Archive for the 'Performance Pay' Category

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.


AMI backs down on performance pay for union members

AMI told Finsec this week it was withdrawing its proposal to put Finsec members on performance pay! AMI was concerned that Finsec members would reject the variation proposal, and therefore decided to proceed with its plans for non-union members only.

Finsec members will stay on the current skills based pay system that is in our collective agreement. Normal skills based pay assessments for this year will happen soon on the normal way.

This is a great win for union members! The performance pay proposal lacked detail, had no appeals procedure and like all performance pay doesn’t recognize the great work staff do that is not performance measured.

For non-members at AMI , if you join Finsec now you will be covered by our collective agreement which is keeping the current pay system. That means by joining you don’t have to have performance pay!

Next stop – collective bargaining at AMI…

ANZ National members voting now

Finsec members at ANZ National have been voting on the bank’s offer in meetings that began this week. Union Councillors have been travelling around the country running meetings and talking the issues over with union members.

Union Councillor Andy van der Heyden has been travelling to run meetings in Palmerston North and Horowhenua. “It’s been a great experience for me, but I am seeing first hand the anger that is out there towards the bank, especially about their claim to exclude ‘C’ rated staff from the pay increase.”

While this feeling is not necessarily reflected in voting, Andy said that Finsec members were angry that performance was being linked to negotiated pay increases. “People are seeing this move for what it is – the first seed of performance pay.”

Andy said there was a strong awareness that Finsec members need to grow our density to have a greater impact on negotiations. “We also know that it’s important for all the members we have to be active to get the change we need at work.”

An important part of getting active is making sure you attend your local meeting and vote in the ratification. 60% of members need to participate for the vote to be valid. Meetings continue next week.

Asteron and Credit Union South trying to breathe life into discredited pay systems

Finsec is raising concerns that Asteron and Credit Union South are both attempting to revive the failed pay systems of the 1990’s, that remove’s Finsec members right to negotiate pay increases in collective bargaining and introducing pay bands instead of salary steps. Finsec members are considering proposals from both employers that in effect hand over all pay decisions to the bosses.

Finsec members favour a pay system with two significant components:
•    Negotiated pay increases through collective bargaining to cover increases in the cost of living or make other adjustments
•    Movement up pay steps on the basis of demonstration of skills (rather than the achievement of sales targets)
A third component would be additional payments on the basis of performance, but in our view this should comprise a minor proportion of overall pay.

Finsec General Secretary Andrew Casidy categorises Asteron and Credit Union South’s moves as a backward step. “These systems cede total control over pay to the employer and invariably lead to pay falling behind similar employers. We saw Westpac pay lag behind other banks in the 1990s due to this kind of pay system, and it is only now catching up after a complete overhaul of the way pay is determined.”

Finsec members providing input into Westpac pay system


Union delegates from Westpac branches in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch held meetings this week to give direct input into the proposed new pay system. Members discussed the competencies staff would be assessed on under the new system.

Michael Wood, National Organiser for Westpac, said that the meetings went well and provided lots of information that will be used to improve the model. Union Councillors working with Finsec on the pay system would be taking all issues identified by delegates to the bank.

“Delegates have made it very clear that they want a pay system that is simple, applicable to the job and as objective as possible,” said Michael.

Finsec delegates in Call Centres and Operation will also be meeting to discuss the new pay system over the next few weeks. The final competency based pay model will be taken out to all Finsec members to vote on in May. 

Members meeting to discuss disappointing PSIS claims

Finsec members at PSIS will be meeting in the week starting 31 March to discuss the PSIS claims for upcoming collective agreement negotiations. Members have been surprised by the nature of the PSIS claims, which include a new pay system featuring a “high performance” component, a move to remove casual staff from the collective, and attempts to limit access to sick leave for new staff.

PSIS Union Councillor Paula Howells said she was disappointed by the PSIS’s initial claims. “They seem to be a step backward. PSIS have led the industry in quality customer service. These claims throw that record into jeopardy with the introduction of performance pay.” 

Howells said the PSIS claims, and especially the proposed performance pay system, are moving in the opposite direction from Finsec’s Better Banks and PSIS’s own record of standing up against individual sales targets. 

“We’re interested to hear members’ views on the claims over the next few weeks,” said Howells. “We also want to talk to all non-members about the importance of joining Finsec given the threat of these PSIS claims.”

New pay system moving forward at Westpac

 The Better Banks campaign objective of fairer pay systems in the sector is a step closer with ongoing developments at Westpac.

 The Finsec Union Council met with Westpac in January to discuss union input into the development of a new competency pay system to replace the current performance based system. Finsec members on the Westpac Union Council will work with Westpac to develop assessments within their areas of expertise. An overarching group with union and bank management representation will oversee the whole process. 

Westpac Union Council Chair Maxine Mullen said the changes represented a real win for union campaigning. “Westpac has agreed to make changes to key aspects of the proposed new competency pay model because of the pressure that union members have built up. We are keeping our negotiated pay increase, our increase on promotion and we retain the same number of salary steps and current maximum competent salary.” 

Maxine said that these wins now need to be spread across the whole finance sector.

Sales targets issue growing in Oz


Finsec’s sister union, the Finance Sector Union of Australia, is highlighting the issue of “debt stress” in a Better Banks style campaign across the ditch. 

FSU National Secretary Leon Carter notes the interest in FSU’s comments on sales targets across Australian media and says that the prime reason for entering the debate is to ensure the wider community develops some understanding of the pressure finance sector workers are under.

 Late last year, the FSU conducted research with members of the public. Most had some awareness that finance sector workers have KPIs or sales targets to meet, and that was the reason they were continually offered products, usually debt creating products such as loans or credit cards.

However, they were quite shocked to learn of the practice of linking pay outcomes to the sale of these products, and that in effect staff needed to push the sale to avoid a pay freeze, or in the worst cases, adverse pay outcomes or loss of employment.

Lessons in performance pay from Tiger Woods


Tiger Woods can teach us all something about the negative effects of performance pay, according to a new study by Jennifer Brown at the University of California at Berkeley discussed at

Brown discusses how an incentive based pay system with large rewards for the top and punitive effects at the bottom can undermine performance, particularly when intense competition makes hopes of getting the top prize seem slim.

Using the example of Tiger Woods’ dominance of the golfing world (and his dominance of the prize winning, leaving less money for everyone else), Brown finds that other players perform at a lower level when Tiger is playing, particularly when Tiger is on one of his hot streaks.

This study challenges the perceived wisdom that performance incentives always improve performance across the board. As Joel Waldfogel says on the Slate – “the effects of incentives appear to be muted when the incentives are based on relative performance and the competition is tough.”

Perhaps there’s a lesson here that can be be drawn on by some golf (and performance target) loving managers from the finance sector?

Westpac top of Christmas card list


postcard.gif Finsec members have launched a Christmas postcard campaign calling on Westpac to make changes to its’ initial proposal for a new competency based pay system. They won the change from targets based to competency based pay at negotiations earlier this year.

The All we want for Xmas is a fair pay system campaign aims to make key improvements to the new system. Members have identified a number of problems with Westpac’s initial proposal including:

· It may remove the right to negotiated pay increases for everyone

· It potentially makes it harder to move to the top of the pay scale by having harder competency assessments

· There needs to be more staff input into what competencies staff are assessed on, and how the assessments are done.

· It removes the guarantee of a 5.25% pay rise on promotion

All Westpac staff have been urged to sign a postcard and have their say. When Westpac members have got active in the past, there have been important wins and improvements to pay and conditions. More progress can be made through participation in this Christmas campaign.

The Westpac Union Council will be meeting with the bank next week to discuss the pay model and to pursue the changes identified by members.

Members have been asked to sign a postcard and send it back to us, and encourage their workmates to do the same. They should be returned to Finsec by Friday 7 December and have members site name and number and delegate’s name on the return envelope.

You can contact us at:

0800 FINSEC (0800 346 732)

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