Saturday, December 24, 2005


Westpac strikes: NZ Herald The issues Fair pay As at 14 November 2005, Westpac have offered staff 3.75% for the first year of a two year contract and 3.75% or CPI for the second, whichever is the greater. Performance pay The structure of the pay system for staff (in particular, with regards to the performance component) is in dispute. Both parties are wanting to make changes. The comments Once again, staff (with expectations bouyed by progress in their industry) and employer have failed to come to an agreement. Depending on whose side you take, it is the workers being cantakerous and greedy, or the bank being cantakerous and greedy. Given however that Westpac is the last major bank to be negotiating its CEA (Collective Employment Agreement), you'd have to agree that it hasn't played its cards well if it wanted to avoid bad PR and a strike on one of the busiest banking days of the year. The best idea would have been to better the worst offer in the industry yet fall short of the best, being a 'common-sense and reasonable' offer (which of course every offer is). With a whole year of '5% for 05' going round the place, you should anticipate that staff will have an idea of what they want when their turn comes round. The emphasis on sales is not going to go away. Staff in the banking industry are under significant target pressure (as are many people in many industries) however the continual drive to not only maintain profitability but grow it at a better rate than last year will see one of two things happen: - the destruction of the image of a banking professional - being replaced by that of a salesperson and the subsequent damage to the banking industry and its wider image - the exclusion of target-based bonuses from salary structures, brought about by direct action throughout the banking industry If my memory serves me correctly, nearly every time that Westpac has gone on strike they have managed to get a senior HR manager fired. I wonder how long Henry Ford will last, especially after his effort today: 'Westpac this afternoon said today's strike by Finsec union members had not profoundly affected service, with 174 of 200 branches kept open and running. Yeah, but 26 shut. How long were the queues in the other branches? "Nearly 90 per cent of our branches in New Zealand were kept open. "We worked hard to minimise any inconvenience to our customers," said Westpac's head of consumer banking, Henry Ford. I want to thank our customers for their patience, understanding and messages of support at this difficult time. Messages of support? "Oh, dear Westpac, please don't be downhearted with all this nasty strike business happening, please keep on trucking, I love it when you screw me senseless with bank fees, you're my number one..." "Through redeployment of staff, proactive communication with our customers in the days leading up to the strike, and other measures, our customers have been well served on what is traditionally one of the busiest days of the banking year." You mean your managers know how to balance a cash drawer? They know how to load a PIN number onto an Eftpos card? Hey, now that they're multi-skilled, perhaps you should pay them the lowest rate instead of the highest rate, because they can do more than one task and are therefore 'valued employees'... Mr Ford also noted that a wide range of services and back office functions were unaffected by the strike, including ATM facilities, telephone and online banking.' Yes well next time we'll get the computers out on strike with us. Then you'll be fucked. We didn't exactly plan for the Eftpos outage but I bet you were sweating. I wonder what Pink Panda thinks of it all?


Anonymous Abdul el Razir said...

in the end it all relates to big business and the right wing think tanks

8:43 PM  

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