20 December 2019

2019- A Tough Year with Significant Achievements

We have achieved significant wins across Superannuation, Regional & Second Tier Banks, Credit Unions, Financial Advice and Brokers.

Dear FSU Members,

2019 has been a huge year for the FSU Generals Division!  We have achieved significant wins across Superannuation, Regional & Second Tier Banks, Credit Unions, Financial Advice and Brokers.

However, 2019 has not been without its challenges.  The Hayne Royal Commission Final Report was released in February, which laid bare unlawfulness and toxic work practices in the banking and finance sector.  The recent revelations of Westpac have shown that some banks are not heeding the lessons of the Royal Commission.

FSU National Conference

In October, delegates from across our sector came together for the FSU National Conference.  I represented you and your colleagues as the President of the FSU Generals Section.   I joined conference delegates from every state and across our industry – delegates came from the big 4 banks, major insurers, mutual banks, superannuation funds and mid-sized banks – all these delegates are just like me, we work in the industry and volunteer our time to represent you and ensure our voices are heard.

National Conference is an important opportunity for us to assess the challenges facing our sector, and then work together to make the most of our opportunities.  I raised issues facing Generals Section members including pay, access to training and development, career progression, and the increasing role of technology.

(Super Reps, Chris Wrigley (Host Plus), Julia Angrisano (FSU National Secretary), Claire Heeps (Australian Super) and Matthew Rowe (UniSuper, FSU Generals President).

During Conference the new FSU website was launched: https://www.fsunion.org.au. Please take the time to have a look and send in any feedback you may have.

EI Bill

The defeat of the anti-union Ensuring Integrity Bill was an unexpected highlight. When all seemed lost, One Nation and Jacquie Lambie voted against the Government. The Bill has been rushed through Parliament again though and will be back in the Senate in February 2020.

Industry Super Wins

In my role as Generals President, I have worked to ensure that we are responding to the enormous growth in the superannuation sector.

I am happy to report that we have seen some fantastic wins for members as a result. As a rapidly growing area of the industry, we need to come together to ensure that our profit-to-members funds continues to thrive, provide great outcomes for members and remain aligned to our origins of the trade union movement.

Growing our Membership

We know that there is strength in numbers– the more members we have, the better outcomes we achieve.  Following a dedicated campaign in AustralianSuper and HostPlus, we have seen some amazing results.  In AustralianSuper, we increased our recruitment by 402%, and in Hostplus the increase was 1600% between 2018 and 2019.  We will continue to work with you to achieve results like this right across our sector. A special welcome to all of our new members in those funds, I look forward to meeting you!


Enterprise bargaining continues at HostPlus.  After a management offer of 2.5%, members were so vocal in their outrage that Hostplus management called the FSU bargaining team and increased the offer to 3%.
Members have continued to work to drive the offer to 3.5% with a sign-on bonus however are committed to keep campaigning to see further improvements.


We have just concluded bargaining at AustralianSuper with a brilliant outcome.

Through the course of bargaining members were able to secure 17 of the 19 claims put to management. At the height of the campaign, 210 members attended a workplace meeting, and over 300 people signed an open letter to the CEO showing management that they would stand together for a better Agreement.   In the final ballot, 96.9% of workers accepted the EA. Congratulations!

Credit Unions & Regional & Second Tier Banks

Hume Bank

Hume Bank previously had a non-union agreement. We embarked on a campaign in June to build power and collectively bargain for a new enterprise agreement. We formed an FSU Worker Council which led the negotiations, identified workplace union representatives, and established a Workplace Organising Committee which meets monthly. The FSU built a very strong density and members successfully moved the employer to agree to the following highlights of the proposed new agreement:

  • Wage increases of 2.5% in 2019, backdated to 1 July 2019, 2.5% from 1 July 2020 and 2.75% from 1 July 2021. Overhaul and clarification of the Travel Allowance Clause
  • Overtime payment for Part Time Employees for all work performed outside of the agreed hours
  • Paid Domestic and Family Violence Leave
  • Additional Paid Parental Leave
  • Staffing Clause to address single operator branches

FSU members and Hume Bank employees voted overwhelming in favour of the proposed new agreement.


Financial Advisors and Brokers need to have a strong united voice together in the FSU.

I have advocated for a dedicated project to focus on Financial Advisers and Brokers and in 2019, the FABS (Financial Advisers and Brokers) Project commenced.  The FABS Project brings Financial Advisers and Brokers together to build a vision for their industry.

There are big changes happening in the FABS area.  In 2019 we saw the development of the Financial Advisor Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), and the recommendations about increasing professionalism of financial advisers and brokers by Commissioner Hayne in the Financial Services Royal Commission.  We will tackle these challenges together as a Union.

Over the last 12 months, the Finance Sector Union has worked hard to raise awareness of your issues in Canberra. That work needs to continue, and members like you need a loud voice that policy makers take seriously. A single adviser can’t do this alone – but together, we can have a much greater influence on policy and legislation.

Lastly, thank you for your continued support and involvement in 2019.   This year the FSU celebrates its 100-year anniversary – our continued strength is because of members like you.   Please send me an email with any thoughts on making our Union stronger, I would love to speak with you.

We have a lot of work ahead in 2020 and beyond, I look forward to tackling these exciting opportunities together. For those working over the festive period, thank you, for those who have a well-deserved break, I sincerely hope you enjoy your break and spending time with friends and family.

In Unity,
Matthew Rowe










General Section National president
General Section Local President VIC/TAS

Contact Details

Finance Sector Union
Ph: 1300 366 378

Authorised by Rebecca Reilly, Secretary, NSW/ACT Branch