Ulster Bank agrees to pay rise for staff of up to 5%

A ballot of Financial Services Union members on the proposal is set to get underway

Ulster Bank said it was committed to paying people fairly and motivating and rewarding staff. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ulster Bank said it was committed to paying people fairly and motivating and rewarding staff. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Ulster Bank has agreed to a proposal from Ireland’s Financial Services Union (FSU) to increase pay for staff by between 2 and 5 per cent.

Following a negotiation between the FSU and Ulster Bank in both the Republic and the North, the bank agreed to increase pay for the majority of staff in April, if the union’s members vote for the proposals.

A ballot of union members will begin on Wednesday and conclude on January 26th.

While its not clear what percentage of Ulster Bank Ireland’s members are in the FSU, a spokesman for the union suggested it was a “significant majority” of the bank’s staff.

Influence

Those members include staff at all levels up to branch manager and employees in both the retail unit and head office.

“We feel these proposals are the best we can achieve with Ulster Bank at present,” said Gareth Murphy of the FSU.

“We believe these pay proposals are broadly in line with other unionised employments.

“In contrast, pay in the non-unionised finance sector can often be shrouded in mystery for staff with highly individualised, subjective pay systems which no one is allowed discuss.

“Staff in Ulster Bank have the chance to influence and vote on clear and transparent pay increases and that is a very positive feature of unionised employment. They also get to see, influence and vote on their pay ranges which can again, in other employments, be held as secret by HR departments,” he added.

An Ulster Bank spokeswoman, meanwhile, said the bank was “committed to paying people fairly and motivating and rewarding staff”.

“In line with this, we have confirmed pay increases for our people, particularly those in the lower pay ranges. These changes will provide stability and security for staff as we continue to work toward becoming the best bank for customer service, trust and advocacy,” she added.

Changes

The pay proposal come after the union rejected the bank’s intention to change the pay ranges of some of its staff last year. While no staff member would have lost money under the pay range changes, their opportunity to “earn meaningful pay increases in the future” would have been affected, an official said. The issue of pay ranges will be revisited later this year in a process separate to pay issues.

Ulster Bank separated its business in the Republic and the North in 2015 as it sought to “build a stronger and simpler bank here”. The business in the North was due to more closely align with its UK parent, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and NatWest.