Archive for the 'Sovereign' Category

Bargaining newsflash

Of course its not just Finsec members in the big banks in bargaining this year – throughout the insurance and finance industry, Finsec members are working to improve their pay and conditions through collective bargaining.

So, here’s some of what else we’re up to:

·       Finsec members at Vero last week voted to ratify an offer including an average pay increase of 3%

·       Finsec members at Asteron participated in collective bargaining last week – a report back to come tomorrow

·       Finsec members at Sovereign enter negotiations tomorrow.

At Heartland Building Society (the merger between Marac, Southern Cross Building Society and CBS Canterbury), members will be having an indicative vote this year to determine members’ response to bargaining outcomes.


Unions – the ultimate insurance!

Finsec members from the insurance sector have met in Auckland and Wellington this week to plan for the year ahead and discuss important issues in the industry.

The meetings focused on how to increase Finsec’s profile in the industry, and to build our strength to achieve even better outcomes. Aki Kisona (pictured at left), a Finsec Union Councillor from Asteron, said the meeting provided a great opportunity for union members from throughout the sector to get together and talk through issues.

“The meeting showed that we’re all going through similar things at work, and that we share common views on how to improve things. We also generated a lot of good ideas about retention and increasing our membership,” said Aki.

Expect to see more Finsec news from the insurance industry in the new year, as ideas from the forums are put into action!

A Tale of Two Negotiations

Collective agreement negotiations with ANZ National and with Sovereign, a story with all the classic ingredients for a good yarn – conflict, money, even surprisingly enough, a love story. At this point, it seems that sadly only one of these negotiations is ready for a happy ending.

The romance aspect of this story is due to a husband and wife duo of Finsec bargaining team members – Carl Macken from Sovereign and Nola Macken from ANZ National. In both sets of negotiations, the employer started with pay offers of 4%. However, in the second round of negotiations Sovereign moved their offer to 4.3%, which Finsec members will be voting on shortly. ANZ National have yet to move their offer.

Nola Macken says it’s unfortunate that ANZ National have not listened to staff yet, unlike her husband’s employer. “Both taking part in negotiations has definitely introduced an element of competition in our house. All’s fair in love and war!” she says. “But we are in agreement that ANZ National should follow Sovereign’s lead and come up with a fairer offer.”

We’ll always have bargaining

Paid union meetings for ANZ National staff to vote on the bank’s 4% offer continue next week, as do meetings for Westpac staff to vote on their 5% deal.

Sovereign Members Win 4%

Members at Sovereign Assurance have continued a pattern of Finsec members winning percentage pay increases well above inflation.

At ratification meetings in Auckland and Wellington last week Finsec members voted to accept a deal that will give all union members a pay increase of 4% over one year. This is comfortably above the current inflation rate of 2.5% and ahead of the average private sector increase of 3.1%.

Sovereign delegate Carl Macken says “4% is a pretty good result on pay, and I put this down to the fact that we have maintained union membership and a Collective Agreement. However we didn’t make the progress we wanted to on winning additional annual leave for long servers. At our ratification meetings we agreed that we must grow our Finsec membership to be in a strong position to win on this issue next year”.

Sovereign delegates will be working on a plan to grow membership over the coming months.

Sovereign: keeping it simple

Finsec members at Sovereign Assurance are gearing up for negotiations later this week, and they have decided to keep things simple.

“We could go in with a list of twenty different things to negotiate on, but we think it makes more sense to stick to a small number of issues that are really important to people”, says Carl Macken, the Finsec delegate at Sovereign in Auckland.

Members have decided to focus on winning a fair percentage pay increase, gaining additional annual leave for staff with six years service or more, and domestic leave that is separate from sick leave.

“In particular, the annual leave issue has interested a lot of people. Before we started talking about it not many people knew that nearly all of the other big Insurers with Collectives have moved to recognise their long serving staff with additional annual leave. It will be great if we can convince Sovereign to catch up”.

“We are trying to grow our membership to show support for this issue in the leadup to negotiations. Members have been active handing out information and asking non-members to join”, says Carl.

Negotiations commence on Friday 1 June.

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