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Union accepts NIB cuts

IRISH Bank Officials Association (IBOA) members in National Irish Bank have accepted a plan from an independent mediator that will see 25 branches close and 150 redundancies.

IBOA is the leading trade union representing staff in Ireland's financial services sector and it has given the green light to the job losses after extensive negotiations.

The plan will see 25 of the banks 58 branches closing with two thirds of the redundancies expected to come from the bank network.

Apart from recommending improved severance terms of 7.25 weeks' pay per year of actual service (inclusive of statutory entitlements and capped at the equivalent of 2.5 years' salary).

It also agreed on improved terms for early retirement and went on to confirm that all redundancies would be implemented on a voluntary basis.

National Irish Bank has also given a commitment to guarantee all remaining staff job security up to December 31, 2012.

"While any decision on job reductions is always challenging and even more so in the teeth of a major recession," said IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, "our members in National Irish Bank have recognised that the Bank's current business model is unsustainable in the present climate."

NIB reported a pre-tax loss of €661m for 2009. Income fell 13pc to €178m and the bank set aside €704m for impairment charges.