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NBN Co Increases Wages, Scraps Bonuses

NBN Co has scrapped its controversial performance bonuses and have increased fixed pay for its employees.

This comes as a review by the Australian Public Service Commission, that found that most government positions “should not be eligible to earn a performance bonus”, directed against the “broad use of performance bonuses” and that the issuers of bonuses “must be able to transparently justify the decision.”

This was clearly not the case before.

In 2020, NBN Co. paid out close to $78 million to 3,800 staffers, including eight executives who took home average bonuses of $440,988 – which the Labor government pointed out at the time, was the equivalent of 88 Cartier watches each.

CEO Stephen Rue, (pictured below) who earned over $3 million that year, was also rewarded with a tax-funded bonus of $1.2 million.

“NBN executives wallow in $77 million in bonuses during a pandemic – much of which went to well-paid bosses on over $200,000 per annum. The CEO gets over $3 million a year,” the late Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching said at the time.

“Scott Morrison’s NBN is rotten like the rest of his government,” she continued.

“Customers, taxpayers and workers are given a terrible deal while a chosen few at the top of NBN Co are making out like bandits.”

NBN Co simply claimed the hefty bonuses “aligned with market practice.” This, along with the aforementioned Australia Post bonuses scandal, led to the review.

According to inside sources at the company, the NBN will be reallocating around 80 per cent of its remuneration to wages.

“To be fair and reasonable to employees, the guidance recognised that transition arrangements could be put in place, but that only a portion of the at-risk component should be incorporated into salary,” the NBN Co spokesperson told The Age.

“Most employees who previously participated in the short-term incentive program now receive approximately 64 per cent of the maximum STI opportunity foregone as part of their total fixed remuneration.

“NBN Co’s STI program is now limited to a much smaller group of senior executives with a reduced target STI opportunity and a portion of the foregone target STI opportunity transferred into total fixed remuneration.”

The new measures have lifted some salaries by $50,000.

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