Archive for the 'New Zealand Unions' Category

Finsec becomes FIRST Union

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.”


FIRST Union on the way

Since Finsec members voted to amalgamate with the NDU to form FIRST Union, work has been going on apace to make the new union come to life!

1 October is the date we’re working towards for the new union, and staff and members from both unions have been busy making decisions on everything from renovations of shared offices, to logos and letterheads, phones, websites – you name it, we’re working on it!

As Finsec members, what you’ll notice will mainly be cosmetic changes at first – the staff you work with will still be the same, and of course your union fees will be frozen (ie they won’t go up) for the next three years.

Finsec President Kelvin Pycroft said he was really looking forward to the amalgamation and that it would give Finsec members a good sense of security being part of a bigger union, but also retaining a dedicated finance sector. “When we’re in FIRST Union, we will be able to engage with a broader membership base, particularly in our local areas.”

Rising costs hitting low and middle income earners hardest

Council of Trade Unions economist Dr Bill Rosenberg says that inflation doesn’t really show the full price rises faced by low income households, and that lower income people are hardest hit by increased costs.
Rosenberg explains that they are hit differently because a bigger proportion of low income’s people’s spending goes on necessities than it does for high income people.
The 30 percent of households with the lowest income spend 15.1 percent of their expenditure on fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, and grocery food. The top 30 percent in terms of income spend only 10.9 percent of their spending on these items. When it comes to housing, low income people spend 30.7 percent of their expenditure, while high income people spend only 23.6 percent on housing.
Worth thinking about, if people claim that the tax cuts compensated for inflation and GST rises – maybe not, for those on a low or middle income!

Be there for CTU election forums

Finsec delegates are invited to attend CTU election forums taking place 23 August-1 Sep. CTU President Helen Kelly will be there, as well as senior politicians from Labour and the Greens, to discuss issues of importance to working people in the election and MMP referendum.

If you want to attend, email and we’ll send you a registration form. Forums start at 5.15pm and run till 8pm. Dates are as follows:

Hamilton Tue 23 Aug                 Auckland Thu 25 Aug

Palmerston Nth Tues 30 Aug     Wellington Wed 31 Aug

Dunedin Thu 1 Sep

Qualification for union delegates

The Council of Trade Unions’ highly successful workers education programme for the New Zealand Certificate in Employment Relations (Union Representation) is ready for a new intake of students in July/August. Maybe you might want to enrol….

The Certificate is a distance learning programme in partnership with Weltec, and enrolment is free. You can do assignments on paper or online.

This is a Level 2 NZQA certificate, and takes about an hour a week. If your interested, please contact Don Farr at the CTU by email

Calls for employers’ chief to resign after stupid comments

CTU President Helen Kelly says Alasdair Thompson, the CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, should resign following comments he made that women are paid less than men because of monthly “sick days”.

Thompson said in a radio interview this week that the 12% gender pay gap was “Because once a month they have sick problems.  Not all women, but some do, they have children they have to take time off to go home and take leave.”

Helen Kelly told NZPA Thompson should stand down immediately. “It will be insulting for every woman worker in this country today that is at work, earning less than men, rushing home to look after kids, dealing with all the household issues. And to hear him suggest there is a physical reason for the difference in pay is just outrageous.”

Kelly and Thompson had been discussing a new bill from Green MP Catherine Delahunty to modernise the Equal Pay Act, and make sure that workers and unions could request information on pay levels by gender in their workplaces to make sure women were being paid fairly.

Should Finsec merge with another union?

Finsec members all over the country have been attending meetings to discuss the future of our union, and a proposal to amalgamate with another union.

Linda Brown, a Finsec member from BNZ Gisborne, has already attended her meeting and says that attendance is essential for casting an informed vote on the merger. “If I talked about the meeting with someone who couldn’t make it, and said we’re voting on merging with another union, they would probably come back to me the next day and say, what union again?”

Linda said the presentation was very clear and set out all the facts. It also reassured her about the role Finsec would have in a new union if members opt to amalgamate. “It was good to find out that Finsec people would still be there and we would operate as a sector within the bigger union.

Have you registered yet to attend our paid union meetings?

The countdown is on till Finsec’s paid meetings for members to determine the future structure of our union.

All worksites should have received a pack for the meetings, and be getting registrations in so all members can attend. If you haven’t received your pack, please call 0800 FINEC or email

Or, you can access the meeting materials at the link below:

We’ll see you there for these important discussions!

Paid union meetings start in May

Paid stopwork meetings for all Finsec members start in May, and the first in a series of communications about the meetings will be sent to all members next week.

At Better Banks meetings last year members agreed that we needed to amalgamate with another union and asked us to investigate our options. We now have the results of that investigation. The upcoming meetings will provide all the information on a vote for all members on whether to amalgamate and form a new union.

Finsec President Kelvin Pycroft said that there were important questions for all Finsec members to consider to ensure that workers in the finance and insurance industries continue to have a union.

“We need to make decisions that ensure that we not only hold on to the conditions we’ve won with Finsec, but to make them better in the future.”

All worksites have been sent information about the meetings and need to get registrations in for all members. Look out for more information in your mailbox next week.

Young, gifted and UNION

Stand Up, New Zealand’s youth union movement, is holding their biennial conference on 26 and 27 May in Wellington. The theme is organizing and empowering young workers in the 21st century.

The conference will feature a range of excellent guest speakers who will discuss issues facing young workers, encourage discussion and debate on topical issues such as recent employment law changes and youth unemployment, and leave those present with new ways to organise young workers in their communities.

If you’re a Finsec member under 30, think about signing up to attend what will be a fun and inspirational gathering. Email and let us know.

You can contact us at:

0800 FINSEC (0800 346 732)

Creative Commons License
Join Now 0800 FINSEC

RSS LabourStart – act now to help other workers

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Finsec Photos