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posted by martyb on Friday November 13 2015, @07:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the better-compensated-workers-makes-many-people-happy dept.

The Center for American Progress reports:

In August, New York-based Amalgamated Bank announced it would immediately raise its minimum pay to at least $15 an hour.

The bank, which is owned by the union OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union), came to the $15 wage floor in the midst of contract negotiations with the union. The contract also specifies automatic 3 percent increases each year.

[...] "Morale in our bank is just great after this" [said CEO Keith Mestrich.] He's even heard from potential customers who say they have sought out the bank after the announcement.

[...] But the bank isn't satisfied to make its own changes. It also wants to change the industry. A recent report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that bank tellers, the most common job in the financial services industry, make a median wage of just $12.44 an hour; and three-quarters make below $15. That means that about a third of bank tellers rely on some kind of public [assistance], such as Medicaid, food stamps, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, to get by. Many who work in customer service, maintenance, protective service, and production also make below that wage.

[...] Amalgamated has launched a campaign to get a $15 minimum wage--a level that has already been passed in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle--and encourage all other banks to adopt one in their own businesses. It also recently sent a letter to other banks urging them to adopt other practices that it calls "principles of responsible banking" such as ending the intense opposition to regulation, advocating for policies that would help customers, and embracing corporate transparency.

I hope you have your bloat blockers engaged before clicking the links to the bank's site.


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  • (Score: 2) by ledow on Friday November 13 2015, @07:52AM

    by ledow (5567) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:52AM (#262549) Homepage

    Wow, you still have bank tellers in the US?

    The last few years all I get is a machine in the corner with a big queue and some unqualified sprat saying you have to use it.

    In fact, that's the biggest reason that I just don't go into a bank any more. Fortunately, I'm no longer paid by cheque so I have had literally no reason in the last few years to enter a bank for my own purposes, except for one tax refund cheque.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday November 13 2015, @01:47PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday November 13 2015, @01:47PM (#262628)

    I was going to say, in the last 15 years I think I have interacted with a bank teller (in person) less than 5 times, I might have made 5 or 10 telephone calls to the bank to arrange things like house sale funds transfers, but beyond that, I am my own teller via the online portal. Before that, I mostly transacted by mail and phone...

    I think it's great that the remaining tellers are getting raises, but wonder if their jobs aren't ultimately doomed anyway - how much "tax" is it to handle paper money and/or checks, physically transporting yourself and your "money" to and from a bank branch, and how much "tax" does the bank have to put on your accounts to keep those physical storefronts open? For someone who works 40 hours a week, paid $15/hr bi-weekly, that's 30 minutes dealing with the bank for every 80 hours worked (0.625% "time tax") plus likely another $4 cost of transport (0.3% of the paycheck) and another $4 or so cost to the employer and bank just handling the paper checks. We're up over 1.2% tax already - why not direct deposit instead?

    And, if everyone is direct depositing, paying by card, and using ATMs for cash withdrawal (I spend less than 1% of my income as cash, ymmv), why do we need bank tellers?

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @01:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @01:53PM (#262632)

      When I have a check to deposit it's always through the drive-thru or walk-up ATM, especially as I tend to go to the bank at odd times when it is convenient for me rather than whenever the hell the tellers are working. Also that's just if I need some cash back, otherwise these days you can use the banks app to take a photo of the check and deposit it online even.

      Even when opening an account at this bank I did it entirely online, the only times I've interacted with a teller was when I needed to get a cashier's check for the house closing or to withdraw a large amount of emergency cash before leaving on vacation.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @03:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @03:16PM (#262680)

        otherwise these days you can use the banks app to take a photo of the check and deposit it online even.

        You have a bank app installed on your phone? Do you do security? We are hiring...

  • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Friday November 13 2015, @02:33PM

    by TheRaven (270) on Friday November 13 2015, @02:33PM (#262653) Journal
    My bank released an update to their Android app that asks for so many permissions that I uninstalled it. I now go into the branch around once a month for something trivial that I'd have otherwise done on the app, just so that it's costing money for them to do stupid things. I always make a point of saying that I would have used the app if it didn't require obnoxious permissions when the person at the entrance is conducting that survey.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @04:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2015, @04:27PM (#262721)

    Yes they have a fairly cake job. Basically break bills down. Count down the 'change jars'. Do the occasional deposit. Open accounts for new customers.

    I usually use them with deposits. My bank likes to rearrange the menus on the ATMs about every 3 months and make the menus quite the labyrinth. Then relabel my accounts as checking 1/2/3. So I go in and get it done correctly first time. If I had 1 account it probably would not be a big deal. But apparently since I have a savings and my wife has a checking they all need to be shown to me in random order.

    But their *real* job is to sell other products, loans/IRAs/deposit boxes, etc.

    Also many local businesses use them as it is easy to show up with the days take in cash and just get it counted down correctly and deposited. Try jamming 6 kilos of change that thru an ATM...

    Have not had anyone give me cash in awhile. So I have not been in there in probably a year.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by bziman on Friday November 13 2015, @07:27PM

    by bziman (3577) on Friday November 13 2015, @07:27PM (#262797)

    Wow, you still have bank tellers in the US?

    The last few years all I get is a machine in the corner with a big queue and some unqualified sprat saying you have to use it.

    In fact, that's the biggest reason that I just don't go into a bank any more. Fortunately, I'm no longer paid by cheque so I have had literally no reason in the last few years to enter a bank for my own purposes, except for one tax refund cheque.

    I haven't used an ATM in over a year. I actually like the social interaction of walking into a bank and talking to a real live human being. My bank has convenient branches and hours, and I've never had to wait in line, except maybe for a minute on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when they're really busy.

    Even in the United States, there are many businesses that still write or require checks, often so they don't have to pay the transaction fees for ACH debits or credit card processing. And of course, cash will always be king.