Boss 'on 120 times that of lowest paid'

18:12, Sep 29 2014

ANZ Bank chief executive David Hisco is making more in a week than most bank workers earn in a year, a union group says, as more staff walk off the job briefly in protest at the company's pay offer.

About 40 ANZ staff walked out of their Wellington office yesterday. Stopwork action started last week, ahead of a vote on Friday on whether to strike nationwide.

A bagpipe player heralded the action, as staff chanted for "fair pay", which they wanted "yesterday", as co-workers watched from ANZ's office windows.

The striking staff were mostly involved with back-office processing at ANZ, jobs for which their Australian counterparts get paid considerably more.

The country's biggest bank is negotiating a new collective employment agreement, with the first proposal almost unanimously rejected by union members.

First Union yesterday criticised Hisco over his $4.1 million pay packet.

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Last year, he earned a A$3.26m remuneration package, equal to NZ$4.1m at the time, making him the country's highest-paid executive.

First Union's retail and finance secretary Maxine Gay said Hisco earned 120 times more than the lowest paid bank worker.

"That's $80,000 a week, more than most bank workers earn in a year," she said.

"Yet he is offering his staff a low pay increase and 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."

The bank's workers are being offered annual pay rises of 2 to 3 per cent over the next two years, depending on where they work and when they joined the company.

ANZ is also including a flexible work clause which gives staff four weeks' notice of their shifts, with no guarantee hours would be spread evenly.

Bank spokesman Stefan Herrick has previously said the salary ranges for almost all jobs covered by the agreement were the highest in the industry.

"It is disappointing that the union are encouraging staff to take strike action when there is such a good offer on the table," he said.

Union members will vote on Friday on whether to accept the bank's proposals, as well as whether to begin striking and picketing on a larger scale.

The union has counter-offered that up to 20 per cent of workers could go on flexible contracts to help with evening and weekend shifts.

Gay has compared the clause to the move towards flexible work at the Ports of Auckland, which resulted in an industrial relations dispute that dragged on for more than two years.

The Dominion Post