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Our Jobs Issue No.6 of 2014, Thursday 4 September

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Equal Pay Day, Friday 5 September - a message from the National Secretary

The pay gap between Australian men and women is the worst it has been in 20 years, with ABS data showing the average man working fulltime earns 18.2% or $238.20 more than the average fulltime working woman.

To put those figures in perspective it means women must work an extra 66 days a year to get the same pay as men doing the same work. For women in Australia commencing work at 9am, it is the equivalent of working for free every minute after 3.38pm, every day of the year.

The sectors with the worst pay gap are health care, finance and social assistance – areas worked predominantly by women.

The 30% gender pay gap in the finance sector is unacceptable and requires urgent attention. Finance sector organisations are good with figures. They’ve figured out how to make record annual profits and their leaders have figured out how to command obscene salaries. What are they doing to figure out how to achieve equal pay for finance sector women?

FSU women have been working together to address the startling gender pay gap in our industry, with some recent projects including:

  • participation in Westpac diversity working group examining flexible working arrangements for carers;
  • NAB pay equity audits – leading to pay reviews upon return to work from parental leave to ensure that pay is aligned to that of peers;
  • Bargaining to include superannuation payments on periods of unpaid parental leave – so that members don’t retire in poverty.

There’s still much more work to do.

I invite FSU members to mark Equal Pay Day on Facebook or Twitter at 3.38pm on Friday 5th September, by raising awareness and calling for equal pay.

National savings loss of $150 billion by 2025

The Government this week passed legislation in the Senate to pause the increase in the super guarantee so that it will not reach 12% until 2025, and to scrap the Low Income Super Contribution (LISC) from 2017. Industry Super Australia (ISA) says the move will cost the country.

ISA policy analysts estimate that a 25 year old on average income will retire with $100,000 less in superannuation due to the delayed SG increase.

Abolishing the LISC will mean 3.5 million Australians (2 million of them  women) lose up to $500 a year from their superannuation, a rebate which represented simply their fair share of tax concessions.

Together, we estimate these changes will result in $150 billion less in national savings by 2025.

With the ageing population arguably the most significant economic challenge facing Australia, this decision compounds the problem. The changes could mean Australians working longer and/or relying more heavily on the tax payer funded age pension in retirement.

ISA has repeatedly called for a bipartisan, considered and long term approach to superannuation policy making, and for the Government of the day to avoid making policy changes based on challenges presented by the short term electoral or budget cycle.

These changes came as a shock to the super industry and, much more importantly, to fund members.

We will continue to talk with Government and cross-bench MPs and Senators and advocate for a return to the scheduled increase originally legislated, and reinstating the LISC.

David Whiteley
ISA Chief Executive

ANZ update - did you see what I saw?

ANZ members this week received an email from ANZ Global HR outlining some of the bank's proposals for a new EBA. The email focussed on pay but did you go to the link that details the strings attached? If you haven't done that yet, you should do it.

Our FSU bargaining team says the bank has said they don't want an independent umpire to resolve problems at work and they don't see a need to engage on fixing the real issues of staffing, targets, workloads and the broken, secretive and biased pay systems that we operate under. These are the issues that you, me and thousands of others said were priorities.

Rather, ANZ are telling us that their proposal "...contains the key employment terms and conditions you are used to."

So we need to know are you used to:

  • Ordinary hours from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm Monday to Friday?
  • Cutting the 100% loading that currently applies after 4:00pm on Saturday to just 50% right up to 6:00pm?
  • "afternoon" shifts that include staff who start at 8:30pm meaning that they lose the 27.5% night shift loading?
  • Being required to give three months notice to opt out of Friday evening and weekend work?
  • Having two classes of employees in tropical & remote areas with newer staff having lower entitlements?

Email your thoughts about the bank's reluctance to deal with the big issues while pursuing this grab bag of cutbacks to conditions and entitlements to

Also share this information with your workplace and invite all employees to participate. If you are not already a member of the FSU now is the time to join.

The good news is 1800 retail staff and 135 ANZ Direct staff have now been advised they are being upgraded because of a change in responsibilities.

This is a terrific win which will mean more money in the pockets of many ANZ retail staff, making life that little bit easier.

Hello Dolly! A blog for ANZ members
Suncorp show you the money - is it enough?

The proposed changes to part time employment at Suncorp has certainly got people talking and the FSU teleconferences held to discuss them were well-attended.

The feedback and concerns raised have been conveyed to Suncorp negotiators and while your input is being considered, the company has tabled an pay offer.

Suncorp’s pay proposal would see a ‘guaranteed’ increase of 2% per annum in the first two years of the Agreement and 1.5% per annum for in 2017-18 and 2018-19 paid to those employees who meet new eligibility criteria.

The proposed change would see employees assessed as ‘non-performing’ forgo an increase to base pay. New employees commencing within three months of the annual increase payment effective date would receive no pay increase until the following year.

The proposal contains a funding pool for both guaranteed and merit based ‘pay for performance’. This means that the more people eligible for pay increases the less there is in the ‘pool’ for performance pay.

There are a couple of positives in the pay proposal. Superannuation increases will not be absorbed by pay increases, and on-call and first aid allowances will increase by 3% per year and meal allowances will increase in line with CPI (currently sitting at around 3% nationally).

What do you think about Suncorp’s pay offer?

Bank Now: Westpac agrees consultation could be improved

Give yourself a pat on the back if you were one of the Westpac members who took part in the FSU survey about the roll out of Bank Now in the retail network.

FSU met with the bank this week following correspondence from the union outlining some of the issues members have raised.

Based on feedback from members in each state, the FSU advised Westpac that members had raised issues of concern, in particular around consultation, job security, workplace health and safety, training and further roll out of Bank Now branches.

On consultation, Westpac representatives agreed the consultation process could be improved and the bank is now working on resolving this issue, including undertaking a full review.

Read more
Annual leave forums – NAB

Knowing what your rights are in relation to annual leave is important and the Vic/Tas branch has recently conducted annual leave forums at NAB Melbourne based workplaces for members.

The forums have been well-attended and covered:

  • How leave accrues
  • Annual leave planning and scheduling
  • Mutuality and having preferences met
  • Deferring annual leave
  • Christmas closedown
  • Negative annual leave balances
  • Excessive annual leave
  • Annual leave loading

A brief survey shows annual leave is a real issue for workers:

  • 27% annual leave is not mutually agreed
  • 25% union members report being forced to take more than 4 weeks annual leave
  • 27% union members were forced into negative leave balances
  • 58% union members say their annual leave is reported to their scorecard
Make sure you're covered for your upcoming holiday

Spring is fast upon us and the weather is getting warmer, which means that it's time to start planning your holidays! Your FSU member benefits can help with your plans, with great offers that include:

  • Specially negotiated travel insurance premiums on single trip or annual policies with ACE Travel Insurance
  • Reduced car hire rates or excess in Australia and New Zealand through Europcar and Avis Australia
Click here for more member services information
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