The Australian finance industry has been transformed in the past decades. In response to this upheaval, the unions that represent finance industry employees have joined forces to form the Finance Sector Union.
The FSU was founded in July 1991 when the two main players in the banking and insurance industries – the Australian Bank Employees’ Union (ABEU) and the Australian Insurance Employee’s Union (AIEU) voted to amalgamate and create the FSU.
Three smaller unions also linked up: the AMP Society Staff Association, Trustee Companies Officers’ Association and Wool Brokers’ Staff Association. In March 1994, the FSU was further strengthened when the Commonwealth Bank Officers’ Selection (CBOS) joined with the FSU.
The Finance Sector Union is committed to providing members with excellent information, advice and support on an individual, workplace and industry level. The Finance Sector Union is registered with the Fair Work Commission and is affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The Union has branches in all States and National Offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Full time officials are elected for a four year term by the members.
The histories of the Australian Bank Employees’ Union (ABEU) and the Australian Insurance Employee’s Union (AIEU) have been recorded in the following publications which should be available in most local municipal and academic institution libraries in Australia. Copies are also available from the FSU by contacting the FSU National Office, Melbourne.
Life in General: a Short History of Organised Insurance Workers in Australia. Geoff Gleghorn, Australian Insurance Employees Union, 1992
From Subservience to Strike : Industrial Relations in the Banking Industry. John Hill, University of Queensland Press, 1982
Barney : the Story of Rees D Williams, Architect of the White-Collar Union Movement. Kate White, Hargreen Publishing & ABEU, 1989
An Open Account : 72 years of Unionism in the State Bank of Victoria. Kate White, Finance Sector Union, 1992.
Ken Laidlaw: A White Collar Union Leader. Denis Murphy, University of Queensland Press & ABEU,1979.
Worth Fighting For: Work and Industrial Relations in the Banking Industry in South Australia. Geoff Manning, Gillingham Printers, Adelaide, 1989.
Strength in our industry means that we grow your Union in each and every workplace and that there is effective two-way communication between members and the Union office. In order to do this we need trained, supported reps who know your rights and can assist members to create a safe workplace. In many respects FSU Reps have the most important job in the Union – simultaneously they are your link to the Union office and the Union’s link to you.
While it can be a challenging job at times, there are many rewards. Members in the workplace look to their Reps for help and assistance, and often for leadership on particular issues. Reps are involved in all aspects of workplace changes and reforms. They know what is going on and can sometimes change things for the benefit of workers. It can be empowering to help fix a problem rather than just complaining.
Reps don’t have to be the most experienced members but need simply to have a genuine desire to work with other members in their workplace to maintain and improve working conditions.
Part of the Union’s strategy to support FSU representatives is the two day Union Representative Training Course.
The training is conducted by fully accredited Trade Union Training Authority (TUTA) trainers employed by the Union Office. The courses are aimed at giving FSU reps the knowledge and skills needed to develop themselves as effective workplace reps and play a vital part in the future of FSU.
Paid Trade Union Leave is sought by FSU for you to attend the training. Once you indicate that you would like to attend a course, FSU will write to your employer seeking paid leave for you to attend.
Having an FSU Rep in your workplace means that getting help from FSU could be as close as the next desk.
FSU offers a range of additional member benefits designed to help your daily budget. The services available include a buying service offering significant savings on most household appliances as well as a travel service which offers discounted rates to members. Other benefits include discounts on movie tickets and a wide range of restaurants and hotels as well as health insurance and an award winning home loan.