Saturday 17 August 2019

Central Bank staff to vote on motion of no confidence in senior management

Professor Philip Lane. Photo: Collins
Professor Philip Lane. Photo: Collins
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The new Governor of the Central Bank faces a staff revolt on his first day in office.

Members of Unite, the main trade union at the bank, have announced plans to vote on a motion of no confidence in their senior management, over what the union said was the Central Bank “belated admission that it has been operating a second secret bonus scheme.”

On the same day that new Governor Philip Lane took control of the bank the union slammed its lack of transparency in relation to two schemes that saw bonus payments made to selected senior managers at the bank dating back as far as 2011.

Unite says the payments breach emergency laws cutting pay and banning bonuses in the public sector.The bonus payments are being described as "retention" pay by the bank.

“Although it was only last week that the issue of so-called retention payments entered the public domain, Unite has been raising concerns about a bonus culture at the Central Bank since last May.  At that time, we not only expressed our disquiet regarding the retention bonuses – we also specifically asked whether there were any other bonus schemes in place, and we were categorically assured that there were not,” Unite Regional Officer Colm Quinlan said.

“We were therefore extremely disturbed to discover that, while Unite members at the Bank were holding their AGM yesterday, the Bank issued a press statement confirming that – contrary to previous denials – another bonus scheme has in fact been in operation since 2011.

“The Bank’s earlier denial of this scheme’s existence, and their decision to belatedly issue a press statement admitting its existence while our members were meeting, constitute apparent duplicity.  These actions indicate a worrying level of disrespect for their staff, and for the general public which relies on the Central Bank to lead the way in terms of probity. 

The union now intends to no confidence in senior management at the Central Bank. It is in the interests of staff that the Central Bank be seen to conform to the “highest standards of transparency and probity,” the union said.

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