Posts Tagged ‘Note Printing Australia’

  • Banknote printers claim they have been bludgeoned back to work

    Note Printing Australia at Craigieburn, Victoria.

    Workers at the Reserve Bank’s banknote printing business Note Printing Australia (NPA) have ended their industrial action and voted to accept a 2.5% pay increase after the company threatened an indefinite lockout, according to the AMWU.

    “We came to a resolution at a mass meeting last night to accept the deal, so all the bans are now off and the workers have returned to normal duties,” says AMWU print organiser Mick Bull. “It was not a unanimous vote but it was comprehensive, with about 80% of workers in favour.

    “It’s a disappointing result but we’ve been bludgeoned into accepting it after the company threatened an indefinite lockout of workers. The workers are not happy, they’re pissed off, but the company wouldn’t budge and threatened to lock out everyone indefinitely.”

    In a statement, the AMWU’s head office described the agreement as a win for workers.

    Union members at Note Printing Australia (NPA) are celebrating after voting up an enterprise agreement that delivers significant wins in their wages and conditions. After almost 3 months of protected action, NPA improved their offer to the workers to include: 5 days of standalone domestic and family violence leave; casual conversion changes including instantaneous conversion to permanent work for some long-term casual workers; improved consultation on contractors; and a 2.5% wage rise per year for the 3 year agreement.

    AMWU Assistant State Secretary for Print Tony Piccolo hailed the workers for taking a stand for a better deal and leading the way for other workers around the country to fight for improved pay rises, secure jobs, and standalone paid family and domestic violence leave.

    “It was pretty galling for the workers to hear the RBA Governor call for 3.5% pay rises in one breath and then refuse that same pay rise to their own subsidiary’s workers in the next,” he said. “Just yesterday we heard again that Australian wages are basically going backwards – not keeping up with CPI and cost of living. But in the end it wasn’t just about the pay rise. The workers were willing to accept 2.5% as long as they received the upfront domestic and family violence leave clause in their agreement and secure jobs for casual workers.

    “It really shouldn’t come to this, for workers to have to strike and sacrifice a few days pay to win a fair wage rise in their agreement, when everyone agrees that Australians need a pay rise. It’s another clear-cut example of why we need to change the rules,” said Piccolo.

    Note Printing Australia locked out half its work force last Friday in retaliation for ongoing industrial action by the AMWU, provoking the remaining workers to go on a one-day strike in support. The workers returned to the Craigieburn plant on Monday but had maintained work bans on overtime and software implementation in support of a pay rise of 3.5% – compared to the NPA’s offer of 2.5%.

    “The deal we’ve agreed on is for a 2.5% wage increase that will be underpinned by wage indexation, so if that’s higher then we go to the higher rate,” said Bull. “At the moment, it stands at 2.1% and if it goes over 2.5% in years two and three then we will get the higher amount. We’ve also agreed on five days upfront domestic violence leave per annum and we’ve received a commitment to discuss the issue of long-term casuals, some of whom have been in the job seven or eight years.”

    The AMWU negotiated a separate agreement with RBA white collar workers, mostly based in Sydney. They will receive a 2% pay rise which could increase up to 5% with bonuses.

    Note Printing Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

  • Printers locked out at high-tech Reserve Bank print plant

    Note Printing Australia locked out half its work force this morning in retaliation for ongoing industrial action by the AMWU, provoking the remaining workers to go on a one-day strike in support.

    The workers will return on Monday maintaining their ongoing work bans on overtime and software implementation. They’re demanding a pay rise from the NPA, whose board of directors is made up of Reserve Bank members. The prolonged negotiations are snagged on a difference of one per cent with the union demanding 3.5 per cent to the NPA’s offer of 2.5 per cent.

    According to Mick Bull, AMWU organiser, this morning’s picket was the result of the company’s actions. “We’re open to negotiations with the board but they won’t meet us. They only send their HR people who don’t have any authority to negotiate,” he said.

    A petition signed by the entire workforce demanding a meeting with the Board was presented to the company. The enterprise bargain at the Craigieburn plant covers three unions, with the majority, 120 workers, belonging to the AMWU. One hour industrial stoppages are planned to continue with the threat of further escalation next week. A mass meeting of workers voted to continue the bans.

    Bull points out what he terms the hypocrisy of Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, who’s on record as encouraging workers to demand largest pay rises. He is reported to have told politicians that average annual wage increases need to be about 3.5 per cent to achieve average inflation of 2.5 per cent, the middle of the bank’s target.

    NPA was contacted but didn’t get back with any comment or explanation before deadline.

    The industrial strife comes as NPA is congratulating itself on completing the ‘next generation banknote’ series (NGB) with Malcolm McDowell, CEO, claiming the production and issue of the complex banknotes highlights the company’s ability to industrialise innovative new security technologies, and high-end security printing. NPA took part in the international SUSI Optics Specimen Note project along with suppliers LenSys, KBA NotaSys, SICPA and KURZ. In addition to printing Australian banknotes and currency for such countries as Singapore and Chile, NPA also produces Australia’s passports.

  • ‘Some movement’ in banknote action: AMWU

    Note Printing Australia at Craigieburn, Victoria.

    Note Printing Australia (NPA) has given ground in its standoff with workers engaged in industrial action, increasing its pay offer and signalling a willingness to resolve a classification review.

    Tony Piccolo.

    According to Tony Piccolo, assistant secretary for print at AMWU Victoria, bans on overtime, material handling, and the use of some software applications have cut productivity at NPA’s Craigieburn plant by 20 percent, and management has shown ‘some movement’ towards resolving the situation that led workers to launch industrial action on May 25. “The company upped the wage offer to 2.5 percent in a meeting yesterday, and we’re confident we can get some resolution over the updates to classification structure, which just leaves the negotiations over the pay increase, domestic violence leave, and casual conversion for labour hire,” he said.

    Though the unions are preparing to apply for further protected action if necessary, Piccolo is optimistic that an agreement between workers and management is not far off. “Yesterday’s meeting was positive and we’re hoping that the movement from the company will get us to where we need to be. I’m confident both parties want a resolution sooner rather than later,” he said.

    Note Printing Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank, whose governor Phillip Lowe called for a 3.5 percent increase in wages across the country in February. Piccolo has challenged NPA management, and the RBA, to lead by example. “The members just want a fair agreement that delivers the wage rises the RBA itself is calling for,” he said.

    NPA has produced Australian banknotes for more than 100 years, evolving from T.S. Harrison’s original print works that produced Australia’s first circulating banknote series in 1913. The RBA declined to comment.

  • Cash flow down 20% at Note Printing

    Note Printing Australia at Craigieburn, VIC.

    Workers at money printing facility Note Printing Australia (NPA) – a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) – are stepping up industrial action that has cut the production of Australian banknotes by 20 percent, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU).

    In May, about 97 percent of AMWU and Electrical Trades Union (ETU) workers at the Craigieburn plant in Victoria voted in favour of work stoppages and overtime bans to support their claims for a four percent wage rise, a casual conversion clause for labour hire and domestic violence leave.

    “There has still been no movement from the company at this stage so we’re imposing further bans on the use of some software applications and mobile work phones,” says AMWU Victoria print assistant secretary Tony Piccolo. “The company has told workers that production is already down 20 percent. These new measures will restrict production further.”

    Piccolo noted RBA Governor Philip Lowe’s recent speech at an Australian Industry Group event in which he raised concerns about businesses cutting costs through wages. 

    “It’s hypocritical of the RBA to deny their own workers fair pay rises while calling for pay rises to boost the economy,” Piccolo says.

    Bans on a number of software applications are due to begin next week. The unions have called on the NPA and the RBA to meet with workers as soon as possible.

    NPA, Craigieburn, VIC.

    NPA has produced Australian banknotes for more than 100 years, evolving from T.S. Harrison’s original print works that produced Australia’s first circulating banknote series in 1913.