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The Gossip - news from the Finance Sector

The latest news from the FIRST Union finance sector unofficial weblog!











  • Messages of support flood in…

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    ANZ workers were well supported today from union colleagues across the world.

    In less than 24 hours over 50 messages of solidarity and support had flooded in to the union office, from other New Zealand unions, international unions and union federations, and individual workers wanting to pass on their support to FIRST Union members at ANZ.

    “Good to see solidarity at ANZ, let’s hope this sends a strong message to David Hisco.  In solidarity,” said Maxine Mullen, Chair of FIRST Union’s Westpac Union Council.

  • Cooperative bank and credit unions at odds over brand

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    The Co-operative Bank is concerned the New Zealand Association of Credit Unions' plans to use the name "Co-op" will undermine - in the eyes of the public - the $8.7 million it has spent rebranding since changing its name from PSIS and obtaining bank registration in late 2011 to distance itself from the non-bank financial sector, finance news site reported this week.

    The bank's case is being heard at the High Court in Auckland.

  • Dancing on the street

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    And finally this week, FIRST Union members were out marching on the streets today, but there was a different kind of movement on the streets of Wellington last week. reported this week that Malifa Chapman doesn't like to be bored, so when he was given the job of controlling traffic at a Wellington roundabout he decided there was only one thing for it.

    He had to dance.

    And the drivers he's controlling while roadworks are carried out seem to be appreciating his efforts.

    "Lots of drivers put up their phones and take a video," Chapman, 19, said.

  • And one from the archives…

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    They say some things change, some things stay the same.

    And one thing that doesn’t change is bank and finance workers standing together in FIRST Union and its predecessor union Finsec, for fair pay and working conditions.

    ANZ workers in Otahuhu took industrial action yesterday, and this photo is of ANZ workers, again in Otahuhu, taking industrial action as part of a national stoppage campaign in October 1996.

    Photo credit: Manukau Courier/Auckland Council archives.


  • Most workers see little increase in pay rates

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Meanwhile, the Council of Trade Unions said today that despite strong growth in the economy over the last year, the median (middle) pay rate has risen only 1.7 percent – just 0.1 percent in real terms.

    “So for most workers, any increase in income will have come from working longer rather than better pay rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. 

  • Reserve Bank sells over $500 million in August to push down dollar

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    The Reserve Bank sold a net NZ$521 million during August in a successful effort to help push the Kiwi lower, finance news site reported this week.

    It's the Reserve Bank's biggest monthly currency intervention since it bought a net NZ$525 million in March 201, and its biggest sale of New Zealand dollars since selling NZ$1.489 billion in July 2007.

  • No parking fines in Belgium this week

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Belgians who drive a bit over the speed limit, forget to buckle their seat belts or park illegally can breathe easier this week as police turn a blind eye in protest against plans to raise their retirement age.

    The country's police are up in arms over plans by the incoming government to raise their pension age to 62 from 58 as part of its efforts to cut the federal budget. Some 40,000 officers demonstrated against it in Brussels two weeks ago.

    They began the next step in their protest on Tuesday by going easy on minor infractions for the next week.

  • Wellington, Newmarket and Otahuhu ANZ take action

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Following strike action at ANZ branches in Auckland and Waikato last week, three more sites went on strike this week, in support of secure jobs and a better pay offer.


  • ANZ members consider industrial action

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    Workers at ANZ are considering going on strike to protect job security at New Zealand’s most profitable bank.

    A national strike ballot is currently being voted on by members of FIRST Union at ANZ, and some branches have already begun local strike action.

    It follows a second round of employment negotiations after 98.5% of members rejected the bank’s previous proposal. 

    “ANZ wants to reduce security so workers would only know from one month to the next which days and start and finish times they are working,” FIRST Union’s Retail & Finance Secretary Maxine Gay said.

  • Quarterly profits up

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    Quarterly profits across the banking sector are up 6.2 per cent, KPMG reports in its Financial Institutions Performance Survey to June 2014, out yesterday.

    It says that profit increases have been driven by lending and asset growth, improvements in interest margins, a strong quarter for non-interest income and loan impairment.

    They said that assets to the June quarter had climbed to an all-time high of $390 billion, a 2.38 per cent increase from June 2013.



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