Joint union demands presented to the ABBL at the end of 2016

 ALEBA’s “Contribute to your future” survey of members and delegates conducted in May produced clear, broad outlines of the key, essential aspirations for the Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) 2017-2019. A simplified CLA, higher salaries, and additional special holidays were among the main demands from our base. Maintaining existing rights is also a priority.

ALEBA’s CLA working group took these ideas into account when drawing up its list of demands. This in turn was used in discussions with the other national unions as we worked to agree a unified document.

Tough, constructive and efficient inter-union meetings were held between September and November, with the work directed towards shaping a CLA that is in sync with contemporary realities and employees’ needs. This fruitful cooperation between unions resulted in an ambitious, modern programme which was then presented to the ABBL in an open fashion.

On the employers’ side, we note a lack of such good will, and to date we have no information about the detail of their intentions…

Here are all the key union demands, structured into nine themes: duty groups; salaries; conjunctural allowance; leave, special leave, and office absence; social chapter; redundancy payments; retention in employment/personal development plans; non-statutory benefits; working times.

  1. Duty groups

The six duty groups established over 20 years ago obviously no longer match current ways of working in the financial sector. For example, who of us these days ever meets a “typist”, a “certificate handler” or a “Safe deposit supervisor”? It is necessary to simplify and modernise, so the three unions have suggested a merger of the six groups into four. This table shows how we would do it, with the relevant salary brackets attributed to each.




(index 100)


1 – 2 – 3

€385 to €595



€452 to €675



€545 to €795


6 + false executives

€590 to €900


  • The three unions have asked for a minimum ranking guarantee according to the educational level achieved
  • Thresholds 1 and 2 would be abolished.
  1. Salaries

The unions have asked for moderate, realistic salary increases:

  • Linear increase of 1.5% on 01/01/2017
  • Linear increase of 1.5% on 01/01/2018
  • Linear increase of 2.0% on 01/01/2019
  1. Conjunctural allowance

ALEBA, LCGB and OGBL want to replace the current allowance with one equivalent to a month’s salary (14th month) payable as follows:

  • 25% for less than 2 years seniority
  • 50% for less than 4 years seniority
  • 75% for less than 6 years seniority
  • 100% after 6 years seniority

Thus young employees would benefit from a higher conjunctural allowance than under the current system. However, to avoid disadvantaging older workers, the current amounts should be guaranteed for those already receiving this allowance.

The conjunctural allowance is linked to seniority within a company, but the social partners want each worker’s seniority to be recognised across the sector. Thus when a worker changes employer within the financial sector their seniority benefits would not be lost.

  1. Leave, special leave, and office absence

The three unions suggest increasing the number of rest days and special leave days, as well as increasing the ability to leave the office when necessary. This would mean that the new agreement can be more in line with changes in society:

  • Rest days: 9 days instead of 8.5 and 10 days for those aged over 50 years
  • Rest day linked to 25 years of seniority: abolish the age condition
  • Special leave:
    • 1 day of leave for charity work
    • 2 days for the death of a second degree relative
    • 5 days for the death of a first degree relative (including half-siblings)
    • 6 days for the birth or adoption of a child
  • Office absence:
    • Abolish the “reasonable limits” specification
    • Administrative visits: include visits to notaries, lawyers, vehicle technical control centres (once per year)
    • Political duties abroad
  1. Social chapter

In the “Contribute to your future” survey, ALEBA was frequently asked to seek an upward revision of leave available “for family reasons” (“sick child leave”). Given that a draft law with similar aims is being discussed, the three unions agreed to introduce this into their list of demands, all the time making sure that the draft law will meet union expectations.

ALEBA also suggested the introduction of two new measures to the social agenda: sabbaticals (unpaid leave) and the ability to gift rest days to a colleague in an emergency. Sabbaticals would be based on clauses in the new parental leave law, with social contributions continuing to be paid by the employer. The ability to give leave days to a colleague could be available in cases of absolute necessity, such as when a family member is gravely ill.

  1. Severance allowance in the event of redundancy

Current severance allowance in the event of redundancy are not high enough. ALEBA, OGB-L and LCGB would like a review of monthly payments as follows:


Monthly payments received per years of service


Monthly payments received per years of service

   1 month      >2 years of service


   2 months    >5 years of service

  1 month      >5 years of service

   3 months    >10 years of service

  2 months    >10 years of service

   6 months    >15 years of service

  3 months    >15 years of service

   9 months    >20 years of service

  6 months    >20 years of service

 12 months    >25 years of service

  9 months    >25 years of service

 15 months    >30 years of service

12 months    >30 years of service

 18 months    >35 years of service


  1. Retention in employment/personal development plans

To maximise retention in employment in the financial sector, the three unions suggest putting two tools in place:

  • Personal Development Plan that aims to transform the evaluation process currently used in sanctions procedures into a tool for advancement.
  • Age Management Plan which will aim to: integrate, in a sustainable fashion, young people into companies; recruit and sustain the employment of older workers; establish skills-transfer mechanisms
  1. Fringe benefits

Three fundamental projects will be defended by the worker’s representatives:

  1. Prevention of psychosocial risks: harassment, burn-out, stress, etc.
  2. Priority for rehiring
  3. Promotion of public transport
  1. Working times

Regarding salary increments and remuneration for night-time working, atypical hours, on-duty hours, and when assuring a basic service (“permanence”), the three unions wish to establish a well-defined, general framework for all banks in the financial sector. Currently, certain banks do not take into account (and thus do not remunerate) overtime or on-duty hours. A halt must be called to this injustice in the interests of defending the rights of all workers.

Clearly, it is difficult to resume schematically in one article all the preparatory work we have undertaken. If you have specific questions on one or more points, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

If you have subscribed to the news feed about the CLA negotiations on the ALEBA website (, you will have read the article, published on 15th December 2016, about how working groups had been put in place during the first plenary session featuring the social partners and the ABBL.

Four working groups will cover the nine initial themes:

  1. Classification and remuneration: Duty groups/Salaries/Conjunctural allowance
  2. Employability and training: Severance allowances/Retention in employment/Personnel development plans
  3. Working time organisation: Leave/Special leave/Office absence/Working times
  4. Well being: Psychosocial risks prevention/Gifting of rest days/Sabbaticals/Social chapter

These groups will start work mid-January and will draw-up firm proposals which will be presented to plenary sessions.

We will keep you informed of progress as soon as possible.