The relations of the management of Hellenic Bank with ETYK are entering a period of new turmoil, on the occasion of the drastic restructuring measures that the bank intends to proceed with, in order to reshape its operating model. The burning issues are the renegotiation of several terms of the collective agreement, the reduction of the staff of Elliniki and the way that will be chosen for the reduction, something that will signal the amount of compensations and the need to reduce the cost / income ratio, which considered too tall (almost 75%).
The day before yesterday, the circular of the Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Gatzke, to the bank's staff and yesterday's announcement issued by ETYK foreshadow that the settlement of the plans and the outstanding issues of Elliniki with the guild of bank employees will not be so easy.
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In particular, Mr. Gatzke, through the circular, announced, among other things, that the bank will proceed with restructuring measures to reshape its operating model, which, among other things, will provide for a reduction in wage costs and a reduction in the number of staff, to meet the challenges in the banking sector. He informed the staff that in recent months several informal meetings were held with the representatives of ETYK, conveying to them with full transparency and honesty the challenges facing the Bank and the urgent need to restructure its operational model.
“Continued last-minute cancellations of trade union raises legitimate doubts about their sincere intention to come to the negotiating table to resolve labor issues through an open and constructive dialogue,” the statement said. circular.
“Our goal,” Gatzke notes, “at this stage is to reduce wage costs, focusing mainly on renegotiating several terms of the collective agreement.” A good faith renegotiation of the collective agreement, which will take into account the bank's need to adjust its costs in line with the European Central Bank's recommendations, will allow us to a) minimize staff departures planned as part of its implementation. transformation plan and b) to reduce the wage gap between the employees of the former SKT and the former Hellenic Bank “.
Mr Gatzke concluded in the circular: “I want to be clear and unambiguous. We are doing our best to agree on a mutually beneficial collective agreement, in order to keep the bank in a stable and sustainable position, avoiding further staff departures from those already provided for in the transformation plan. However, if this is not possible, due to the fact that the union continues to ignore the current and future challenges, then the bank will have no choice but to move quickly with more drastic restructuring measures. The Ministry of Labor will make another effort for a meeting on Friday, January 28, 2022. We sincerely hope that the union will attend this time “.
Harsh response of ETYK and warnings
The circular issued yesterday by ETYK is particularly sharp and is an attack against the banking administration, but also against party circles, government circles, media and journalists, who, as the union claims, are part of the “lobby” set up by the Hellenic Bank management to present its views.
ETYK returns fire to Mr. Gatzke, stating that “the bank's management can not hide the fact that through one year of negotiations ETYK and the bank reached an agreement, which the CEO himself subsequently rejected.” ETYK accuses the administration that it is unreliable and that it consciously conceals that it rejected the proposal of the Ministry of Labor for the inclusion of the employees of the former SKT in the scales and the benefits of the other employees. The union claims that the role that the current administration of Elliniki seeks to play by imposing redundancies and not on the basis of a voluntary exit plan, “is supported by government circles, with supportive party circles, which favor this policy, since for years target bank employees “. ETYK also states that “the management (recurrence of the Hourican phenomenon – Bank of Cyprus) constantly talks about redundancies and in a way that leads to layoffs, at the same time that the bank has in recent years (even today) a few hundred temporary employees , which he hired due to needs (lack of staff) “.