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Next Hot 2022 for hundreds of bank employees HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS • Hot 2022 for hundreds of bank employees
& nbsp & nbspΘεανώ Θειοπούλου & nbsp; & nbsp;
ETYK, the trade union body of thousands of bank employees, is trying to create embankments in the new banking habits that the administrations of credit institutions are trying to apply, that is, the departures of staff through surpluses, without a voluntary exit plan with additional compensation. And all this is happening as a few thousand departures of bank employees are expected to be promoted over a period of three years, as already announced, marking the next big wave of escape from banks.
The trade unionists demand that the exit be made with gratuitous compensations and that the shareholders put their hands in their pockets and pay the employees who will lose their jobs.
ETYK considers the departure of bank employees “institutionalized” from work to be accompanied by a voluntary exit plan. The maximum amount of gratuitous compensation that has been given so far by the banks is € 200,000. The only case in which lower compensation was given was in the plan to leave 900 employees from the & nbsp; Cooperative, with the maximum amount then at € 180,000, as in the recent plan announced by KEDIPES.
Surpluses are a new fashion
Hellenic Bank is trying to start leaving employees without a voluntary exit plan. The recent letter of Oliver Gatzke, CEO of Helliniki, makes it clear that the bank is proceeding with the basis of its new business plan, which provides for a reduction of staff in the first phase by 300-350 people (within 2022), with the process of redundancy. This creates a new scenario, with the trade union movement waiting around the corner.
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Dramatic reduction of Greek stores and staff & nbsp; Red cloth for ETYK the surpluses in Greek
The issue is not only the 350 bank employees who will leave soon, as the door of Elliniki will remain … open (towards the exit) until 2026, as bank sources have stated that the goal is to reduce the staff by 50% by 2026 and to limited to 1,300 people, from 2,617 today.
Appetite for others
If the measure of surpluses is implemented by the Hellenic Bank, without giving the gratuitous compensations of the past, then, according to the trade unionists, a precedent is created and the appetite will be whetted in other credit institutions that want to reduce their staff in the coming years. This is something that the trade union organization of bank employees does not want in any way. Already, with the circulars she has issued, it seems that she will fight it not to promote this planning, even throwing responsibilities on politicians who, according to her, support these banking choices.
And it is not only the surpluses that enter the wedge in the working banking environment, but also the renewal of the collective agreement of the employees of Elliniki. There is also an … extra issue, the harmonization of the salaries of the employees of the former SKT who have been transferred to Elliniki.
The labor dispute between Elliniki and ETYK has been transferred to a political level and the Ministry of Labor is called upon to resolve the issue on the basis of the Code of Industrial Relations. In this regard, ETYK in its latest circular emphasizes that “the Ministry of Labor itself must stand up to the circumstances and stop stroking the Hellenic Bank and finally proceed with the criminal proceedings.”
< p>In the other banks the renewal of the collective agreements has closed smoothly, but ETYK looks ahead and does not want to create a precedent when the time for their renewal comes again. Mr. Gatzke had stressed during the presentation of the annual financial results of Helliniki for 2021 that the process of surpluses will become inevitable, unless a collective agreement is concluded which will take seriously the income and expense ratio of the bank and the percentage of wage increases. He referred to the outdated practice, as he said, of automatic increases, which is an incentive for non-productive employees and the need to reduce contributions to the health and welfare funds.
KEDIPES has not yet proceeded >
2022 is expected to be particularly hot for the banking sector, especially at a time when Cyprus has entered a pre-election period and there are open issues for which battles will be fought. It has not yet been finalized what will happen to the 40 KEDIPES employees, whom the Ministry of Finance wants to lay off as redundant staff, after the failure of the “new” voluntary exit plan, which was presented to the employees for the second time to decide the their departure. The surpluses tend to take on political dimensions, since the state is the major shareholder of KEDIPES and the political head of the state entity, who is the Minister of Finance Konstantinos Petridis, will have to decide what will happen. ETYK, on the occasion of KEDIPES, had specified what would follow, with a circular issued on April 5. “Undoubtedly, the case of KEDIPES is an experiment of the government to open the way to other banks (eg Hellenic Bank), therefore this issue concerns and affects all colleagues. “On the other hand, the Government should not, in the run-up to the upcoming presidential elections, take such serious decisions, with important implications for the private sector as well, thus binding the new government that may be elected,” ETYK said./p>
In case the golden section is not found and the state takes the decision for surpluses in KEDIPES, the Surplus Personnel Fund will have to pay a lot of money. The maximum compensation that can be given for employees who have a long-term presence in KEDIPES is € 56,232.40, an amount much less than the compensation of the ceiling, € 180,000, offered by the voluntary retirement plan.
And others in unemployment
However, it is not only employees in Elliniki and KEDIPES who are in danger of losing their jobs. They are also bank employees of RCB Bank. Of the 356 that the bank employed in Cyprus, about 90 will remain, provided that the licenses requested by the bank from the Central Bank are secured for its operation as a credit repurchase company and for its operation as an electronic money institution. For each license, the company is expected to use around 45 people and therefore 266 employees will end their banking careers in this bank. RCB will be forced to run surpluses after falling victim to EU, British and & nbsp; US sanctions on Russian bank VTB Bank, which was a major shareholder in RCB Bank, over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
New round of reductions
The banking sector, once very attractive for work, is now losing ground and few bank employees are fully employed after retirement. The staff reductions are expected to affect all banks and it is only a matter of time before the retirement debate resumes. The question, however, is how they will be done, with or without surpluses. In 2013 and 2018, the cycle of large departures of bank employees opened, with the padlock of Laiki and Synergatismos, followed by other, smaller scale departures of employees, from all banks. Now there is expected to be another round of bank staff reductions, with the aim of streamlining costs, making more efficient network use, digital switchover and banking transformation. Pandemics and lockdowns have accelerated the digital transition and diversified the consumer behavior of bank customers, leading to less staffing and payroll rationalization. Usually the money that banks pay as retirement plans to their staff is amortized over a period of 3 to 5 years, because they gradually reduce their costs and enhance their organic profitability.
Trade unions: They do not want a precedent
Essentially, with the new habits that bank administrations are trying to apply, the burden is shifting to the Surplus Staff Fund, which will have to bear & nbsp; thousands of euros in payments to bank employees who have lost or will lose their jobs. & nbsp; Last week, at the meeting of the parliamentary Labor Committee, representatives of ETYK, SEK and PEO explained to the deputies that there is an almost institutionalized procedure for withdrawals from banks and it must be observed, so that, as they mentioned, there is no bad precedent. ETYK Deputy Secretary General Christos Panagidis noted that the possibility of extra compensation should be considered, while he also referred to the intention of the Hellenic Bank for surpluses, asking the Parliament to show the same sensitivity and discuss the issue. S. Touloupos, on behalf of PEO, stated that in case there is no compensation plan for RCB staff, a precedent will be created and now all banks will have surplus staff without second thoughts, stating that the voluntary retirement plans are acting to some extent. deterrents to redundancies. Position agreed with the representative of SEC K. Oratiou, stating that the departures from banks should be made on the basis of plans for the provision of gratuitous compensation.