On Monday 2 December our FSU delegation team – consisting of Johanna Tran (BankSA), FSU National President; Paul Selke (Westpac), FSU Qld President; Andrew Broadfoot (Westpac), FSU Qld WBC LEC Member; Mel Chester (Westpac), FSU WA President; and Julia Angrisano (FSU National Secretary) – met with Westpac Representatives to discuss increased workloads for packaged staff.
Our delegation members shared the recent survey results, what was driving the need to work additional hours, and stories of the personal impacts the additional hours are having on staff.
Less Staff Doing More
In FY19 Westpac cut approximately 1740 jobs. These cuts – along with increased compliance requirements, staff vacancies not being filled promptly, periods of recruitment freezes, no cover being provided for leave, and process changes – were some of the issues the delegation presented as key drivers of the requirement to work unreasonable hours. A staggering 55% of survey respondents take work home and 40% regularly work weekends just to keep on top of workloads.
“Every day I start early and finish late to make sure I can complete the day’s work.”
“I currently have someone who works 30 hrs a week on leave.
They’re being replaced with less than 10 hours in relief. I have to cover their job and do mine at the same time.”
Your delegation members spoke to the serious consequences excessive hours are having on Westpac Group workers. A concerning 66% of respondents report that working excessive hours is causing problems outside of work; these include impact to physical and mental health, relationship breakdowns, lack of time with family, spouses and children, as well as no time to participate in sport, recreational activities and community events.
“I am unable to spend time with my children and support them. Kids’ sports suffer regularly and this impacts my relationship with my wife.”
“I have developed anxiety, hypertension and can sleep at best 4 hours every night. This has impacted on my health adversely.”
Time for Action
Staff are at breaking point. It’s time for the bank to take action to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff. Delegation members provided solutions that included better technology systems to remove duplication, filling staff vacancies promptly, listening to staff feedback or suggestions and maximising redeployment of staff to provide additional support where needed.
Discussions around solutions to resolve these issues are ongoing. A follow up meeting with Westpac Representatives will be held in the coming weeks to hear what actions the bank is taking.
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Finance Sector Union
Ph: 1300 366 378