By George Psyllides
BANK employees union ETYK has slammed an early retirement scheme offered by the Cyprus Development Bank (CDB), which wants to cut personnel costs by 35 per cent.
The union said it was not prepared to accept any unilateral actions that violated collective agreements and “we had asked for an agreed, attractive voluntary exit scheme” that will lighten the bank’s payroll.
The two sides have been in talks, but ETYK said the bank had already taken its decisions. “The management appeared with the sole aim of cutting personnel costs by 35 per cent (from €7.0 million to €4.5 million),” ETYK said.
The bank employs around 90 people. The union said it rendered any negotiation pointless “unless we are going to negotiate for the sakes of negotiating.”
The union said CDB had not provided them the data the management had been using to back its position.
“Our experience in implementing voluntary exit plans says that such efforts are condemned to fail if they do not have our consent,” ETYK said. “The management has opted for the lonely road, choosing to assume the entire cost of the failure.”
The bank held the same stance on the matter of salary cuts, wanting to adopt the reductions imposed on employees of the now defunct Laiki Bank when it was nationalised last year, the union said.
Laiki workers saw cuts averaging 12.5 per cent. The union urged CDB to withdrew the “unacceptable” plan immediately, and draft another, more respectable scheme that will be agreed with ETYK first.
“Today, it is generally admitted that ETYK cares more about the banks’ survival than the managements,” the union said, adding that the first to be affected by a lender’s plight were the workers.
“For this reason we will be an obstacle to actions that will hurt our members’ rights without a positive outcome for the bank’s future course,” ETYK said.