Saturday 24 March 2018

Ulster Bank staff to get improved redundancy package

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

HUNDREDS of staff at Ulster Bank will get a better redundancy package than they previously thought -- but workers at rival AIB have been told there is another delay to their pay-offs being finalised.

Ulster Bank is now offering workers four weeks' pay per year of service, having accepted the recommendations put forward by a mediator last week.

But the mediator's recommendation on Ulster Bank also leaves the way clear for the bank to pursue compulsory redundancies if they can't get enough volunteers.

The bank is targeting 650 redundancies in the Republic of Ireland, plus another 300 in the North. The new deal would see someone on €50,000 paid €3,846 per year of service, more than the €3,365 offered in the original package.

For a worker at the €50,000 level with 10 years' service, the new package means an extra €4,810. But a 2009 Ulster package gave workers seven weeks' pay per year of service, plus two weeks' statutory pay capped at €500 per week.

Trade union the IBOA had vowed to fight for payments in line with the 2009 package, when it entered negotiations in mid-January. IBOA chief Larry Broderick could not be reached for comment last night.

The IBOA has vehemently opposed compulsory layoffs across the banks.

Meanwhile, AIB staff have been told that they will have to endure an even longer wait for details of the most drawn-out redundancy programme in recent history. AIB announced plans to cut more than 2,000 jobs in April.

In early March, the bank said it had reached agreement with the Department of Finance on "parameters" for the redundancy packages. A 30-day consultation with unions kicked off, and details of AIB's packages were expected to emerge last month.

AIB human resources boss John Conway had told staff to expect a recommendation on packages from the Labour Relations Commission last week. Instead, he emailed them to say that the LRC's Kevin Foley had advised "that he is not yet in a position to issue his recommendations".


"While it is regrettable that the recommendations have been delayed, it is important that all matters are given full and proper consideration," Mr Conway added. "I will keep you advised of developments."

Bank of Ireland is deadlocked in negotiations with the Department of Finance over 400 job cuts, after the department stepped in midway through a programme of 750 layoffs.

The department objected to the terms on offer to BoI workers -- four weeks' pay plus two weeks' statutory per year of service -- and the layoffs were effectively frozen.

Almost-nationalised Permanent TSB is also expected to unveil more than 100 staff redundancies as part of its plans to split itself into a small 'core' bank and a 'non-core' unit.

Irish Independent

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