remuneration and scheduled days off.
The union has claimed that CBA staff were too overworked that they were unable to take their entitled tea breaks (stock image)