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The Gossip - news from the Finance Sector

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











  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Customer service award for Credit Union South worker

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    FIRST Union delegate, Antoinette Smith from NZCU South has won an award for outstanding customer service at the national CRM Contact Centre Awards, the Otago Daily Times reported this week.

    The ODT said Ms Smith was one of the winners for overall attitude, wow factor and professionalism.

    The credit union’s chief executive Tania Dickie told the ODT she was “fantastic with customers. She goes out of her way to explain things in a way that is relevant to them.''

  • Exchange rate unjustified and unsustainable – Reserve Bank

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    The Reserve Bank considers the level of the exchange rate is unjustified and unsustainable, and that it is susceptible to a significant downward adjustment, Governor Graeme Wheeler said on Thursday.

    The Bank’s analysis indicates that the real exchange rate is well above its sustainable level, and also above levels justified by short-term business cycle factors.”

  • Stockpiling toilet paper?

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    We’ve heard a lot about quantitative easing as a possible policy response to the global financial crisis, a policy that is often dubbed printing money.

    But in Japan right now the concern is more to do with printing of another type of paper – loo rolls.

    Japan's officials don't want the nation to be caught out next time the toilet paper supplies run short after a natural disaster.

  • ANZ bargaining update

    Friday, September 19, 2014

    Last week we told you that organisers would be holding a second round of ratification meetings until 3 October.

    At meetings that have taken place to date it appears there is little change in workers’ views - they largely oppose the bank’s proposal for increased flexibility, insufficient increases and the disparity between call centre/back office and branch worker increases.



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