Archive for the 'AMP' Category

Our industry, our union – Finsec meetings for insurance members

Finsec members working in the insurance industry in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will have an opportunity to get together and discuss industry-wide issues at paid union meetings in early December.

Here’s the places you need to be if this includes you (times include 30 minutes for travel to and from the meeting):


Date: Thursday 2 December

Time: 8.30am to 10.30am (meeting commences at 9.00am)

Venue: Pioneer Womens Hall, 2 Freyberg Place


Date: Wednesday 1 December

Time: 8.30am to 10.30am (meeting commences at 9.00am)

Venue: St Andrew’s on the Terrace, 30 The Tce


Date: Thursday 2 December

Time: 8.30am to 10.30am (meeting commences at 9.00am)

Venue: Trade Union Centre, 199 Armagh Street

If you have any questions about the insurance industry forums, ring 0800 FINSEC or email


Jobs at risk in AXA potential takeover

Finsec has said a potential merger between AMP and AXA could come at the expense of local jobs. This week, the Australian competition regulator rejected an AXA takeover by BNZ parent company NAB, but said a rival bid from AMP would be ok.

Finsec General Secretary Andrew Casidy told the Dominion Post that job losses and centralising back office functions to Australia could well be a feature of the merger, and said “It is hard to see if AMP was successful in getting control of AXA how there wouldn’t be quite some pressure to look at those things and further wind down job opportunities in the New Zealand operation.”

Finsec members at AMP have just ratified their collective agreement, while members at AXA took part in bargaining this week.

AMP pays $15,000 for not consulting

 through the fenceFinsec’s legal counsel recently won one of our members an award of $15,000 after AMP failed to properly consult with him about restructuring his job. The Finsec member, Russell Trotter, had worked for AMP since 1990. In 2004 he had been appointed Manager of Unit Pricing. However, some time after October 2004 AMP proposed to restructure two of its divisions. One consequence of the this proposal was that Mr Trotter’s position was disestablished and replaced by two new, less well paid positions.

The first time Mr Trotter became aware of all this was on 1 June 2005 when he was called to a meeting and told about the proposal to split his job in two. On 7 June 2005 he and his team were told the changes would definitely take place.

The member of the Employment Authority who decided the case, Mr Wood, found that:

“The principles of consultation… required open-minded consideration by the employer and not immediate rejection that indicated a closed mind, if not predetermination.”

“In this case I find that AMP effectively limited its consultation with Mr Trotter to issues about how the new unit pricing and fund accounting roles would operate and how this would impact on Mr Trotter’s employment. His position, however, was effectively redundant already because the decision had been made, albeit that it was couched as a proposal, that Mr Trotter’s position would be disestablished by 1 June at the latest.”

Mr Wood awarded Mr Trotter $15,000 compensation from AMP for humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to the feelings of the employee. And, in lay-person’s terms, the key finding of the case is that employers like AMP can’t just make people redundant without talking to them first about it.

(Thanks to Essjay NZ for the photo)

From the archives (26 May 1994) No more talking – it’s time for action

AMP Staff win battle for collective contract

 Janine Hill dumps a pile of folders in the AMP foyer (26 May 1994)Pic: Janine Hill dumps a pile of folders in the AMP foyer

In a mass display of resistance, two hundred AMP staff handed their ‘Vision’ folders back to AMP on Thursday 26 May. The ‘Vision’ folders contain the societies expression of its commitment to act with integrity in all its dealings with both staff and customers.

The workers at AMP claimed that the society ceased acting with integrity when it tried to force them to accept individual contracts.

The negotiation process had already become drawn out because AMP kept changing its mind about what it wanted in the contract. One day it would agree to things, and the next day it would say it’d changed its mind!

Two weeks into negotiations, the society suddenly announced that specialist/team leaders would have to have individual contracts, and there would be no overtime pay. About 40% of the people on the collective contract are specialists/team leaders.

When management said there would be no overtime pay, staff decided that was it.

At 9:45 am AMP workers walked to the foyer of the building that the general manager works in, opposite Wellington’s Park Royal Hotel. They piled up their work folders, many with special comments for mangers on the cover.

When the pile was full, a delegation took a letter up to the heavily guarded top floor, for the general manager. They were not allowed to meet him, but were assured that the letter would be passed on.

Finsec senior industrial officer, Don Farr, said, “Staff were so incensed by AMP’s actions, that they had also voted to strike on the Friday, if they did not have a concrete assurance of a collective contract with paid overtime, by 3:30 Thursday.”

“AMP staff resisted efforts by the insurance giant to bully them into accepting individual contracts,” he said.

Staff won both battles.

A memo from the general manager was circulated that Thursday afternoon AMP assuring staff that they could choose a collective contract. It promising that all team leader/specialists who wanted to be on the collective contract could sign onto it. The general manger also agreed that staff who signed individual contracts could switch to the collective if they preferred.

Finsec negotiating team member, Lisa Newman, said, “We have been united and committed in our approach to the negotiations, and it has paid off for us.

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