Media release: Protect workers compensation rights: FSU to ANZ and Westpac
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
The Finance Sector Union today called upon ANZ and Westpac to act in the best interests of their NSW employees by seeking exemption from the proposed changes expected to be introduced into the NSW Parliament this week.
The recommendations put forward by the Joint Select Committee on the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme will mean that injured workers will have unreasonable conditions placed upon their right to access workers compensation whilst payments will be reduced when they are recovering from a workplace injury.
“There is a fundamental principle of workers compensation and that is that an injured worker will have their medical bills and wages covered until they are fit to return to work. This move by the O’Farrell Government breaks away from that principle and will be damaging to finance sector workers and their families, that is why we are calling upon these big banks to seek exemption from the proposed changes,” said Geoff Derrick, FSU NSW/ACT Secretary.
The FSU rejects the notion that the actuarially determined “deficit” in the NSW Workcover Fund was justification for any cutbacks to workers protection but points out that in the case of the big banks, they were all self-insurers and so there is no connection between their liabilities and the fund.
“The Parliamentary Inquiry recognised Police as deserving exemption from the cutbacks and we reckon that bank workers should also be exempt. Not only do many of them face the risk of hold-ups at work, but their employers are self-insured, meaning that they don’t rely upon the pooled funds of the NSW Workcover Scheme to cover their liabilities,” said Geoff Derrick.
Derrick went on to say that, “Without an exemption for their injured workers, these changes will simply be a windfall gain in additional profits for ANZ and Westpac at the expense of their injured staff. The same staff who would then face the indignity of not being able to afford medical assistance after an injury at work or not being able to pay their mortgages – mortgages that are usually held by their own employers.”
Spokesperson Geoff Derrick 0419 632 722