Archive for the 'Pay' Category

Equal pay petition

Finsec members are participating in an Equal Pay Petition which is being circulated through the Council of Trade Unions.

The Minister of Labour says that there is no need for legislation to modernise the Equal Pay Act 1972, as workers can request Department of Labour inspectors to investigate if they think that men and women are not being paid equally. As there are very few labour inspectors and this mechanism has never been used, unions are trying to test it by getting 100 worksites to request an investigation.

There is a big gap between the average pay for men and women for each hour we work. There is also probably a very big gap in the finance industry – in Australia, where data is available by industry, finance is the industry with the widest pay gap – at 32.2% twice the national average.

Finsec will be asking some of our elected leaders to participate in the campaign and ask for investigations to be conducted in their worksites.


Low wage rises overtaken by inflation

The rise in the Labour Cost Index of 1.9 percent in the year to June shows wages are still falling behind inflation of 5.3 percent says Bill Rosenberg, CTU Economist, and even behind price rises other than the GST increase.

“This will make people more determined to ensure their wages do not fall in value. While there is a welcome increase in the number who have had increases during the year (rising from 56 percent to 58 percent), with a median of 2.9 percent, most have had increases less than inflation, and many people (42 percent) have not had wage increases at all during the year,” said Rosenberg.

“Collective agreements are consistently one of the most important reasons (combined with cost of living and keeping up with market rates) for pay rises. This underlines the importance of collective agreements negotiated by unions in ensuring wages do rise as the economy improves.”

The gender pay gap in the average wage is 13 percent.

Finsec members take on human rights at BNZ

Finsec members have made an important change to the BNZ NPS system, after making a Human Rights complaint about concerns with the system. The NPS (net promoter score) means call centre staff’s pay is partly determined by customer feedback. The bank is now removing ‘detractor scores’ where customers make malicious or racist comments.

Finsec had raised the issue when the scheme was introduced, concerned that customer prejudices could materially affect staff pay, but the bank responded by saying “We would remove NPS scores on a case by case basis only. We have to acknowledge that some Customers prefer to speak with someone without a foreign accent and are entitled to their views.”

After Finsec raised the complaint with the Human Rights Commission some time ago, BNZ eventually agreed to the change.  Finsec communicated the change to members this week, as Finsec and the bank are still having discussions about the system.

Finsec Campaigns Director Tali Williams said that removing detractor scores for racist and malicious comments was important, but it was only a first step in ensuring that pay systems in the bank were fair for all staff. Finsec are considering ways to ensure that the inherent problems within NPS are addressed by the BNZ.

Calls for employers’ chief to resign after stupid comments

CTU President Helen Kelly says Alasdair Thompson, the CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, should resign following comments he made that women are paid less than men because of monthly “sick days”.

Thompson said in a radio interview this week that the 12% gender pay gap was “Because once a month they have sick problems.  Not all women, but some do, they have children they have to take time off to go home and take leave.”

Helen Kelly told NZPA Thompson should stand down immediately. “It will be insulting for every woman worker in this country today that is at work, earning less than men, rushing home to look after kids, dealing with all the household issues. And to hear him suggest there is a physical reason for the difference in pay is just outrageous.”

Kelly and Thompson had been discussing a new bill from Green MP Catherine Delahunty to modernise the Equal Pay Act, and make sure that workers and unions could request information on pay levels by gender in their workplaces to make sure women were being paid fairly.

Shouldn’t you be at a union meeting?

If you’re a Finsec member at ANZ National or BNZ the answer is yes!

BNZers are in the middle of the process of developing claims with half hour paid union meetings. The meetings are discussing important issues including our pay claim, and the fairness of current pay systems.

ANZ National folk, your meetings start next week. A pack to run the paid one-hour meetings at your work-site was sent to all delegates at the beginning of this week. Any questions about the info in the pack? Call us! Didn’t get the pack? Call us!

These meetings are an important part of achieving good outcomes in BNZ bargaining and in the ANZ National mid-year review. Make sure you’re there.

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!

Female staff banking on a smaller wage

Last week, we reported on Equal Pay Day and the campaign to address the 12.4% gap between what men and women are paid for each hour they work. This week, the Gossip came across updated statistics on the gap in the finance industry in Australia.
Women in the finance industry get paid an average 32.1 percent less than men, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This gap has increased on the 28.5% gap in 2009.

Banking and finance was the worst sector for unequal gap at nearly double the industry average of 16.9%. Information on the gap for our sector is not available for New Zealand – but if it is similar to Australian, women staff at our banks could be 25% behind male staff in terms of pay.

Male leaders stand up for pay equity

Finsec Union Councillor Howden Graywas one of a group of several trade union leaders and MPs who took part in an action for Equal Pay day this week. Male leaders wore Equal Pay red bags to support the campaign to close the 12.4% gap between what men and women earn for every hour they work, and to show it’s not just an issue for women.

Howden said that the issue was very pertinent for Finsec members, the majority of whom are women.

“In ANZ National for example, we are helping to address pay inequities by ensuring that our largely-female casual staff are covered by the collective agreement and are in a better position to negotiate fair pay increases,” said Howden. “This would be a good move if we could spread this right through our industry.”

Howden said before the action, he wasn’t aware of how much the Government had dropped the issue of pay equity. “National cut all the last government’s pay equity initiatives. Government needs to have a role in ensuring we have fair pay for everyone.”

18 February is Red Bag Day – the day that women effectively start getting paid this year. Before 18 Feb, women were working for “free” – catching up with men’s pay from 2010.

PSIS staff want real change not small change

Finsec members at PSIS have determined their priorities and are taking a clear message to bargaining – “We want real change not small change.”

All sites will be participating in delegate-run claim development meetings and collective activity to support the campaign for a fair outcome in 2011.

Finsec delegate Anna Webby from PSIS Whanganui said that a fair pay increase and staffing were the top issues for staff. “We’re doing a lot more with less,” said Anna. Anna said that if PSIS didn’t address staffing issues, there would inevitably be a negative impact on customer service.

“We just seem to be getting busier and busier, and need to be resourced properly.”

Minimum wage ‘rise’ woefully inadequate

The Government decision to cut the value of the minimum wage by increasing it by only 25c to $13 an hour when inflation is 4 percent will drive more workers into hardship, said the Council of Trade Unions.
“We are talking about wages that are already insufficient to meet basic costs and about a group of workers worst affected by increases in food, rent, fuel and power,” said CTU President Helen Kelly. “These families are already reporting extreme hardship and any government that genuinely understood this would have increased the rate by significantly more.”
“The Government gave generous tax cuts to those on high incomes but gives a miserly increase to those on the minimum wage.”

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