ABC staff have voted against deferring a pay rise of 2%, set to be enforced on October 1 as part of a new three year enterprise agreement, approved by the Fair Work Commission in January.
The Sydney Morning Herald claims sources said 80% of staff votes were against the deferral.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher wrote to the ABC in May asking employees to pause the pay rise in the context of large scale job losses across the economy as well as pay freezes in private sector media and the public service. SBS was also asked to consider a freeze on pay rises.
“We felt it would have been a fine gesture of solidarity with those across the media sector who have been doing it much tougher than the ABC,” Fletcher said. “It is evident from the results of today’s vote that ABC staff did not share this view.”
In early September ABC Board left the decision up to staff. Chair Ita Buttrose asked staff to vote on the matter – which would deliver one-off savings of $5 million that would be diverted to emergency broadcasting.
Sinddy Ealy, the Community and Public Sector Union’s ABC secretary, said staff deserved a pay rise because of their performance during the bushfire and coronavirus crises.
“They’ve seen 220 of their colleagues lose their jobs because of the government’s funding cuts,” she said. “I don’t think anyone could say they haven’t endured their share of pain.”
ABC managing director David Anderson took a 5% pay cut from April until the end of September.