The following is a presentation given by Paul Fletcher MP, Member for Bradfield, at the 2013 HR Nicholls Society Annual Conference:
Superannuation’s Role in Advancing the Power and
Economic Influence of the Union Movement”
Speech to HR Nicholls Society
It is a great pleasure to be here today to speak to this important conference of the HR Nicholls Society.
I want to speak today about the role of superannuation in advancing the power and economic influence of the union movement.
In the early nineties, when ACTU secretary Bill Kelty was agitating for the Hawke Keating government to legislate 6 per cent superannuation, and to double it again by the end of the decade, many were asking what he was doing about declining union membership.
Since that time the share of the workforce who are union members has continued to fall: it now stands at a mere 18 per cent, and only 13 per cent amongst private sector employees.
Yet through the sharp growth in the size and economic importance of two kinds of union-linked superannuation funds – industry funds and public sector funds – the union movement has gained a new source of power and influence.
Thanks to decisions of the Hawke Keating Government – reinforced by more recent policies of the Rudd Gillard Rudd Government – the structure and governance of today’s superannuation system suits the interests of the union movement, and union officials, very nicely indeed. Read more