NEW COLLECTIVE LABOUR AGREEMENT FOR BANK EMPLOYEES: UNACCEPTABLE!

To all banking sector employees,

On 24 November 2017, the ALEBA, OGBL-SBA and LCGB-SESF unions denounced the Collective Labour Agreement 2017 and called for negotiations to begin on a replacement. We also submitted a full, detailed list of our collective demands to ABBL. Lastly, we called for our first plenary meeting to be convened swiftly in order to update members on the official negotiations and discussions conducted since… December 2016.

This first meeting took place on 9 February 2018: where exactly does that leave us now?

Yes, the principle of a new classification system offering greater transparency and only four groups of roles, weighted via a clear matrix, was singled out for discussion and could enjoy union support, provided that the necessary checks and balances are implemented to prevent abuse.

Yes, the well-being, employability and training sections showed promise, particularly from the perspective of the unions, which view these as crucial matters.

However, inflexible management positions prevent us from finding common ground on two other highly important issues:

Remuneration: ABBL has negated the very principle of career progression by rejecting linear salary increases, and is proposing to do away with three-yearly guarantees, the June bonus and the seniority allowance. All three would be replaced by a single “loyalty” bonus, for a nominal amount. Lastly, they are advocating lower departure thresholds for half of all new roles.

Working hours: ABBL is refusing to apply the new law of December 2017 on the organisation of working hours.

Given the ongoing growth of the banking sector, the unions obviously view this as UNACCEPTABLE!

That is why we have called upon ABBL to reconsider its positions before the next meeting scheduled for 1 March 2018.

We will continue to keep you posted on all the details of seemingly endless – and yet essential – negotiations that affect you all, whether or not you are covered by the collective agreement.

Please be prepared: it will undoubtedly prove essential to show ABBL once and for all that we deserve better than a cut-price, bare bones, bargain basement Collective Labour Agreement in which salary guarantee mechanisms would be watered down to a strictly discretionary (purely merit-based) system.

If tangible progress is not made by the end of March 2018, ALEBA, OGBL-SBA and LCGB-SESF will see this as evidence of a lack of willingness on the part of ABBL to reach an agreement that would guarantee suitable working and salary conditions for employees in the sector, meet the pressing need to modernise our Collective Labour Agreement, and reflect the development of the Luxembourg financial market. Unfortunately, we will then be forced to draw our own conclusions.

Banking sector employees: the ALEBA, OGBL-SBA and LCGB-SESF unions are standing shoulder to shoulder as one, more determined than ever to negotiate and implement a fair and socially just new collective labour agreement, reflecting the realities and challenges of our business sector as well as the strength of the financial market.

However, we feel that it is important to make you aware that we are currently more concerned than we have been at any time in the social history of the financial sector by the trajectory of the negotiations and the nonsensical positions taken by ABBL. 

Nevertheless, we remain deeply committed to continuing to defend your rights and interests, trusting that we will be able to count on your support if we should call upon you in the near future.

 

Issued by the ALEBA, OGBL-SBA and LCGB-SESF unions

Luxembourg, 20 February 2018.