Bank of Ireland staff in line for first pay rises since 2008
ALMOST 12,000 staff at Bank of Ireland are in line to get pay increases for the first time since the financial crash and the €4.7bn rescue of the bank by taxpayers.
The bank confirmed yesterday that it is in talks with its main trade union that could lead to staff pay rises.
Bank of Ireland and the Irish bank Officials Association (IBOA) have begun negotiations on a range of issues, including pay, the bank's chief executive Richie Boucher said yesterday.
The talks are being mediated by independent expert Martin King, according to the IBOA.
While pay is on the agenda, bonuses are not. "There are no discussions about bonuses," Mr Boucher said.
The move comes after financial results for the first six months of the year show Bank of Ireland returned to profit.
The bank has repaid in cash all of its taxpayer-funded bailout, he said.
Members of the IBOA were circulated a document outlining information about the discussions, yesterday, which include talks on staff career development, skills and movement within the organisation, as well as pay.
If the talks do lead to pay rises they will be the first at any of the main lenders since the banking crash in 2008, when basic pay rates were frozen and most performance pay was scrapped,
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Irish Independent, Richie Boucher said he does not know if or when the Government is likely to remove the upper limit on top pay for bankers, including himself.
His controversial annual pay of €843,000 a year is in excess of the €500,000 a year cap, because it was contracted before the limit was introduced.
"Shareholders decide what I get paid, I stand up once a year, shareholders decide what I get paid," he said.
"Obviously what I get paid is a lot of money and I can see why people look at it, but I would say I have a lot of responsibilities I am responsible for and chief executive of a very large company," he added.
"But ultimately shareholders decide, so I stand for election every year and I get judged on that," he said.
Changes to the upper limit for bank pay are "not something I think too much about", he said.
"I get paid to do the job, for most people in Ireland I get very, very well paid, I can recognise that. The reasons I do this job are not solely to do with how much I get paid. I believe in the bank.
"It may be hard for people to understand, my motivation isn't purely financial. Like everyone I want to get paid, I could probably do different things in my life but I like what I do," he said.