It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of AESU's new website and to share this inaugural website message with you today.
Being a member-centric union, we are committed to keep our members abreast of the developments and the newly revamped website serves as a perfect channel to keep you updated "any time anywhere". Thanks to the team led by Bro Alex Lim, who made it happen despite their regular work commitments.
To recall briefly on history for the benefit of our new members, 2010 was my most memorable year with the Executive Committee (Exco) of AESU. In that year, AESU witnessed the "changing of the guards" when long-serving President Edward Lim, General Secretary Regi Wong and Deputy General Secretary Burhanuddin retired one after another within a short period of four months between April and July 2010. It was also in the same year that I took over the leadership of our union as its new General Secretary following the election of AESU's office bearers at our Quadrennial Ordinary General Meeting on 12 November 2010.
When AESU was bracing itself for the above-mentioned leadership changes, the 2007 Collective Agreements (CA) with six of our seven partner companies, except ESA, had expired on 31 March 2010. Negotiations on new CAs and various other issues such as Service Increment (SI), Re-employment, SATS’ Profit Sharing , individual grievances and other industrial relations issues were also taking place concurrently at that time. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of your Exco, we managed to ride through the storm.
Apart from managing industrial relations with our partner companies, I was also actively involved in the process of reorganising AESU to be a more member-centric union. In this respect, I am fortunate to have the undivided support from all our Exco members. They were very enthusiastic and immediately started working on some initiatives. Since then, we had organised an unprecedented number of members' activities that included U-movies, numerous Members’ Nites and several meet-the-members sessions across the seven companies represented by AESU. We even participated in the NTUC U-games 7-a-side soccer since last year. Although our expenditure has shot up to fund these member-centric activities, I am pleased to inform you that our union fund at cost grew by 20% from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2013. The latest membership initiative is, of course, today's launch of a new AESU website to serve our members even better. Through our regular engagement, member-centric activities and, most importantly, with your support, AESU's membership has steadily crossed the 1,000 mark and will soon be exceeding 1,150.
For many of our new members who may not know me or my background, I have been an active unionist since 1976 when I became an aircraft engineer after my traineeship. After my promotion to the AO Grade in 1982, I served with the AESU Engineering Sub-Committee till my election into the Exco and was appointed as its Assistant Treasurer in July 1988. Although I became the Treasurer in 1991 and was concurrently the Deputy General Secretary with more responsibilities since 1 June 2006, I continued my active involvement in all our union’s industrial relations matters and served in various NTUC committees as well as with the 2007/08 National Wages Council (NWC).
Today, as I write this message for our new website, I am pleased to share with our members that the Exco has recently concluded negotiations with six of our seven partner companies for a new CA which will remain in force until March 2016 . In addition, the 2013 Service Increment was agreed with all the seven companies. Having settled such important industrial relations matters, my focus now is on the development of my younger Exco members to take over the leadership roles in AESU so that succession planning and hand-over will be smooth for the union over the next few years when it is time for some key office bearers of the union to enjoy their retirement.
I look forward to your continual support for AESU.
With warmest regards
General Secretary AESU