The Cyprus Union of Bank Employees (Etyk) has many battles to give now that changes in the structure of commercial banks seem to be constant.
The ground for mutual agreements to be reached is more fertile in some cases than in others, with insiders saying Etyk and administrations of small banks seem to be in harmony.
But not so with Hellenic Bank where relations appear to be quite tense. In fact, on November 21 Etyk sent a warning letter through a law firm to both the management of the lender as well as board members.
The letter makes clear that if the bank does not proceed with granting annual surcharges and the Automatic Indexing (ATA) by November 27, 2019, then private criminal cases will be filed against administration members without any further notice. Hellenic Bank has refused to comment for the time being.
However, relations between Etyk and small banks are neither negative nor tense. For example, the management of AstroBank recently informed Etyk that they have already given instructions for annual surcharges and ATA to be granted to staff, as provided by union agreements. An Etyk circular said surcharges and ATA will be given retroactively as from January 1, 2019.
“This is a very positive development and we have to congratulate AstroBank’s management for their respect towards collective agreements, but above all, towards their staff,” the circular also said.
“AstroBank’s management decision is further strengthened by the fact that they have recently announced a large number of promotions, thereby rewarding ‘excellent’ employees, but at the same time fulfilling their contractual obligations with Etyk,” it added.
As for National Bank of Greece employees now that the lender has been taken over by Astrobank, Etyk said “we know that the usual ‘turmoil’ of an acquisition will soon follow” along with an urgent need for redundancies. The union then assured that all safeguards have been taken as regards the best interests of colleagues and their work future.
At the same time, Alpha Bank has finally proceeded with payment of the 2019 annual surcharges and ATA. And the unionists are now getting ready for intensive negotiations with the bank on the renewal of the collective agreement for the years 2019-2021.
Negotiations are already underway as regards the status of some 150 employees who will be transferred to a new department managing non-performing loans.