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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 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...