The Gossip can now be found at the FIRST Union website http://www.firstunion.org.nz/whats_new/gossip
This is the last ‘Finsec’ Gossip – the Gossip will still come out each week, but it will be for the finance sector in FIRST Union, with the amalgamation of Finsec and the National Distribution Union officially occurring from 1 October.
Finsec President Kelvin Pycroft said the merger was exciting for Finsec members, and that regional conferences taking place in the first couple of weeks of this month would provide a good opportunity for some Finsec activists to meet and work with their new union colleagues.
“As members, the changes you will notice will be subtle – new logo, a new website, some new faces to work with,” said Kelvin Pycroft. “The most important thing to remember is that you’re still a union member and entitled to the representation and support that brings.”
“And, as FIRST Union members, you are now part of the second largest private sector in New Zealand. Even more reason for us to have a strong and active presence in the finance industry.”
The moves to align National Bank and ANZ systems (in preparation for a likely move to one brand) have hit a few bumps in the road, and has been delayed to IT hold ups. The new roll over date for ‘simplification’ will be confirmed soon.
A meeting between Union Councillors and the bank threw light on the changes processes at the bank, but Union Council Chair Graham Lee said that the changes did not always meet up with the bank’s assurances. “With role alignment processes in particular, staff are saying that things are not always fair and transparent. Get in touch with Finsec and let us know your concerns if this applies to you.”
When the new system is fully operational across the banks (in the first half of 2012) the more thorny issue of the future of the National Bank will be addressed.
Bank workers are facing the tough end of anti-union policies in Fiji, with banking deemed an ‘essential industry’, a move which effectively outlaws trade unions.
The decree means that industry-based unions will not be able to function, as union staff members won’t be recognised, only employees of designated corporations. Collective agreements are being deemed to have expired, and employers will be able to impose unilateral reductions in terms and conditions. Employers are also not required to deduct union fees.
Finsec is participating in the CTU campaign to end the bullying and harassment of Fiji union officials, and to support democracy in the country.
UNI, the global union of which Finsec is a member, is calling on the G20 meeting of world leaders to put jobs at the centre of an economic recovery programme.
UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings said “Workers’ rights and job creation are key to a recovery. President Obama had it right when he said that collective bargaining should be part of a drive towards a fairer and more just economy. However, the reality is that the G20’s negligent procrastination and limited ambition has once again opened the door to greed and self-interest amongst the banking fraternity while tens of millions faced wage cuts, job losses, and poverty.”
UNI and other unions are calling on the G20 to set up a working group on employment and social protection, invest in infrastructure and green jobs and launch a youth pact guaranteeing young people quality employment and education.
A dissatisfied Marks and Spencer was surprised when the compensation he wanted along with a refund for being overcharged, a drawing of a smiley dinosaur, was delivered!
Customer adviser Steve Jones, complied, sending the customer a gift card and his own hand drawing of the happy dinosaur. An enclosed note said “Unfortunately art was never my strong point, but I hope you will appreciate it.”
Finsec members at BNZ will vote on a new BNZ offer, following a further day of collective agreement negotiations this week. The bargaining team say the offer has good movement from the bank in some areas, and little movement in other areas.
Changes include a small increase to the pay offer, now 2.75% for each of the two years of the agreement. BNZ has withdrawn some claims to overtime and to make sick leave and union access comply with legal minimums. They also agreed to Sunday opening hours being limited till 7pm, and to make the move to grade L for call centre optional for existing staff.
Ratification meetings for members to have their say on the offer will run from 27 September – 7 October.