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Issue # 1426      2 September 2009

IBOA rejects Ulster Bank plans

Union bosses have condemned Ulster Bank’s move to impose a pay freeze and change its pension scheme. The Irish Bank Officials’ Association (IBOA) said the proposals were unacceptable and had not been discussed or agreed with the union.

IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick claimed workers were again being “scapegoated” for the lending policies of senior management in both Ulster Bank and its parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland.

“The bank’s proposal to make no pay award to ordinary bank officials for 2009 is similarly unacceptable – not least because no later than last week, management advised us that they were committed to entering a conciliation process on pay at the start of September.”

Earlier this month, Ulster Bank announced plans to make 250 staff redundant after reporting a loss of €9.35m in the first six months of the year. The bank, which has 132 branches in the Republic and 92 in Northern Ireland, also requested another 750 redundancies in January.

Meanwhile, it confirmed while its Defined Benefit Schemes will continue, it will close to new employees and will be capped. Around 6,500 remaining workers will be affected by the latest move.

Mr Broderick said Ulster Bank has a contractual obligation to staff to pay increments and performance rewards, adding that its proposal is in breach of members’ contractual rights.

“Furthermore, Ulster Bank staff are being discriminated against in comparison to other staff in the RBS Group,” he added. IBOA said it will now consult with its members in Ulster Bank to determine a practical response to the proposals.

It will meet LRC Chief Executive Kieran Mulvey to review all of the issues around pay and pensions at a scheduled meeting on September 2.

“Despite huge sacrifices by Ulster Bank staff, including a major restructuring program involving 750 job losses already under way and a further 250 redundancies being sought, staff are being asked to bear the brunt of this mismanagement,” added Mr Broderick.

Next articleLabor journalists to look behind the scenes before G-20

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