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Qantas announces bonus payment - what does it mean?

07 July 2015 By ASU, the airlines industry union

Last Friday 2 July 2015 Qantas group CEO Alan Joyce announced that "In recognition, management has decided to offer a one-off 5 per cent bonus payment for all Qantas, Jetstar and other Group employees covered by finalised enterprise/collective agreements (EBAs) that include the 18 month wage freeze."

asu-airlines-general-bulletin-button600pxwThis bonus is to be paid after the full year results are announced which at the moment is expected to be 20th August 2015.

The payment will not be made to employee groups not currently covered by the 18 month wage freeze. According to Qantas the bonus will only be paid to these groups once they have EBAs with an 18 month wage freeze in them certified.

How does this affect ASU EBAs?

The ASU has 3 approved EBAs which contain an 18 month wage freeze, these are:

  • Jetstar EBA 5
  • Qantas Technical salaried officers EBA
  • Sunstate Airlines EBA

The ASU has one EBA out to vote which contains an 18 month wage freeze - that is the AAE - ASU EBA and we are about to start negotiations very shortly for the Eastern Australian airlines EBA which has expired.

Our ASU Qantas EBA 10 was settled and approved before the wage freeze was implemented by Qantas and so the next 3% pay rise under that agreement is due now and for most employees is to be paid in the next pay cycle around 13 July 2015.

Our Qantas EBA 10 expires on 30 June 2016, Qantas has said that for members with agreements that do not have a wage freeze but are coming up for negotiation like Qantas EBA 11 a 5% bonus will be paid if in their new agreement they take an 18 month wage freeze.

That is the Company's negotiating position- ASU members must determine our position bearing in mind our areas have been hardest hit by job losses and restructuring. ASU Qantas group delegates have a national delegates meeting planned in August 2015 and Qantas EBA 11 negotiations are high on the agenda as is the plan for our EBA 11 campaign which as always will include extensive consultation with our members on our bargaining priorities.

For members who have agreed to a wage freeze as always with Qantas the devil is in the detail.

Our preliminary discussions with Qantas indicate that the bonus will be paid on ordinary pay including any pay rises that have been paid but will not include earnings from overtime or penalties but will include some allowances. We don't believe superannuation will be paid on the bonus but this is being clarified.

In the past members have been able to salary sacrifice the total of their bonuses into Superannuation directly, the advantage of this option is the tax treatment of superannuation.

This may not be possible this time around because generally a person has to opt to put the bonus in Super before a decision to pay it is made. We have asked Qantas to clarify if this is still possible for the EBAs with a wage freeze in them.

We understand that Qantas will pay the bonus to those on maternity leave in qualifying EBAs.

What is next?

We have raised a number of issues about the bonus with the Qantas group and when we have the answers we will be back to let you know. In the meantime if you have questions or queries contact your local ASU organiser (download full bulletin below for details).


icon Qantas Group Bulletin, 6 July 2015

Contact Details
Name: Linda White, ASU Assistant National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400