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Workers negotiate historic pay deal at Westpac

For immediate release
Monday 18 August 2008
Workers negotiate historic pay deal at Westpac.
5% increase and sales targets out of pay

Union members in Westpac have voted in favour of an historic collective agreement settlement offer that includes a new competency based pay system that removes debt sales targets being linked to pay increases and a 5% wage increase.

“The bank has responded to staff and customer concerns about the negatives of debt selling. Our new pay system removes the link between meeting sales targets and getting pay increases. It is good for staff and customers,” said Westpac worker representative Maxine Mullen.

“Westpac are currently leading the rest of the banks in working with union members to address key issues that face our industry. There are still aspects of the sales target system we want to see changed, but this is a very important step in the right direction,” said Mullen.

“5% is the highest annual wage increase negotiated in the major banks for over a decade. It is good that Westpac, which makes hundreds of millions in profit, is redistributing more of it to help staff through these tough economic times,” said Mullen.

Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell said the Westpac negotiations provided a sharp contrast with the lack of progress made with New Zealand’s most profitable bank ANZ National. Industrial action is scheduled for later this week after the bank refused to increase their 4% pay offer or change debt sales targets.

“There is a huge difference between the two banks in negotiations. Westpac has been prepared to listen to staff and customer concerns while ANZ National has not. In addition to sending hundreds of good Kiwi jobs to Bangalore the bank is offering a lower wage increase than Westpac and won’t review their sales targets,” said Campbell.

“ANZ National is suffering from a failure in leadership and is losing any competitive advantage they had with bank staff, not to mention customers.”

Campbell said ANZ National should look to Westpac as a way to get out of the current impasse in negotiations.


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