||Issue No. 209||20 February 2004|
Regions To Be Cheerful
Interview: Trading in Principle
Unions: While We Were Away
Politics: Follow the Leader
Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
History: Worker Control Harco Style
Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
A Casual Affair
Latham Is A Bad Man
Mum Canít Bank on Westpac
The Bank, boasting a 2003 profit of $2.1 billion, told branch manager, Linda Vandine, her jobshare position would not be available on her return from maternity leave.
"It was really charming," Vandine told Workers Online. "We don't know what we are going to do, do we? They told me they would negotiate something when I get back in August, in the meantime we are in limbo.'
"It was a huge shock. If I wasn't having a baby I would still have my job. I really feel victimised and hurt."
On February 3, the Finance Sector Union took Vandine's case before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. The IRC told the parties to talk through the issues and report back in March. To this point, Westpac hasn't settled a date to progress negotiations.
FSU national industrial officer, Andrea Mears, however, said she remained hopeful of a satisfactory outcome.
"Linda wants to go back to the position she earned through 15 years of loyal service. Isn't that what maternity leave provisions are supposed to be all about?" she asked.
"Our initial discussions were reasonably positive. We are still hopeful we can resolve this to everybody's satisfaction."
Vandine's jobshare partner has, meanwhile, been moved to a different position within the organisation.
Vandine said it was the uncertainly her family was finding difficulty. Previous experience suggested she might be moved to a relieving position but that the sheer size of the Westpac region she was employed in could lead to practical difficulties. It includes branches at Hornsby, Epping, St Ives and Turramurra.
The Guildford-based mother of three said managers were expected to be first into the office and last to leave.
She said the matter should have been sorted before she went on maternity leave, rather than the bank raising its problems a week after she gave birth
"I understand they (Westpac) run a business and I am prepared to negotiate just about anything that doesn't disadvantage my children," she said. "It's just not knowing that is making it really difficult for us at the moment."
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