Archive for the 'Finsec' Category

Finsec becomes FIRST Union

This is the last ‘Finsec’ Gossip – the Gossip will still come out each week, but it will be for the finance sector in FIRST Union, with the amalgamation of Finsec and the National Distribution Union officially occurring from 1 October.

Finsec President Kelvin Pycroft said the merger was exciting for Finsec members, and that regional conferences taking place in the first couple of weeks of this month would provide a good opportunity for some Finsec activists to meet and work with their new union colleagues.

“As members, the changes you will notice will be subtle – new logo, a new website, some new faces to work with,” said Kelvin Pycroft. “The most important thing to remember is that you’re still a union member and entitled to the representation and support that brings.”

“And, as FIRST Union members, you are now part of the second largest private sector in New Zealand. Even more reason for us to have a strong and active presence in the finance industry.”


Campaign for better shifts get results

An ongoing campaign for fixed shifts at the ANZ Australian Call Centre in Wellington delivered results at mediation last week.

Finsec members agreed to put our legal case to the Employment Relations Authority on hold following the mediation. The understanding  is that the centre will move to fixed days of week with a small variability in start and finish times, that everyone would get input into the new roster system, and that there would be a fair process developed so staff could move to their preferred shift. This process is to be complete by March 2012.

The success shows the value of a campaign with various strands that members have supported over the last year. The issue has been raised at bargaining, been pursued through a working party with the bank, and through legal avenues. Most importantly, members have participated in collective activities, recruited their colleagues and kept the pressure up! Well done to all involved!

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.

Bargaining with BNZ adjourned

Bargaining with BNZ was adjourned last week, as the Finsec team wanted to go back to members to seek feedback. The outcomes of bargaining so far fall short of the mandate set by members.

Union Councillor Tania Cooper said the offer fell short on two areas: the pay, and the bank still pushing to reduce current terms and conditions of staff. “With regards to pay the BNZ is currently not even willing to meet CPI – let alone keeping up with what some other banks are offering.”

Tania said there had been movement on some of the bank’s series of claims, but that the balance was still in favour of the bank’s operations and shareholders, and against staff. “If this is the bank for New Zealand, that includes staff. Staff want the bank to show some flexibility to meeting our needs not just their own.”

Some non-members at the bank didn’t sign up to Finsec in the lead up to bargaining because they didn’t believe BNZ would seriously pursue these changes. Last week’s negotiations show they are serious. Those who oppose the bank’s proposed changes need to join to support the Finsec campaign. Finsec members were able to stop reductions in their terms and conditions in 2009 and can do it again.

Finsec members at BNZ will be holding meetings over the next few weeks to discuss bargaining and our next steps.

FIRST Union on the way

Since Finsec members voted to amalgamate with the NDU to form FIRST Union, work has been going on apace to make the new union come to life!

1 October is the date we’re working towards for the new union, and staff and members from both unions have been busy making decisions on everything from renovations of shared offices, to logos and letterheads, phones, websites – you name it, we’re working on it!

As Finsec members, what you’ll notice will mainly be cosmetic changes at first – the staff you work with will still be the same, and of course your union fees will be frozen (ie they won’t go up) for the next three years.

Finsec President Kelvin Pycroft said he was really looking forward to the amalgamation and that it would give Finsec members a good sense of security being part of a bigger union, but also retaining a dedicated finance sector. “When we’re in FIRST Union, we will be able to engage with a broader membership base, particularly in our local areas.”

Financial Summit must lead to action, not more talk

Finsec General Secretary Andrew Casidy said the Government Financial Summit, which he attended this week, must lead to action on loan sharks and not just more talk.

“Finsec members have seen the negative impact of people getting into debt they can’t afford to repay, even in the big banks and credit unions. The wild west of unregistered, unregulated loans sharks charging interest rates of several hundred percent is preying on the poorest and most vulnerable New Zealanders.”

Casidy said that legislation is urgently needed to ensure all lending is responsible. “While there was positive discussion at the Summit, it needs to be followed up with practical solutions for people being victimised by loan sharks. And we also need legislation requiring responsible lending right across the finance industry.”

National Bank demise closer than ever with big job changes signaled?

ANZ retail staff were informed this week that their jobs are to be restructured, in order that they be more closely aligned with National Bank jobs.

In response to Finsec’s media comment, the bank stated publicly that redundancies wouldn’t be a feature of the change, a commitment they refused to make as part of the review the staff collective agreement.

Andrew Casidy said that the bank had tried many times to minimise the changes as a simple re-branding exercise. “We are very concerned that the move will have much more of an impact than just different signs and letterhead. ANZ National are an extremely profitable company, and they will have a hard time convincing New Zealanders that there is any case to cut jobs or service to customers.”

Finsec members will be engaged in a collective response to the proposed restructuring over the coming weeks, and are also currently holding report back meetings on the outcomes of the CEA review.

BNZ’s plan to remove staff rights

The BNZ have put forward a series of claims for bargaining that Finsec representatives say would seriously diminish the work rights of every staff member at the bank. Finsec Union Council Chair Callum Francis described the claims as aggressive, and that they seriously tilt the playing field in favour of management.

The bank’s claims include:
No restrictions on opening hours
No minimum shift span in the contact centre
Requiring staff to provide a medical certificate on the first day
of sickness
Make it harder for members to access your union
The power to alter your start/finish times by two hours without your agreement on a temporary basis
The power to send you to another workplace at any time without your agreement

Callum said that the bank can already do many of the things contained in their claims, but that they are currently required to consult with affected staff. “BNZ’s claims turn a conversation about your hours and place of work into a demand. They show no consideration for work-life balance, despite their previous position that this is a priority.”

Callum says it is essential that Finsec members at every BNZ store hold pre-negotiations meetings, which run over the next two weeks, to formulate a plan to ensure that staff retain the right to say no to unreasonable demands.  Back office and call centre meetings will be run by Finsec organisers.

Be there for CTU election forums

Finsec delegates are invited to attend CTU election forums taking place 23 August-1 Sep. CTU President Helen Kelly will be there, as well as senior politicians from Labour and the Greens, to discuss issues of importance to working people in the election and MMP referendum.

If you want to attend, email and we’ll send you a registration form. Forums start at 5.15pm and run till 8pm. Dates are as follows:

Hamilton Tue 23 Aug                 Auckland Thu 25 Aug

Palmerston Nth Tues 30 Aug     Wellington Wed 31 Aug

Dunedin Thu 1 Sep

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.

You can contact us at:

0800 FINSEC (0800 346 732)

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