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Following a year in which FSU represented 7863 members caught up in disputes, recovered $9.4 million for members, and negotiated many collective agreements we are stopping to catch our breath and I sincerely hope all FSU members have an opportunity to rest and recharge for 2010.
Since our last e-newsletter, FSU has concluded more collective agreements to improve working conditions for finance sector workers. Ballots to approve agreements have been conducted at Allianz and AXA with overwhelming votes in favour of the agreements, and the results of the ballot at RAC will be known early in the new year. Members at AustralianSuper noticed a little extra in their Christmas pay packet as the first pay increase of their new agreement flowed through.
FSU has also been to some of the bank AGM’s this year, to make sure boards and shareholders are aware of the issues our members face. FSU Qld NAB LEC President Jennifer Haviland represented members at the NAB AGM and urged the bank to stop offshoring Australian jobs (read full report here). FSU members at Westpac who are in the midst of enterprise bargaining negotiations have told us that pay is the number one issue for them, so the union put a question to the CEO at the bank’s AGM in Melbourne (read the FSU’s question and the CEO and Chairman’s responses here).
I would like to thank all FSU members for their support during 2009 and for the hard work everyone has put in, in what has been a difficult year for the finance sector. Thanks to a combination of good regulation and the hard work of finance sector workers, our industry has survived a tough year and is well placed to thrive in 2010.
Sadly, Australia is ending the year the same way the year started, with bushfires threatening communities in South Australia and Victoria. Our first communication this year was a note of recognition and praise to members assisting fire-affected communities; opening bank branches outside of normal hours, setting up and staffing mobile branches, and assessing and processing insurance claims. Many members were directly affected, and suffered loss. If we were granted a Christmas wish this year, it would be that we all emerge from the current fire season intact and unharmed. Take care out there.
And finally, I would like to wish FSU members a safe and enjoyable festive season.
Leon Carter, National Secretary