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Saturday 3 December 2016

Staff vote 'no confidence' in Central Bank bosses over secret payouts

Published 04/12/2015 | 02:30

The new Central Bank governor Prof Philip Lane
The new Central Bank governor Prof Philip Lane

There has been a massive vote of 'no confidence' by union members in the Central Bank management.

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The move is in response to revelations that a select group of staff are getting secret payments.

Some 92pc of Unite trade union members in the regulatory authority voted no confidence in the senior managers over what they insist are clandestine bonus payments.

It emerged in the past two weeks that the payments were being paid to a select cadre of staff in an effort to prevent them leaving.

Unite claims the payments breach emergency laws introduced during the financial crisis.

The union is taking legal advice in relation to them.

The union has now written to the new Central Bank governor Prof Philip Lane pointing out that the drip feed of information about the secret payments was contrary to the bank's stated aim of acting in a transparent way and with integrity.

The letter says 92pc of Unite members voted no confidence in senior management of the bank.

"This represents a level of dissatisfaction with management unparalleled in recent years, and must be addressed," the letter states.

Unite regional officer Colm Quinlan added in the letter: "The misleading communications and secrecy which these bonus schemes have come to exemplify cannot be allowed to become the norm in the organisation."

The Central Bank made two statements in the past few weeks admitting two schemes to reward key people who it fears will leave for better jobs. It insists the payments are not bonuses, and described them as retention payments.

Those getting the payments have to sign a contract promising to keep "the fact and the amount of the payment confidential", Unite said quoting from a copy of contracts it obtained.

Reacting to the letter to Prof Lane, the Central Bank called on Unite to engage in agreed industrial relations procedures.

The latest storm comes after the Central Bank hiked the levy on banks, insurance companies and brokers partly to plug a hole in its staff pension fund.

Irish Independent

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