By Angelos Anastasiou
Embattled Hellenic Bank and bank employees’ union ETYK have agreed to take a step back to defuse the tension that has been building over the past week with regard to unpaid overtime, a joint statement said on Tuesday.
In the statement, the two sides said that a meeting between representations of ETYK, including honorary chairman Loizos Hadjicostis, and Hellenic, including CEO Bert Pijls, was held “in a spirit of good will and mutual cooperation, with a view to resolving the problems caused recently”.
“It was jointly decided that, although each side maintains its views, intensive talks should start as soon as possible, to reach agreement on pending issues of the collective agreement from 2014 to 2016, which include personnel loans, working hours, and the staff performance evaluation system,” the two sides announced.
Until then, Hellenic has agreed to grant personnel loans per the previous collective agreement, until a new regime is agreed.
On the issue of overtime pay, the statement said, Hellenic’s management has agreed to pay overtime claims made thus far, but will immediately inform all staff of internal procedures governing the issue going forward.
ETYK, on the other hand, has undertaken to inform the bank’s management of any violations to the policy. In return for the bank’s concessions, the union has agreed to lift the counter-measure of instructing its members to refuse overtime work.
“The two sides have also agreed to maintain open communication lines between them through frequent meetings, with a view to preventing labour disputes or other similar issues, and where necessary engaging top-level officials,” the statement added.
Finally, with regard to the hiring of staff by Hellenic, deemed against the rules by ETYK, it was agreed that the matter will be resolved by the Labour ministry’s arbitration service.