Standing up for our rights – to sit down

Finsec members at Westpac Paraparaumu have won a basic right in the last few weeks which makes a huge difference to affected workers – the right to a seat at work.

The new branch design didn’t include seats for tellers, which was a major health and safety issue for those staff. Having a seat is even a right under legislation. . Health and safety rep Ellen Mitchell says the problems were numerous. “We were on our feet all day and in constant pain – back pain, knee pain you name it. Even customers would make sympathetic comments about us having to stand all day on the job.”

Complaints were made and the bank was looking into all sorts of complicated solutions – but dragged their feet when it came to providing chairs. A letter on behalf of Finsec members seemed to do the trick however, with the much longed-for chairs arriving with no fanfare.

“We are so happy now,” said Ellen. “This makes a big difference – and our customers are also relieved we don’t have to stand all day.”

Westpac is not the only bank where there’s been an issue with lack of chairs. If this is an issue for you, make sure you contact Finsec.


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