Sunday 22 April 2018

Bank staff discuss 10pc cut in wake of Boucher pay rise

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

TENSION over pay at the banks is set to increase today when officials from the main banking union meet to consider their response to the Government's call for pay cuts of up to 10pc at state-backed lenders.

As many as 26,000 bank staff across the country could be hit with the planned pay cuts.

The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) says it is "implacably" opposed to any cut in pay for its members.

The union's executive council will meet today to consider the implications of the request, and to review the report on bank pay produced for the Government by consultants Mercer.

Bankers' pay is back in the headlines this week after it emerged that Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher saw his total pay package increase last year to €843,000.

A number of directors on the board of the bank, including former agriculture minister Joe Walsh, also saw their fees go up last year, for the first time since 2009.

It came just a week after the Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced that he has asked Mr Boucher at Bank of Ireland and the heads of the other state-backed lenders, AIB and Permanent TSB, to cut their pay bills by between 6pc and 10pc.

The bank chiefs are due to respond to the request with detailed cost-saving plans in the coming weeks.

The IBOA has urged its members to contact local TDs to complain against the planned cuts. That is likely to be stepped up following today's meeting.

The union is already involved in talks with management at AIB and Bank of Ireland over how to plug huge holes in their defined benefit pension schemes. Long-running negotiations with AIB are due to resume at the Labour Relations Commission today.

However, doubts are now growing over whether a deal can be done unless the wider issue of pay cuts is put on the table.

THE BANKING CHARADE: Martina Devlin

Irish Independent

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