Issue No.21 of 2009
Thursday 8 October

FSU and Zurich strike in principle agreement

The FSU and Zurich have concluded negotiations for a new Collective Agreement, and the proposed Agreement will be presented to staff over coming weeks, in the lead up to a full staff ballot.

The proposed four year Agreement provides for minimum increases to employees earning less than the TEC threshold (which increases over the life of the Agreement) and who meet or exceed expectations, of 3% per year in the first two years and 4% in the third and fourth years of the Agreement.

The pay outcome in Zurich sets the benchmark for the insurance industry and will guide FSU negotiations with other insurance companies.

The FSU is currently holding talks with AXA and RAC (WA) and seeking to commence negotiations with a number of insurance employers to maintain and improve conditions.

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Insurance workers rights under threat following award modernisation 

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) has commenced the process of Award Modernisation, in order to rationalise the number of awards that operate in the workplace relations systems.

In the finance sector, the AIRC decided to create one modern award titled the Banking, Finance and Insurance Industry Award 2010, applying to all areas of the sector including banking, credit unions, insurance, trustees and financial services, who aren't covered by enterprise awards.

As a result, from 1 January 2010, many insurance employees will be covered by the new Award, in lieu of the Insurance Industry Award 1998.

In creating the new Award, many of the minimum conditions of employment for insurance workers will change significantly.

The FSU has written to all insurance companies the union covers, seeking to preserve important provisions of the Insurance Industry Award 1998 and the safety net of conditions for our members. At this stage several major insurance companies have already agreed to preserve the key conditions of the Insurance Industry Award 1998.

 Click here to read the FSU’s letter to insurance companies

 Click here to read the deed the FSU is asking insurance companies to agree to

 Click here to see the list of companies the FSU has written to

Is your employer on the list? Has your employer agreed to preserve your minimum conditions? Make sure other union members in your workplace are aware of the changes that may occur to your minimum terms and conditions.

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Have your say on national OHS laws 

One of the key elements of the Federal Government's OHS reform agenda is the creation of one set of national OHS laws.

Currently all states and territories are responsible for making and enforcing their own OHS laws.

Safe Work Australia is responsible for developing national model OHS legislation, and is seeking public comment on the model legislation. Submissions must be received by 9th November to be considered, and must be accompanied by a Public Comment Submission Cover Sheet & Response Form.

 Click here to view the model legislation download the submission cover sheet and response form

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Victorian OHS Reps – Register for the VTHC OHS Reps Conference 

The ninth annual OHS Representatives Conference, is being held on Wednesday October 28 at the NEW Melbourne Convention Centre - 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf. The one day conference is a WorkSafe Victoria approved course of training under s69 of the OHS Act 2004.

All elected Health and Safety Representatives are entitled to attend on paid time. Please note, the Act requires that you give your employer at least 14 days notice of your intention to attend.

 Click here for more information, and to register

Don’t have internet access? Call VTHC OHS Unit on 9659 3511.

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Book giveaway! 

Here at FSU HQ we’re up to our necks in synergy and strategy, and just like you we engage in outcome-based performability in our quest to value-add. For that reason, we are delighted to offer one lucky FSU member a copy of Don Watson’s new book Bendable Learnings: The Wisdom of Modern Management. Following Don’s previous books Death Sentence and Weasel Words, comes this new assortment of noxious management drivel and financial market blather.

How do you win?
Send an email to with your favourite examples of management speak, by 5pm Tuesday 13th October. You can send as many examples as you like. You don’t have to attribute them, although if they are utterly impenetrable phrases you may like to provide some context. The best entry will receive a copy of the book.

Good luck!

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More FSU winners 

FSU offered prizes as an incentive to complete two recent surveys, the Rate Your Employer Survey, and the Communications and Web 2.0 Survey.

We are pleased to announce that the winners are M.Crogan of Western Australia, and K. Maloney of Queensland. Congratulations to you both, your prize, a spanking new iPod, is on its way to you.

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FSU Facebook page clocks up 300 fans 

Our little Facebook family is growing rapidly, thanks to all of our fans! It’s probably a good time to remind everyone of the perils of posting on Facebook: as they say in the classics, it’s all fun until someone loses an eye.

Please remember that Facebook has terms of use, and offensive material or comments should not be posted. It’s also important to remember that not only can your friends and family read your posts, but often your colleagues can, and in some cases, even your employer. There have been several cases in the media recently of employees suffering adverse consequences as a result of posting comments on Facebook. One of these, involving prison employees in New South Wales, is ongoing. Until the industrial implications of your online activity are known, treat cyberspace like any other public space and choose your words and your actions carefully.

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Authorised by FSU National Secretary Leon Carter