IBOA members in AIB reject Bank’s latest cuts plan and back industrial action

Issued : 28 June 2012

Members of IBOA The Finance Union working in AIB have rejected the recent announcement by the Bank’s Chief Executive, David Duffy of plans to change pay, pensions and other benefits for the staff who will remain in the institution.AIB’s senior management wants to prolong the pay freeze which has already been in place since 2009 for at least two more years; to reduce pension benefits further; and to remove other modest benefits currently enjoyed by some staff.

Following an indicative ballot of members in the wake of Mr. Duffy’s announcement, IBOA said that AIB staff are virtually unanimous in their rejection of the Bank’s cuts package. An overwhelming majority would be prepared to join in litigation to prevent the implementation of the proposals while a substantial majority have said they would be prepared to take industrial action if the Bank attempts to impose these changes without proper negotiation and agreement with the Union.

Commenting on the outcome of the ballot, IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said:“This result should provide a wake up call for AIB’s senior management and for the Government of the Irish Republic, AIB’s predominant share-holder, on the need to engage meaningfully with this Union on a fair deal to stay for those staff who will be essential to the future capacity of the Bank to meet the very daunting challenges that lie ahead if AIB Group is to recover.“

The very negative reaction of staff to the Chief Executive’s latest proposals should come as no surprise when you consider the litany of issues that have arisen in the recent past such as expenditure of over €100 million on consultants’ fees; the revelation of substantial discretionary “retention” payments to a select group of staff; the generous parting terms on offer to former senior executives who were responsible for the current crisis in the Bank; the failure to honour contractual payments due to rank and file staff in the form of increments and performance-related awards; the lack of accountability, transparency and the overall absence of direction in AIB since the onset of the crisis in 2008.

"The IBOA leader has called on today’s AIB AGM to instruct the Board to engage with IBOA to address the concerns of its employees and to provide a fair deal to stay for those staff who will remain in the Group.As a responsible trade union, IBOA is willing to engage in negotiating an acceptable solution to these issues. Industrial action is always a last resort for us. However, our members have now given us a clear mandate to pursue such a course if the Bank attempts to proceed without reaching agreement," he said.