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Our Jobs Issue No.5 of 2014, Friday 8 August

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A message from the National Secretary


On Friday 1st August I had the privilege to assume the position of National Secretary of the FSU that you elected me to.

It is a great honour to be elected leader of our Union and I would like to thank you for all your support and I pledge to all members, and those that haven’t yet joined us, that I will work hard everyday to make our Union an organisation that everyone has confidence in and everyone is proud to belong to.

That was my promise to you in the election and with your continued support we will breathe new life and new energy into our Union by focusing on you, the member and your needs.

I would like to recognise and thank Leon Carter, former National Secretary, for his services to members. On yours and the National Executive’s behalf, I wish Leon every success and happiness in whatever path he embarks on in the future.

There is a great deal of work to be done over the coming months to revitalise our Union. I am currently preparing the Union’s finances for audit and a full assessment of the Union’s current membership levels is underway. 

But while that work is being undertaken your Union will stay focused on the key function of delivering to members.

There are some fantastic outcomes being achieved and being led by members in their individual enterprises. A significant part of my role will be to build and expand member empowerment and engagement in Union activities. 

In the near future, I will be travelling around the country to review the Union’s operations and I intend to visit and meet with as many members as I can while doing so. Beyond that, it is my intention to make visiting and talking to members at their workplace a consistent part of my role, as it should be.

I’d like to ask that you use the opportunity this change in our Union presents to talk about the Union in your workplace. You have started the momentum by voting for change and that will happen, but I need you to maintain that momentum and help me make that change a success.

I invite you, should you be interested and willing, to contact me and discuss how you can deepen your involvement with your Union.

I look forward to meeting and hearing from you and will write again soon.


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Industrial news

Consultation is the name of the game at ANZ, CBA and Westpac. FSU members at ANZ are having their say on the union’s claim for negotiations that are due to commence very soon. Keeping members up to date throughout the negotiations will be the FSU’s newest blogger Dolly Jensen (pictured opposite).

Following the conclusion of negotiations for a new Agreement at CBA, members around the country are considering and voting on the Agreement proposal. For the first time, employees at CommSec, CommInsure and Colonial will be covered by a collective Agreement.

Members across the Westpac Group (including St George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne) are considering and voting on an EA proposal with minimal change to conditions and the same pay outcome as in the previous year.  If you work in the Westpac Group please make sure you have your say by August 15th.

Staff in Westpac’s retail network have also been asked to share their views on how the introduction of Bank Now branches is likely to impact on the role of Teller.

At Bankwest, it’s time for a staff ballot on an Agreement to improve pay and conditions. The online ballot is open until 14th August.

IAG members have been invited to participate in national feedback sessions following the insurer’s forecast of a profit bump this year, which comes hot on the heels of a new operating model.

Members at Suncorp have reacted to the insurer’s proposal to change part time employment arrangements during national teleconferences last week. The member feedback was presented to Suncorp during negotiations this week.

Current FSU campaigns
Support the campaign to secure our jobs and our future at NAB

NAB CCC dispute heads to Fair Work. MLC and Asset Servicing petitions for secure jobs.

NAB call centre workers are heading to Fair Work after the plug was pulled on negotiations to resolve a dispute. The call centre staff and their supporters are wearing red wrist bands to demonstrate their unity and solidarity.

After learning their jobs may be on the line, employees at MLC and NAB Asset Servicing are circulating a petition to NAB that calls on the bank to immediately commence genuine consultation with FSU representatives, to cease all work to scope the outsourcing and or offshoring of jobs, and to guarantee workers their employment is secure.

Catch up with all the campaign news
3 down, 2 to go: Award modernisation hearings almost completed

Three of the Finance Sector Union’s applications to modernise 9 awards covering bank workers have now been heard by the Fair Work Commission.

There's been a mixed response from the four main banks:

  • ANZ is vigorously opposed to the FSU application, insisting the Banking Finance and Insurance Award (BFI) is “an appropriate safety net for its employees”
  • NAB is supportive of the application (it applied just as FSU did to modernise the award and we managed to reach an agreement on award content)
  • Westpac neither endorsed or opposed the FSU application (it’s attitude was that it didn’t necessarily want an award but agreed with the FSU on the content of an award if there was to be one.)
  • The last application to be heard will be that relating to CBA and its subsidiaries Commsec, Bankwest and Colonial) – a date for which is yet to be set.

All four major banks attended two of last month’s three hearings in Melbourne, even when their award wasn't being heard. ANZ also attended the Westpac hearing.

In addition, the FSU’s application relating to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will be heard in October. RBA is also an applicant and while both RBA and FSU want an award, there are some disagreements over specific items.

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Superannuation Guarantee has gone up to 9.5%

Make sure your employer is paying at least this.

Minimum employer superannuation contributions increased to 9.5% from 1 July this year.

All employers must now be paying into a complying superannuation fund an amount equal to at least 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings (capped at $197,720) for 2014/2015. Ordinary time earnings, (OTE), include salary, bonuses, shift and weekend loadings but not overtime pay. Where ordinary time earnings exceed the cap, the super contribution is limited to 9.5% of the cap. (i.e. $4695.85 per quarter or $18,783 per year)

The July 1 increase is meanwhile part of a scheduled program that will eventually take minimum contributions to 12% by 2019.

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FSU welcomes new National Secretary and President

FSU members today have a new National Secretary, Fiona Jordan who was elected last month and commenced her four-year term on 1 August.

Fiona is the first woman elected to the high-profile role and brings 18 years of experience with FSU and industry issues.

The former union National President has fought for the rights of finance workers at Westpac and across the sector, holding a number of key positions, including Vic/Tas Local Executive President and Westpac National Enterprise Council President.

Fiona has also been part of our successful campaign against unfair targets, most recently joining the delegation representing members who were part of the Westpac FY14 targets dispute, and is committed to continuing to strive for excellent outcomes for all FSU members.

Fiona will be based at the FSU national office in Melbourne.

The National President position vacated by Fiona Jordan has been filled by Louise Arnfield, who was elected to the position unopposed.

The union’s former CBA National President has also been President of the NSW/ACT branch and an active Workplace Rep on the NSW Central Coast.

Louise has a long history of involvement in successful FSU campaigns and she has served on the union’s team improving pay and rights at the Commonwealth Bank during the negotiations for the last three enterprise agreements. Louise is well known to many members through her popular The Lou Blog.

Completing the trio of national officials is National Assistant Secretary Geoff Derrick, who was also elected unopposed.

Read more about Secretaries, LEC and NEC members commencing from 1 August

Related: FSU farewells National Secretary Leon Carter

Members can now access a wider range of insurance benefits

Your FSU benefits now include a wider range of insurance benefits, which offer peace of mind and reliable cover at competitive rates within the industry. Whether you’re looking to re-assess your cover or take out a whole new policy, why not compare your options today to see what your benefits can do for you?

Your insurance benefits include:

  • Motor Vehicle
  • Home and contents
  • Health Insurance
  • Income Protection
  • Life Insurance
  • Travel Insurance

If you’re interested in taking out personal insurance, you can also use our free Sum Insured Checklist to work out a policy option to suit your circumstances.

For further information, please visit the FSU Member Advantage website or call 1300 853 352.

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Authorised by Fiona Jordan, National Secretary
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