Hellenic Bank and Etyk agree to renew collective agreements

Hellenic Bank and Etyk agree to renew collective agreements

Hellenic Bank and bank workers’ union (Etyk) clinched a deal over collective agreements on Friday, after a government-supported mediation process.

Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou heralded the development “after a long period of disagreements”.

He described it “as an important day for labour relations in the banking sector.”

Panayiotou had submitted a mediation proposal which both Hellenic Bank and Etyk accepted.

Collective agreements at Hellenic Bank expired in 2018 had not been renewed until Friday’s deal. The labour ministry said the mediation effort “positively affects approximately 2,200 employees.”

Hellenic Bank chairman Petros Christodoulou said due to the bank’s current transitional period following the acquisition by Eurobank, the deal will have to be approved by the new board.

This will not affect the implementation of the proposal’s provisions, he assured.

“I have personally committed to supporting the minister’s mediation proposal in the next board meeting.”

The bank will now cooperate with Etyk to begin integrating staff to the new salary scales. The two parties will then create the promotion criteria “with the aim of recognising the hard work they have carried out in the past few years.”

Once these two procedures are completed, they will be applied retroactively from the date specified in the mediation proposal, after the board’s approval.

“We have done our best in recent weeks to demonstrate our willingness to support the mediation process by adopting positions that in previous years have been red lines for the bank,” Christodoulou said in a statement.

“The result of these efforts is the announcement today of the mediation proposal submitted by the minister to both sides, which achieves the long-awaited harmonisation of the terms of employment of the staff of Hellenic Bank and its insurance subsidiaries. More information on this will follow in the coming days.”

Christodoulou said the next step will be to continue negotiations under the umbrella of the employers’ association of Cyprus’ banks with the aim of signing a new collective agreement for 2023-2025 to encompass all banks.

Etyk sent an announcement to its members titled “Finally! The collective agreement renewal was signed.”

It underlined the foundations are being laid for the normalisation in the relations between both parties “with or without Eurobank and CNP.”

With the agreements for the years 2019 – 2022 signed, negotiations are underway for the collective agreement for 2023 – 2025, it specified.

Etyk said the timeframe of the agreement will be “strictly adhered to.” Even if there are delays, “the bank is strictly committed to implement it retroactively for everyone.”

It added that the agreement gives employees “the opportunity to rectify some serious injustices that have existed in recent years in the Hellenic Bank and gradually lead us all to the restoration of justice and peaceful cooperation between employees and management, so that we can look for a better future with more hope, especially in view of the upcoming developments linked to the acquisitions.” (cyprus-mail)

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