With festive season celebrations, and for many a well earned break from work, seeming like a distant memory already, we are all back in the swing of things. Half-way through the first quarter of the year, the road map for 2013 is emerging.
Growing insecurity about jobs and income is still a dominant issue in the finance sector. By the end of 2012 more than 6,000 jobs had disappeared from our industry, and in the first six weeks of 2013 more than 250 jobs have been cut. Speculation has been rife about big job cuts at QBE and NAB, and only one of those major employers has ruled out significant job slashing this year.
And while big employers like ANZ and Westpac continue to send jobs off-shore, there is the potential for more significant job losses at these two banks in 2013.
We need a plan for our industry, before predicted large scale off-shoring decimates the services sector.
Crucially, our union negotiated the best job security measures in the industry at Westpac, providing greater protection for workers in jobs that are slated for redundancy, and a greater say about their future.
Industrial protections like these can be expanded across the industry and strengthened if collectively, employees speak up.
You are skilled professionals who contribute to the success of the Australian economy. Our communities rely on you to assist with everything from business finance to basic transactions to the biggest purchase most of us will ever make in our lives – our homes. If those homes are flooded or razed by fire, or damaged in a wild storm, it is you helping people get back on their feet again. And when we retire, we can thank you for safely managing the funds that will see us out for the rest of our days.
If finance workers feel insecure about their jobs and their incomes, that lack of confidence becomes pervasive throughout the economy.
FSU National Secretary
Unfortunately, natural disasters during the summer months seem to be a regular feature of Australian life. I take my hat off to the men and women of the finance sector who have assisted communities during their troubled times, either through your work or in a voluntary capacity, and I hope that you have all stayed free from harm and destruction of property.
When things at work are frantic or chaotic, it can be easy to run into administrative issues around rostering, working hours, leave, pay and allowances. FSU issued some information in January about keeping safe over summer, including tips to help you receive your entitlements.
FSU National Assistant Secretary Geoff Derrick also wrote to major employers in our industry about keeping you safe, granting special and community service leave, and adjusting performance objectives to take into account the impact on business and customers resulting from the floods so that your targets are fair and equitable.
To date, responses have been received from Allianz, ANZ, CBA, IAG, ME Bank, QBE and Westpac.
Read the responses here.
Most committed to providing special leave and community service leave to employees, where appropriate under the circumstances. Bear that in mind if you require leave due to natural disasters, and contact your union if there is any dispute in your workplace over leave of this nature.
ANZ, CBA, ME Bank and Westpac have agreed to review whether natural disasters impacted on employees’ ability to meet performance measures, and make adjustments accordingly.
If natural disasters such as flood and bushfire have impacted on your ability to travel to work and perform your duties, if they have impacted on your ability to meet your targets, take note of this now while it is still fresh in your mind, raise it with your manager preferably in writing and raise it again in your performance review.
If you require any assistance, or you would like to know more about your rights and entitlements, speak with the FSU Rep in your workplace, or call the union on 1300 366 378. And stay safe out there!
The Prime Minister has flagged that new IR laws are to be introduced to Parliament in coming weeks, to strengthen flexibility for workers needing to balance work arrangements with family commitments. The announcement follows last year’s review of the Fair Work Act, the act that underpins employment rights in Australia.
Keep an eye on the FSU website for more information about the government’s IR legislation as the details become clear.
A federal election has been called for Saturday 14th September 2013. Make sure your enrolment details with the Australian Electoral Commission are up to date, so you can cast your vote on election day. ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver told the National Press Club recently that the Australian union movement will be unashamedly making sure that the interests of working people are on the agenda for all political parties in this election. FSU will be part of that effort, making sure the interests of finance workers are on the politicians’ radars.
Check your enrolment: https://oevf.aec.gov.au/
Enrol to vote: http://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/
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Authorised by FSU National Secretary Leon Carter