|Issue No 39||12 November 1999|
Bank Workers Win $3000 Payment for New Years Eve
Workers at a leading bank have secured New Years Eve bonuses of up to $3000 as the Finance Sector Union moves to lock in millennium pay rates across the industry.
The FSU has negotiated site agreements with NAB which include payments of up to $3,000 for working after 8.00pm on the 31st December and a special payment of $500 plus 3.5 times normal hourly rate for NRMA employees.
It has also successfully lobbied the NSW Government to declare December 31 a half day public holiday - although the federal government and other States are yet to move on the issue.
But a number of employers are refusing to negotiate with FSU, arguing that current enterprise agreements do not allow for extra claims during the period of the agreement.
"The changeover to the millennium is a special issue for the finance sector with many employees who would never normally be asked to work over this period being asked to monitor Y2K," FSU state secretary Geoff Derrick says..
"If ever there was an issue of balancing work and life then the millennium must be it. FSU believes that employees should not be expected to give up celebrating the millennium with their friends and family for nothing. "
Finance sector employees in the UK have negotiated significant payments to work over this years New Year period. Information provided by FSU's sister union in the UK, MSF, reveals that employees who work the evening of Friday 31st December can expect to receive up to eight times their normal hourly rate. Examples of payments for working Friday 31st December include the following:
- Abbey National - 6 times normal hourly rate
- Alliance & Leicester - normal bank holiday rates plus 100 pounds per hour
- AXA - 3 times normal hourly rate + 300 pounds
- Barclays - 750 pound payment for attendance
- CGU - 3 times normal bank holiday hourly rate + 300 pounds
- Colonial - 3 times normal hourly rate + 500 pounds
- Midland Bank - 8 times normal hourly rate
- NatWest - 4 times normal hourly rate + 300 pounds
- Royal Bank of Scotland - 2 times normal hourly rate + 90 pounds per hour
"It is interesting that senior executives seek to justify their outrageous > salary increases on the basis of global conditions yet refuse to > acknowledge global conditions when it suits them," Derrick says.
Spread the Deal to Welfare Sector
Meanwhile, the Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) has asked the Premier, Bob Carr, to make a major New Years Eve wage bonus available to all employees who work, or are on call in the State's non profit residential care services for the disabled, the aged and young people and in all homeless persons agencies and refuges.
"Workers, giving up their turn of the century New Years Eve in these essential and emergency services, should be treated no differently to State public servants who have been offered a 300 per cent pay increase for the night," NCOSS Director, Gary Moore says.
"The NSW Government directly funds and contracts most of these community organisations to provide accommodation, care and support services for some of the State's most disadvantaged or vulnerable people."
"It has a moral obligation to value the work and dedication of employees in these community agencies in the same way that, quite rightly, it is proposing to do so with police, health and transport workers and emergency services staff."
NCOSS has also sought an assurance from the Premier that the extra costs of special New Years Eve pay increases will not have to be met from existing Departmental Budgets.
"These costs should be met from the Treasurer's contingency fund or general consolidated revenue," Moore says. "Departmental Budgets are already struggling to meet the costs of normal service provision across NSW. It would be irresponsible to force Departments and agencies to meet New Years Eve pay bonuses from these Budgets."
"We hope that the Premier will respond favourably to our modest and logical proposals. NCOSS will also seek the support of the NSW Labor Council."
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005