A star teller with many years of experience and in the lead role at main branch is the initiator of a class action suit against CIBC for unpaid overtime.
What is really going on? Is it really a matter of pay or is there a deeper issue? I think that it is a sign that CIBC and the banks are reaching the limits of running banks like a machine and that it is now time to think about how by looking at the model of a truly "Human Work Place" they could heal this wound and also get the performance that they desire
TORONTO (CP) - In what's being called a potentially precedent-setting case in Canada, a bank teller has taken on one of the country's biggest financial institutions with a class-action lawsuit that alleges CIBC fails to pay overtime to its customer service staff.
Dara Fresco said Tuesday that she's owed some $50,000 for the two-and-a-half to 15 hours a week of additional work she says she's been required to perform as a teller and personal banker since 1998.
The 34-year-old Toronto woman, who has worked at more than a dozen CIBC branches, points out that's a lot more than her current annual salary of $30,715.
I've been working for the bank for almost 10 years and I figured enough is enough already. I wanted to get paid for the overtime," Fresco said at a news conference Tuesday, just hours after the lawsuit was filed in Ontario Superior Court.
The $600-million class-action suit is expected to cover an estimated 10,000 current and former non-management, non-unionized CIBC employees across Canada, many of whom are women.
"What is unfair is that my colleagues and I are rarely being paid for the overtime that we are working, and that's just not right," Fresco alleged.
"I decided to seek out legal advice to see, mainly, if this was allowed and to find out what my options were ... because it isn't fair to work and not be paid for your time."
I don't think that this issue is really about pay. I worked for CIBC for many years and for the last 5 was SVP for HR. This issue is about managerial culture and the relationship between the staff and the bank's senior leadership
In the decades that I was at Wood Gundy and then at CIBC, we knew that sales were key but we knew that the key to sales was relationship. But in the last 10 years only one thing now counts - sales. Everyone now has a set of targets, ever expanding, that they have to make. CIBC retail has become a machine. The client is there to be farmed. The business, the clients and the staff have all become commodities.
As CIBC has become a machine, the people who feel the most alienated are paradoxically the stars. Every milestone passed leads to another hurdle. Life just becomes a treadmill. Key staff feel like Sisyphus, who as a curse was forced by the Greek Gods to roll a boulder up a hill - every day. Their reward for achievement - another boulder. The claim is that they get paid for success - but the amounts are paltry compared to investment bankers.
They feel unappreciated. They feel that they are treated like things. They feel that no one cares about the clients either. They are not people anymore they are leads or they have yield. It's all about the numbers.
I come to my point - in medical malpractice - the key to being sued is not the malpractice but the nature of the relationship.
Many malpractice suits are brought not because of mal-practice nor even because of complaints about the quality of medical care but as an expression of anger about some aspect of patient-doctor relationships and communications.
The theory presented is that under the stress of anxiety and physical illness, some patients regress to childhood needs; physicians are not generally trained to fill such needs. Thus, these patients, angry because of this, express their anger in malpractice suits. This theory has been taught to physicians and medical students as part of a physician continuing medical education (CME) seminar on Loss Prevention/Risk Management through demonstration of active-listening techniques to seminar participants.
Physicians who understand and can respond appropriately to the emotional needs of their patients are less likely to be sued. This may also translate into a more fulfilled practice of medicine by those physicians who are most aware of the importance of a positive relationship. (My emphasis)
My advice to my old place CIBC is to look beyond the obvious and look to your culture.
There is more performance and less friction available in a more human model. I will write more about this in the next few days. I will be using examples from a very tough organization - the US Marine Corps!