Real gains in Super
- Created on Thursday, 21 February 2013 10:44
2013 begins where 2012 left off with a 2.6% gain in January.
Share market momentum continues to drive super fund performance, with a further 2.6% being added to the median super balanced investment option in January. This comes on the back of a cracking 2012 calendar year where the median balanced option grew by 11.7%, with gains in every month except May.
Since the bottom of the market cycle, which was reached in February 2009, funds have now rebounded by some 41.4% (see graph on page 2). Over the same period, inflation has only increased by some 9.1%, meaning the average Australian has enjoyed a real gain in the value of their super of over 32%. Further, the collapse of retirees‟ nest eggs has been more than recouped and for those who were able to ride out the volatile markets, their funds would now be showing balances some 6% higher than their pre-GFC peak.
Industrial action at Preston and Keilor cemeteries
- Created on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:33
After over 18 months of negotiations with the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (GMCT), ASU members have been forced to take industrial action to secure a new enterprise agreement.
ASU Assistant Secretary Richard Duffy said union members blame GMCT management for this delay thanks to underhanded tactics throughout negotiations.
“They have cancelled meetings, changed key negotiators and have shown to be incompetent in dealings with them, including losing a copy of the log of claims, having to ask us for another copy early this year.”
While negotiations are almost complete, Duffy said some key matters remain unresolved.
“We are still waiting for a pay rise, taking into account our members haven't had one in over 18 months and also a grief allowance which GMCT pay to other employees within the organisation.”
“Our members will do everything possible to be respectful to people who use the cemeteries during the period of industrial action.”
Periodic bans include no maintenance to graves or gardens, no preparation for burials and exhumations and no pre-sales of mausoleums and other burial services.
“The ball is firmly in the court of GMCT management and we call on them to treat our members like the rest of the GMCT employees with a fair pay rise and grief allowance.”
For more information, contact ASU Assistant Secretary Richard Duffy
Inspector hired, misconduct claims at Wangaratta Council
- Created on Thursday, 09 May 2013 12:17
The Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell has appointed an Inspector of Municipal Administration to oversee the activities and performance of the Wangaratta Rural City Council after claims of misconduct by a councillor have been raised.
The Wangaratta Rural City Council is currently under investigation by the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate after allegations of breaches of the Local Government Act were received.
ASU Branch Secretary Brian Parkinson said that any findings of bullying by a councillor to any of the staff at the council should be dealt with swiftly.
“Councillors are certainly not exempt from OH&S guidelines, and if certain staff are being bullied by councillors then they are within their rights to put a complaint forward.”
“The measures taken by the Minister for Local Government suggest that there are major issues regarding the governance at Wangaratta Rural City Council and they need to be addressed. Bullying in the workplace should not be taken lightly.”
“We will make sure all ASU members are treated fairly throughout this investigation.”
Mr Peter Stephenson has been appointed to the role of Inspector for a period of three months, and he will report directly to the Minister on the conduct of the council, including councillors and officers.
Stalwarts earn ASU life memebrship
- Created on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 10:02
The ASU welcomed two new life membership recipents to the fold recently...
Nominated by Melissa Ferris, Manningham City Council employee Tilak Abeyrama was presented with his life membership in April.
From Sri Lanka - where he graduated in Sociology from the University of Ceylon with a Bachelor Degree (Hons) – Tilak commenced with the City of Doncaster and Templestowe on June 18, 1989, in the position of Research and Evaluation Officer, after having recently arrived from Thailand where he worked as a Research Scientist for the Asian Institute to Technology.
The appointment was initially supposed to be for a period of six months, but Tilak became permanent in December, 1989, and has not looked back since.
More recently, Tilak has held the position of Social Planning & Research Officer, and done a lot of work in the area of Social Research and Policy Development.
“Tilak is much loved at his workplace and has always been aware of the importance of unionism at the workplace. This life membership is certainly well deserved,” said ASU Organiser Martin McDonald.
Bill McMahon – nominated by former work colleague Martine Nicholls – became a life member of the ASU this year after retiring in August, 2012.
Bill worked as a delegate at the Yarra Ranges Council for almost 19 years. Prior to that, Bill was a Municipal Officers Association delegate at the Port of Melbourne Authority for 18 years.
“I joined the Melbourne Harbour Trust in May, 1966, signed on as a member of the Union (MOA) in 1974, took on the role as MHT Sub Branch Secretary in 1975 and acted as a delegate with the Harbour Trust and later with the Port Authority until I left the organisation in 1992,” said Bill.
“I joined the Shire of Lilydale in December, 1992, became an ASU Delegate during amalgamation representing the outdoor staff at Lilydale Works Depot and continued on as a delegate after relocating to the main office, staying in the role until I retired August last year.”
“I was involved in all EBA negotiations, prior to the latest, from the inception of the Shire of Yarra Ranges.”
The ASU thanks Bill for the many years of union membership and his great role as delegate within our union.
Bill McMahon accepts his life membership with fellow Shire of Yarra Ranges members, ASU Lead Organiser Michelle Jackson (black t-shirt) and ASU Organiser Martin McDonald (far right). Photo at top: Tilak Abeyrama flanked by colleagues during his life membership presentation.
Question marks over operations at Bendigo Council
- Created on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 14:38
Union members at Bendigo City Council and the public in the area have joined the ASU’s strong concerns regarding the councillors' approach and attitude to operations, staff, scope and quality of service provision at the council.
ASU Organiser Danny Harris says the union opposes a supposed new review that could affect hundreds of employees across the council and eventually ratepayers across the region, regarding it as a waste of time, resources and money.
“Calls for 10 per cent budget cuts across all council operations demonstrates a concerning lack of understanding of council's work loads on employees, the extent of services and the appropriate resources and support required. Cutting resources will undoubtedly mean a reduction in the quality of work undertaken across the council.”
“Any belief that rates for homeowners can be cut by four per cent is far from reality, and it beggars belief that elected public representatives can purport to serve their community in displaying such ignorance.”
“The ASU calls on councillors to revisit their charter, remind themselves of their roles and acquaint themselves with the exact scope and extent of service delivery that the professional and hard-working staff deliver to ratepayers.
“ASU members have voiced their strong concerns over these matters, and the union and its members will continue to monitor the situation, determined to maintain - and extend if required - adequate staffing levels of appropriately trained staff and supportive resources.”
This enables employees to best serve their community in delivering the highest standard of quality in the wide range of functions enjoyed and expected by ratepayers.
For more information, contact ASU Organiser Danny Harris