IBOA to seek 10% pay rise over two years

 

The Irish Bank Officials' Association (IBOA) said today it was likely to seek a pay increase of 10 per cent over two years for workers it represented.

The IBOA's executive committee is to meet on August 19th to discuss its strategy following collapse of the national pay talks between the social partners last Friday.

“The committee will finalise the union’s overall objectives for the next pay round in the four major retail banking groups - whose wage agreements fell due for renewal on August 1,” said IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick.

“Inflation-proofing our members’ terms and conditions will underpin each claim. Over a two-year-period, we estimate that the cost of living will rise by around 10 per cent cumulatively,” he said.

“We intend to pursue the claims in a mature but determined fashion - in line with our existing procedural agreements with these employments,” Mr Broderick added.

Commenting on the collapse of talks last weekend, Mr. Broderick said unions had no option but to reject what was presented as the employers’ final offer for private sector workers of a six months’ pay pause followed by a 2.5 per cent pay rise for six months and a further 2.5 per cent increase for 12 months – with longer pay pauses for the construction industry and the public service.

“With inflation running at over 5 per cent a year and unlikely to abate to any significant extent in 2009, the employers have had almost six months to frame their position on pay.

"Their final offer – after just a few hours of negotiation – was substantially short of what was necessary to match inflation and, as such, would amount to a significant pay cut in real terms for all workers," Mr Broderick said.

Trade unions have warned of possible serious industrial unrest if companies follow advice given by employers' group Ibec and hold off on local bargaining on wages in the wake of the breakdown of talks.

In a statement today, Siptu president Jack O'Connor said he hoped that agreements on pay rises could be made on an employer-by-employer basis without recourse to industrial action.

Mandate, which represents almost 50,000 workers in the retail and bar sectors, said that calls by Ibec on employers not to engage in local collective bargaining were "both dangerous and out of touch with reality".