Bank employees’ union Etyk aims to gradually equate the terms of employment for its members at the Co-operative network, with the ultimate goal of a single collective employment agreement across the banking sector, it announced on Tuesday.
In a circular to its members who work in the Co-ops, the union stated that in line with the existing industrial relations code it has already submitted its demands to the Co-operative Central Bank’s management.
“Etyk intends to negotiate with responsibility and determination the collective agreement, according to labour rules, striving for the best possible result for our members based on agreements we have made with all other banks,” it said.
“At the same time, Etyk expects implementation of the commitment by the Co-op Central Bank’s management for our members to have the option of joining the union’s health fund.”
The gist of the problem lies in a five-year collective agreement signed by the CCB and Co-op employees in 2014, “at a time when our union did not represent Co-op employees”, which Etyk does not consider binding.
“The contents of the agreements our union has made with almost all banks, renewing collective agreements that expired on December 31, 2016 and the gradual increases in compensation and benefits to our members, once more indicate the correctness of Etyk’s choices,” the circular said.
The Co-op network has evolved into a bank, Etyk argued, which is why “every day, more and more Co-op employees join forces with other bank employees under Etyk’s wings.
“Today, as much as some are trying to hide the fact, Etyk’s dues-paying members have exceeded 1,000, and it is the leading union in the Co-op network in terms of members,” the union said.
“The union’s authority and import is such that it will no longer allow the trapping of Co-op employees in the famous five-year agreement of 2014.”
Etyk called on its members to stand united in support of the union’s leadership.