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COFFEE BREAK: Arm balls, bouncers and flu


Harry Mayers

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IF ANDREW BYNOE’S ten per cent wage cut turns out to be an outlandish bouncer that was slapped for six, and properly so, Andy Armstrong’s suggestion for ten per cent more work is a clever arm ball that has to be carefully watched.
Businessman Bynoe bowling from one end and businessman Armstrong from the other are trying to find solutions to the challenges of living through the recession and boosting productivity. Both want to avoid lay-offs and retain jobs. Mr Armstrong believes that little ten per cent could even produce more jobs.
It sounds an interesting experiment. But it needs some very transparent systems to measure productivity and justify promised rewards.
I can’t see where an extra 48 minutes on the job would be accepted as an employers’ measurement. The real measure has to be the value added in that time, so the concept needs fine-tuning.
While employers cry “low productivity”, employees retort “low pay”.
With the exception of the LIME negotiations which appear to have unique features deserving serious consideration, the economic climate clearly suggests that increased wages are not on the cards.
Aware of a financial flu now stirring, Scotiabank is playing doctor. Its tellers now wear stethoscopes, prompting customers to ask, “Are you a doctor?” The teller replies something like this: “I’m not, but I can set an appointment for you to get a free financial health check.”
While offering help, the bank requests truth and transparency – the same things requires   for genuine collaboration for greater productivity.

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