Archive for the 'Westpac' Category

Fantastic Finsec member organisers – coming to a Westpac worksite near you

Finsec member organisers are hitting many Westpac worksites over the next few weeks, to talk to members and non-members about being union and what we aim to achieve in collective bargaining this year.

These member leaders are doing the hard yards travelling around major back offices and key branches talking to Westpac staff about what matters to them. Finsec Union Councillor Craig McKinnon is one of the team of member organisers, and has been out and about talking to non-members this week.

“It’s been great to talk to Westpac staff about issues heading into bargaining. In Christchurch, people are concerned about outsourcing, and whether jobs will stay in the city. They are also struggling to keep up with rising costs after the modest pay increase we got last year.”

“It’s great for staff to realise that the union is in fact themselves – people who understand the culture and the environment we all work in and who share the same concerns.”

The project kicked off in Christchurch this week, and will move on to Auckland next week, followed by Wellington the week after.  If you see a member organiser in your worksite, say hello and have a chat.


What’s up at Westpac

Westpacers – today is the last day to complete our very short survey for the upcoming quarterly forum. Go to and click on the survey button on the home page.

You also have a new Union Councillor – Elvin Ram from Takutai Square in Auckland is your new call centre representative. Thanks to all candidates for putting your names forward, and of course to everyone who took the time to vote.

Westpac shows some movement on Chch targets

Finsec members’ campaign to get Westpac to let up the pressure on targets in Christchurch has finally had some success, with the adjustment of targets in the region. Staff are pleased that they have finally been listened to.

Finsec Campaigns Director Tali Williams said that the moves showed that staff standing together in the face of unfair targets pressure did have an impact. “Under the most difficult circumstances, staff are working together through Finsec for fairness, and having some success.”

“However, changes have come far too late for most staff under immense pressure this year,” said Tali Williams. “They are an improvement, but staff still have significant concerns around sales targets for insurances in particular. Westpac’s ‘business as usual’ approach following the earthquakes is a disappointment to both customers and staff.”

Williams said that staff did not accept that targets should return to normal in September, and that members would be discussing the next steps in their campaign for fairness this week.

$20 billion profit not enough – Aussie banks recommence offshoring programme

Apparently even $20 billion annual profit is not enough, with Australian banks looking to cut costs by moving jobs offshore.  Westpac is sending 100 jobs to India, and ANZ has 150 jobs in its sights, likely to be sent to the Philippines.

Delegates from Finsec’s sister union the FSU met this week and adopted an urgent motion condemning the offshoring and calling on the banks to commit to Australian jobs. National Secretary Leon Carter said “The facts are clear; the more money employees make for our big banks the more harshly they’re treated by their employer. Whether it’s ramped up sales targets or the threat of losing their jobs to cheaper labour overseas, bank executives are consumed with bottom line results with little regard for workers or bank customers.”

Kiwi bank workers need to keep a close eye on these developments. As well as supporting our colleagues over the Tasman, we don’t want to see bad employment practices copied here.

Improvements to Westpac annual leave policy

Finsec members have had good success in securing improvements to Westpac’s annual leave policy requiring that staff take leave in a 2 week block.

While the two-week requirement remains in place, Westpac have responded to members’ concerns with significant improvements to the flexibility of their annual leave policy. Purchased leave and public holidays will be counted as part of the two weeks, and if staff take another absence of 2 weeks (such as parental or long service leave) there will be greater flexibility on the two week block. There will also be greater ability to exempt staff with caring responsibilities.

Finsec still wants to ensure that the 2 week requirement does not disadvantage staff. If you or any other staff member has been required to take their leave in a block against their wishes, please let us know. Call 0800 FINSEC or email

Offshoring not the answer

Westpac Australia CEO Gail Kelly has said that the bank will again look at offshoring Australian jobs, because unemployment is low, skills are at a premium and that it will “improve service”.

Finance Sector Union Secretary Leon Carter says that these reasons hid the real truth, which is “all about cutting costs to increase already massive profits at the expense of Australian workers and customers.”

“The people who actually do the work in the banks, serving customers, know the truth.  They know that offshoring functions and jobs actually makes customer service worse. They are the ones that have to deal with the endless delays and errors that come back from outsourced, offshore processing areas.”

Targets pressure for Westpac Christchurch staff

Westpac staff in Christchurch will be meeting on Monday to discuss major pressure being placed on staff to meet targets despite the devastating earthquakes.

Finsec believes a survey of members in the region and an increase in the union helping members through performance management processes around targets show that the bank is operating as “business as usual” despite the impact of the quakes.

Hundreds of Finsec members at Westpac have already signed a petition supporting their Christchurch colleagues.

“Many members in Christchurch are finding life hard enough coping with the aftermath of the quake,” said Finsec General Secretary Andrew Casidy. “The unrealistic expectation that staff will meet target is adding insult to injury.”

Andrew Casidy has written to the bank twice about the issue and met with senior management, but says the bank has been unresponsive to the very real concerns members have raised and the urgency of the issue. “The meeting in Christchurch on Monday will be our opportunity to plan how to make the bank listen to its staff and lighten up on target expectations in Christchurch.”

Fresh forum facts for Finsec friends

The outcomes of the Westpac Quarterly and Targets Forum will be released to members shortly.

The forums discussed some important issues, including the large number of staff being placed on PIPs and ongoing issues with targets and staffing. When it comes the PIPs, their use in the Christchurch region are our number one campaign priority.

Finsec representatives are frustrated with the lack of progress on addressing staffing and targets concerns, given the multiple examples given of the impact on staff and customers.  They are now re-thinking our strategy, to determine how we can involve members more and achieve more success on our recommendations.

ANZ National members – thanks for your participation in our online survey. Your views will be presented at the targets forum next week.

Further forum facts

Our quarterly and targets forums with the big banks means there are regular opportunities to get issues and concerns raised at the highest level. Finsec representatives are aiming to optimize these opportunities with regular updates on progress on issues.

Westpac – thanks for participating in the survey. Your forum takes place next week, and we’ll be reporting back as soon as we can on all the issues you identified.

ANZ National – your targets survey is currently online at . Some of you have had blocks from accessing the links, but you can just click on the tab on the left side of the home page. It’s helpfully called “ANZN survey”. You have until 13 May to complete, but why not do it today and cross it off your to do list.

BNZ – the status of issues following your forum was emailed out last week.

Pay rise today for Finsec members

In our good news file, Finsec members at Westpac will receive a pay rise today. The second half of the pay rise negotiated by Finsec members in bargaining last year takes effect today.  That’s an extra 1.75% on top of the 2.25% for the first eight months. From today, that’s one more good reason to be union at Westpac – because members’ pay rates will be higher than non-members.

No good (or bad news) on the case Finsec members are taking on the bank’s offer to non-members. We’ll let you know news as soon as we know!

You can contact us at:

0800 FINSEC (0800 346 732)

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