23 Aug 2017by msup msup
Steve – From printer to super board director
Steve, member since 1989
Steve Walsh has been heavily involved in the printing industry all his life, and has passionately advocated for workers to have access to a dignified retirement since the beginning – so much so he was on the Board of Print Super from 1995 to 2009 when he resigned to take up a position overseas with the international print union.
A compositor by trade, Steve started his apprenticeship in 1969. In 1979 he was elected as an Organiser for the PKIU and became the Tasmanian Branch Secretary in 1984, a position he held until his election as National Secretary of the AMWU Print Division in 2000. ‘I’ve seen a lot of industrial changes, and changes to the industry over the years,’ says Steve.
Back in the 80s, Steve was one of the many who campaigned for universal super to be available to every working Australian.
‘I strongly believed in universal super because it wasn’t always available to everyone,’ says Steve, ‘it was only available to the favoured few – managers and those in charge.’
‘Historically super was a way of making you stay at your job – if you left your employer, you would lose your super’ says Steve.
Steve recalls that at the time they were trying to push for compulsory super for all, with the ability for employees to take their super from job to job, it was still viewed by some with suspicion.
In 1983 the trade unions agreed to forego a national three per cent pay rise, which would instead be paid into super. From there the campaigning continued, and eventually in 1992, super became compulsory for all employed Australians.
Having been part of the merger between Print Super and JUST, Steve has remained a loyal member of Media Super.
‘I’ve had a long involvement with the fund, it’s been the only super fund I have belonged to,’ says Steve. ‘It’s well managed and I’m reaping the rewards of good investment – it serves me well.’
Steve continues to advocate for super and the rights of workers today as a director on the board of Tasplan Super in Tasmania.