ANZ workers have announced a national strike over new employment agreements being offered to staff
FIRST Union members at ANZ voted for a national strike, after several strikes over the past fortnight at a local level.
FIRST Union said there were 1324 members working for ANZ and 85 per cent of them voted in favour of a national strike.
Maxine Gay, secretary of FIRST Union Retail and Finance, said ANZ had proposed employment agreements that would advise workers on their hours of work at a month by month basis.
"Bank staff have lives outside of their job. They have childcare requirements, commitments to community, faith and sports groups. Many bank workers undertake tertiary study with set lecture times. Chopping and changing hours may suit ANZ, but it does not work for workers."
Bank workers don't take strike action lightly, but the bank's proposals had prompted a strong reaction from staff, Ms Gay said.
"ANZ workers want jobs that they can plan their lives around, and they want a pay offer that respects their hard work that delivers such big profits, $1.37 billion last year, for the bank.
"ANZ needs to show some respect and decency towards its workers by offering a pay increase that values the contribution they make and that is significantly greater than the current 2 per cent to 3 per cent offer, and it needs to pull back on its proposal to casualise hours of work."
Ms Gay said the union was working on the details of when the strike will happen, but said "its a little way off" at this stage.
Chief executive of ANZ New Zealand David Hisco earned $4.1 million last year. He was the highest paid chief executive in the country.
General banking staff earn between $34,612 and $79,139 per year.
A statement from ANZ said the proposal of flexible rosters would not casualise jobs or reduce job security.
"We're disappointed that union members have voted for industrial action when a very good offer is on the table," the statement said.
"Staff working on these rosters would have an agreed number of hours that they work each month which cannot be changed without their agreement.
"The proposal simply allows for changes to be made, from time to time, to the days and start/finish times of staff who agree to be employed on a roster so we can respond to any changes in customer demand.
"ANZ pays its staff very competitively compared to similar jobs in the market. The salary ranges for almost all jobs covered by this agreement are the highest in the industry.
The average salary of employees on the collective agreement was $59,000, the statement said.
"ANZ has offered staff pay increases of 3 per cent and 2.75 per cent over the next two years.
"In addition, ANZ pays for medical/health insurance for all staff and provides all staff with discounted lending rates.
The statement said there would be little impact on customers when the strike occurred, as the union members made up 20 per cent of ANZ's 8000 employees.
By Sophie Ryan of APNZ