You are essential

FSU calls on Bendigo Bank to recognise frontline workers
during the pandemic


Richard Fennell refused to meet his frontline staff to discuss a COVID Essential Allowance.

Frontline workers are putting themselves and their families at risk, every day.

We call on Bendigo Bank to agree to a $5 per hour Essential Allowance.

What Bendigo frontline staff are saying

“I work for the Bendigo Bank and during these stressful times they have no heart. It is all about meeting targets and the $$$. It is very disappointing and shows there lack of understanding of how their staff feel.”

“Frankly, I think Richard has been out of the branch too long & it’s insulting that a man who is currently working from home & sending out useless video updates every week thinks it’s not necessary to recognize the branch staff. I imagine that if all the branch staff decided not to come in to work for a day, the impact on the bank would be fairly significant. For one thing, the call centre would be swamped with the enquiries & basic maintenance that the branch deals with every day. Perhaps Richard should spend a week working on the counter in branch, so he see the things we deal with, for example the customer who refuses to wear a mask & freely admits that he doesn’t bathe or wash his clothes more than once a week. The same customer who has openly told staff that he has a history of emailing the health minister in a manner that has seen him placed on a watch list & issued with a restraining order. Or maybe the ever present mask, constant cleaning & hand sanitising. As well as reminding every single customer to sanitise when they come in. But we’re not essential to the operation of the business. Good to know, I’ll keep that in mind for next time someone asks me what the Bendigo Bank is like to work for or bank with.”

“Whilst an essential allowance may not be an option for us to feel safe and supported, it would certainly make me valued as staff member working on the frontline. I work Part Time and I have young children to worry about. We are taking up extra responsibilities of cleaning and sanitizing and still being pressured to meet all our KPI's. How about VALUING your staff members and supporting them getting home to their families safely!!!”

“As a branch manager I find it hard to tell my part-time staff that their KPI’s are the same as full timers, let alone no KPI’s during such times. The response I get to my concern from my RM is that the part-timers only spend time over the counters whilst the full time staff have other duties and hence their KPI’s should be the same. I do not find this fair, specially for staff that work 2 days a week compared to staff that work full time. The number of teleconferences have gone up to talk about results and sales. On an average we spend 4-5 hours a week on conferences which interrupt our daily routine and hence the performance. Sales are a part of any business and I treat this as my own however the pressure we currently feel in the environment we are in has caused job insecurity and more stress amongst as it is stressful environment. Hopefully my feedback might help change the outlook a little bit as we are surely sidetracking from the good old Bendigo bank to just another corporate bank.”

“As a staff member who is fortunate to have a role at the Bank where I can work from home, I take my hat off to our front line staff who have had no option but to turn up to work and be confronted with the risks associated with contracting COVID-19. My personal view is that these staff should be entitled to an extra allowance during this time so they know they feel valued. Unfortunately the refusal of an essential allowance probably leaves them feeling very under-valued.”