29 November 2005
Westpac makes biggest profit and worst offer to staff
Westpac, the bank to announce the largest profit in New Zealand this year ($611 million), has chosen to offer its staff the smallest pay rise. Westpac, which already has some of the lowest rates of pay in the New Zealand banking industry, is offering its staff a barely above inflation offer of 3.75%. This is after ANZ National and BNZ staff all received a pay increase through negotiations earlier this year of 4.35% and 5%.
Westpac staff who belong to the bank workers union, Finsec, will be holding stopwork meetings around the country during the week of 5-9 December, and taking actions to highlight the poor way that bank treats both its customers and staff.
Westpac staff believe that the bank has offered the lowest pay rise in the industry, in order to try and place financial pressure on staff to reach sales and debt targets. Currently to increase their pay workers are required to sell specific numbers and types of products and debt to customers so as to reach incentive targets that enable them to get their full salary.
Staff at Westpac want to be recognised for selling to customers based on what the customer needs, rather than what the bank tells them they have to sell to make its targeted profit figure. This means recognising staff skills in assessing customer need, high product knowledge and great customer service.
Finsec's Campaigns Director, Karen Skinner is calling on Westpac to stop compelling its staff to sell more and more debt to New Zealand customers. "Deliberately unachievable and unfair targets are not a fair measure of staff performance. Staff want Westpac to operate in a more ethical way in this country. That means listening to customer and staff needs."