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850 NBN Staffers Paid Over $200,000 Despite Crippling Recession

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850 members of the NBN workforce are paid a handsome salary of over $200,000 despite the Federal government being under heavy scrutiny over public servant wages.

According to figures reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, over 850 staffers are receiving well above $200,000, another 110 of its workers are paid between $300,000 and $400,000 and 34 received salaries above $400,000 before bonuses.

The $51 billion government-funded company came under fire only weeks ago for paying bonuses to its executive team in the middle of Australia’s worst financial crisis since The Great Depression.

The SMH also revealed NBN spent a staggering $265,000 on entertainment and function expenses between February and June, the heart of the coronavirus pandemic when the rest of Australia were instructed to shelter in place and millions lost their jobs.

‘For the period from February to June 2020, NBN Co employed 6,300 people. And while travel and events were significantly reduced during this period, and the entertainment expenses that were incurred equate to an average monthly expense of approximately $8 per month, per employee,’ NBN Co said in a statement.

During this week’s budget, NBN Co was also handed an extra $4.5 billion for an upgrade to improve speeds. Another $29.2 million was given to help expedite the roll out of 5G across Australia.

An NBN spokesperson told the publication staff were employed under individually negotiated contracts and the company benchmarks renumeration against other telcos such as Telstra and Optus.

“In order to remain competitive and attract and retain critical talent to the organisation, NBN Co benchmarks senior executive remuneration against other telecommunications companies, although the remuneration … is more aligned to the more modest ratio of comparable government business enterprises, rather than that of listed entities,” he said.

The NBN network roll out was finalised this year and the company intends to shed 800 employees by the end of 2020, reducing its staff total to 5500.

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