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Westpac staff vote to side with customers not bank

Media Release
Finsec, the finance workers' union
12 December 2005

For immediate release

Westpac staff vote to side with customers not bank

Westpac staff who are members of the finance workers’ union, Finsec, voted last week to reject bank customer debt targets. They rejected their employment contract offer by 68% because of their dissatisfaction with a performance pay system that encourages them to sell increasingly large amounts of debt products to their customers.

Almost all members also voted in their meetings to make the following public statement to the community:

‘Westpac sets staff targets to sell large amounts of lending and other products to customers each year. As Westpac staff we are concerned about these targets, and how they are managed. If staff don’t reach these arbitrary targets, they miss out on pay. And our jobs might even be threatened. For us these targets cause stress, frustration and lost pay. For you, our customers, they can also cause stress and frustration. Westpac staff don’t like doing that to you. We want to be paid for giving good service and quality advice.’

Finsec has now declared this Wednesday to be National Customer Service Day, during which all members will ignore their sales targets for one day. They will only sell debt products to customers based on what they need and want, and will focus on giving quality advice which helps customers make informed decisions.

“Westpac was rated the worst bank in New Zealand for customer service last month. Staff at Westpac value their customers and want to do something about that but they can’t while Westpac forces them to focus on selling debt rather than giving quality advice and service.” Said Finsec’s Campaigns Director Karen Skinner. “They will be letting customers know that they why are receiving special service on this day so that they can see what the bank’s pay system is making them miss out on.”

ENDS

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