Issue No.12 of 2009
Thursday 28 May

Employee Share Schemes – What are they worth?

The Federal Government’s budget proposal to alter tax arrangements for Employee Share Scheme participants has been given prominent and sustained media coverage over the last two weeks. The FSU, along with other unions and stakeholders, has been advocating a review of the proposal, and urging finance sector employers not to abandon Employee Share Schemes that are highly valued by finance sector workers.

This week, the Federal Government announced they would review their proposal and release an options paper within weeks. To learn more about what the proposed changes could mean for you, and the position the FSU has been advocating, check out the FSU’s article that appeared on the Opinion page of the Australian Financial Review on May 22nd.

 Click here to read more
 Have your say on our Online Forum

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WBC: What do you want in a new Agreement? 

The FSU and Westpac have agreed to commence negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement this year. The Enterprise Agreement sets the minimum pay and conditions for most employees. The current Westpac agreement expired in 2004 and is overdue for renegotiation.

In the lead up to negotiations the FSU will be conducting widespread consultation with members during June and July to identify what you want in a new agreement.

This will involve thousands of members and include:

  • Independent polling by McNair ngenuity (participation is entirely voluntary, and you will not be identified in the responses or the final report)
  • FSU phone surveys of members
  • Workplace surveys and discussion groups

All members at Westpac are encouraged to participate in this process so your views are heard.

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Suncorp: The race to beat Fair Work laws is on 

Suncorp are trying to beat the introduction of new Fair Work laws on 1 July 2009 by rolling over their current non-union agreements (covering Promina Group employees) for another 3 years. These agreements fail to provide guaranteed annual pay increases or improvements to current inferior conditions.

FSU is encouraging members who want a better deal in a union negotiated collective agreement to vote NO when the ballot on the agreements opens on 9th June.

 Click here to read more

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INGA: Coming a close second in the race to beat Fair Work laws 

INGA management are following in Suncorp’s footsteps by attempting to roll over their Certified Agreement (ie vary and extend in the AIRC)  before July 1. If successful members will be deprived of the benefits and opportunities provided under new Fair Work legislation for next 3 years.  INGA members are strongly encouraged to contact their workplace Rep, Organiser or the FSU Member Rights Centre to discuss the situation. Call 1300 366 378.

New Fair Work laws are coming
 Click here to download a brochure about the government's new laws

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ANZ: Enterprise bargaining begins in June 

FSU Reps and Organisers are gearing up for enterprise bargaining talks at ANZ, scheduled to commence in June. Look out for information in your workplace about the claim for improved working conditions, and get along to a workplace meeting in coming weeks. You need to get involved if you want to have a say on your employment conditions.

 Click here to read more about the process of enterprise bargaining

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New Union Fees – Effective from 1 July 2009  

The FSU National Executive has determined that membership fees will need to increase by 3.5% from 1 July 2009 to keep pace with increasing costs.

The new fee levels will be:

The Executive noted that the union has increased activities in all areas, including workplace visits, individual and collective representation, having recovered some $6,696,386 in entitlements for members in the 08/09 financial year to March.

While the Executive would prefer not to increase member fees, such a decision would fail to recognise the reality of the union’s financial requirements and ability to maintain current resourcing.

Membership fees are fully tax deductible. The Finance Sector Union is a not for profit, membership fee based organisation.

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FSU makes further submission on Consumer Credit Bill 

The FSU has made a further submission on the proposed bill advancing the arguments for why additional measures should also be adopted, either as part of this bill or in the second round legislation due next year. The bill ticks 6 of the 10 points that the FSU was seeking through its Charter of Responsible Lending.

The points that still require addressing are:

  • the overemphasis on sales targets in determining remuneration outcomes
  • the need to stop unsolicited, pre-approved credit offers – such as credit card or credit limit increases;
  • providing consumers with an “opt-out” facility that informs the service provider not to pitch products;
  • expanding the requirement to disclose commissions on products to include bonuses, incentives or other remuneration implications;

The bill should be welcomed by finance workers as it aims to rid our industry of shonky practitioners, increase the professionalism of the roles we play in the community and help Australia avoid the practices in the US that have brought about the global financial crisis.

It should also mean a greater emphasis on proper training and accreditation of members involved in the provision of credit.

 Click here to read the full submission

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FSU in the news 

The FSU is your voice in the workplace, at the bargaining table, in Canberra, and in the national media. Here’s a small selection of your union in the news in the last fortnight:

 Employee share plan changes 'a shocking assault'
The World Today/ABC Online, 19th May

 Gail Kelly hints that Westpac jobs could go
Herald Sun, 19th May

 Australian banks take $11.6 billion in fees
The Advertiser, 22nd May

 Finance Sector Union concern over 11 NSW branch closures

The Courier Mail, 22nd May

 NAB jobs go, but junkets stay

Herald Sun, 22nd May

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Download the new Member Services guide 

Your FSU membership gives you access to substantial discounts on everyday goods and services, like groceries, petrol, holidays, movie tickets, and health insurance. For example, in 2008 FSU members using the UnionShopper service to purchase electrical goods and motor vehicles collectively saved $23,149.00.

The FSU Member Services guide has just been updated, and is available for you to download, print and display in your workplace. If you’ve never accessed FSU Member Service before, check out the range of services on offer and take advantage of the savings your union membership provides. Before too long, your union membership will pay for itself as you rack up the savings!

 Click here to download the Member Services Guide

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Frustrated by limited access? 

If your workplace limits access to external websites and you're having trouble reading the full articles in our fortnightly e-news, please send us your personal email address so you can get all the news without limitation. Drop us a line at with your name, member number and personal email address, so you don't miss out.

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