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AIB and SIPTU will meet to wrangle over redundancy plan

REPRESENTATIVES of Allied Irish Bank and SIPTU will appear before the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) today as the lender moves to hammer out the terms of the bank's redundancy package as well as the future terms for staff that remain at the bank.

In an email to staff last Thursday, the bank's human resources director, John Conway, said the meeting had been scheduled to work out "outstanding issues" between the two sides.

The SIPTU meeting comes nearly a week after AIB and banking union, the IBOA, appeared before the director of conciliation at the LRC, Kevin Foley, in an effort to reach an agreement on similar matters.

"The bank held two meetings with the IBOA involving both the IBOA, AIB Executive Committee and the Managers' Consultative Forum," wrote Mr Conway.

"The agenda for these meetings was broad-ranging.

"It covered the bank's plans for voluntary severance and early retirement; the IBOA's information requests; their concerns around the bank's restructuring and plans for change generally; and the protection of terms and conditions of employment.

"As we have been unable to reach agreement on the bank's plans, we have agreed to refer the outstanding issues to the Labour Relations Commission."

Terms

An IBOA spokesman said the hearing, which is expected to take up to a fortnight, is looking at a number of issues beyond just the redundancy terms the bank will ultimately offer staff.

"The redundancy terms will get most attention but we need to look very closely at what sort of bank will be left if the number of staff envisaged in the plan leave.

"There has been a lot of talk about how banking needs to change in this country and we recognise that some change is inevitable.

"But when staff are being asked to make a potentially life-changing decision about their future, they are entitled to be fully informed about the options if they go or if they stay.

"As a very basic example, a bank official working in a rural branch is entitled to know if their branch is due to be merged with another 20 miles away or if their current role would not be needed in the future.

"Our members deserve to be informed about any developments like this that could affect their choice to stay or go. They also need clear reassurances about their terms and conditions of employment in the restructured bank," he said.

Irish Independent