Archive for the 'CEA Coverage' Category

Westpac team wins collective agreement coverage – and 5% pay rise!

The Westpac CEE team (Customer Experience Evaluation) from Westpac Phone Assist have great news about what can be achieved with persistence when we work together through Finsec. This team had missed out on the Westpac 5% pay increase and was told by the bank that they were not covered by the collective agreement.

However, Finsec delegate Suzanne Hamilton asked the bank to “please explain” and Finsec came to the conclusion that the wording of the collective did not exclude her and her colleagues. Westpac has come back to say that members in this team will be given the option to join the collective and the pay rise backdated to 1 August.
Suzanne said that the achievement was a team effort, including local Finsec Union Councillor Kathryn McIlwraith and local organiser Diane Riley as well as Finsec members in the CEE team. Suzanne says that while they were grateful for Westpac that this wouldn’t have happened without the union.
“This is a great result for us and we now have the choice to join the collective for the first time. We can now receive the same pay rise as others in the call centre – and we think of this as fairness in our workplace.”

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AXA settles for 4%, profits rise by 22 percent

Collective employment agreement negotiations between Finsec and AXA concluded this week with a 4% salary increase. 

In the same week AXA, a fund manager and insurance group, also announced that it had increased its operating profit by 22 percent to $59.1 million last year and aims to double the business in five years. 

“While workers were happy to achieve a 4% wage increase it is important to remember that investing in New Zealand through workers wages is the least Australian owned business can do,” said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

AMI members seeking more medical insurance and 5% pay rise

New GlassesFinsec members at AMI are meeting next week to discuss their and AMI’s claims for employment negotiations.

At meetings earlier in the year Finsec members identified four key issues that they wanted resolved at this year’s negotiations; staffing and workloads, pay, medical insurance and eye wear.

Finsec members will be seeking a 5% pay rise for a one year term, an increase the company medical scheme subsidy to $500 per annum effective after two years, and that AMI meets the costs of prescription eye-wear.

Finsec members have also raised for discussion with AMI issues around workloads and staffing. Workloads have increased with a number of staff working unpaid overtime to accommodate the business requirements, and also an inability to take annual leave. They would like to know what steps AMI have put in place to address the increase in annual leave as well as the growth in business (i.e. employing extra staff, relief staff to cover to all leave absences, etc).

Meanwhile AMI has now given its claims to Finsec. These include a salary offer of 4% for 2007 and 3.75% for 2008 subject to agreement to a two year term. It will also be seeking to remove 6 job roles from collective coverage: Call Centre Team Leader, Call Centre Team Leader Support, Accounting Services Officer, Information Support Help Desk, Computer Operations and Administration, Call Centre Training and Development Officer.

Negotiations are scheduled for 1-2 May.

(thanks to vapours for the photo)

Finance and insurance wages and salaries climb 4.1%

Wage increaseThe Department of Labour has recently released its latest wage growth data, which shows that wages and salaries in the Finance and Insurance sector grew by 0.8% for the last quarter and 4.1% for the last year. By comparison wages for all workers grew slightly faster for the last quarter (1%) but only grew 3.2% for the year.

Finance and Insurance is one of the few areas in the private sector that is keeping pace with public sector wage and salary increases. Public sector wage and salaries increase 3.9% last year compared with 3.0% in the private sector. One of the big differences between the two sectors appears to be union membership. 69% of public sector employees bargain collectively through their union. Only 9% of private sector employees bargain their employment agreements collectively. Finance and insurance workers are lucky to have a stronger union presence in their sector than most of the private sector, due to the work of Finsec members.

Council of Trade Unions President, Ross Wilson, says “Workers who get organised in unions and bargain collectively are seeing the benefits. The CTU is calling on all New Zealand workers to get involved in union collective bargaining and get the fair wage increases they are entitled to.”

“If we are to address New Zealand’s low wages problem we need wages to rise on a regular basis and at a decent level, and the best way for workers to achieve that is through joining a union,” Ross Wilson said.

(Thnaks to sirwiseowl for the photo)

Staying under coverage

Staying under coverageA number of Finsec members at ANZ National have reported that they have been given individual agreements to sign.  Union members in a roles that are covered by the collective agreement should not sign these contracts. Some union members’ roles were taken out of the coverage of the collective agreement at the recent negotiations.  However the bank agreed at bargaining that existing members in these roles will have their collective coverage protected.  If anyone is in this category the bank will write to you offering to move you onto a managerial individual agreement but you are within your rights to decline this offer.

Workers on individual agreements have no collective power to negotiate better terms and conditions and must bargain on their own. It is important to maintain a strong collective employment agreement that covers lots of staff, so that we can continue to work together to achieve the best possible pay and working conditions.

(thanks to Cool Librarian for the photo)

USA strips 8 million Americans of union rights

Management8 million Americans have just had their right to form and join unions removed by a politically appointed National Labor Relations Board. Essentially the board decided that to employers to reclassify up to 8 million workers as ‘supervisors’, thus prohibiting them from joining or forming unions.

Now, we all know that the States is odd country at the best of times, but this isn’t one of those stories we can file in the “Only in America” drawer. The common equivalent in New Zealand is employers excluding people who are in management positions and other positions of technical expertise or responsibility from collective agreement coverage. Without the right to be covered by the collective agreement many of these people are effectively excluded from the union. And the other union members suffer too as their collective strength is diluted. Then it’s simply a matter of the employer slowly expanding his or her definition of management positions until, eventually, people like the chef at ANZ National are excluded from coverage.

The broader issue, as David Goldstein points out, is that the right to join and participate in unions is crucial to everybody’s wellbeing:

“The labor movement is directly responsible for winning American workers the rights and standards we all enjoy today… you know, little things like a living wage (well, some of us,) workplace safety, the 40-hour work week, um… the weekend.”

(thanks to base10 for the photo)

111 Jobs to be excluded from coverage at ANZ National?

ANZ Queen and Victoria St ANZ National Bank has just released a final list of 111 roles that it proposes to exclude from either the current collective employment agreement coverage clause and/or Finsec’s proposed coverage clause. Over half of these jobs are currently covered by the collective. The bank has confirmed earlier that it wants to exclude National Bank Personal Managers and ANZ Mobile Mortgage Managers, who are not on this list of jobs. Read why coverage is important to everybody, not just those who directly affected.


You can contact us at:

0800 FINSEC (0800 346 732)
union@finsec.org.nz
www.finsec.org.nz


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