Low membership at Asteron leads to low pay offer

Tattooed coffeeFinsec members at Asteron reluctantly agreed to ratify a substandard pay offer of only 2% from their employers last week. Asteron members found themselves in a weakened bargaining position because of their low membership density (only about 30% of Asteron staff belong either to Finsec or the staff association).

Finsec’s advocate for Asteron members believes that Asteron recognised its positions of strength and effectively made a take it or leave it offer, knowing that members would have little choice other than to take it given their low level of membership in the company. Asteron said at the negotiations that it wanted to position itself in the market medium for salaries and was not interested in paying in the top pay quartile for its industry.

Asteron’s pay is not that bad compared to some insurance companies that have no union members at all, but what this offer demonstrates is that where workers join and actively support their union, such as at Westpac earlier this year, they have much more influence on their working conditions than where they don’t join and assume everyone get the same deal anyway.

(thanks to YTaP for the photo)

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