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Banking, Insurance & General Workers Union
UNION SETTLES NEGOTIATIONS
Thursday, September 17 2015 NEWSDAY
THE Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) yesterday said over the last two months, it has finalised collective agreements specific to the financial services sector, with wage increases ranging from 12 to 17 percent with various employers.
In the credit union sector, BIGWU reached agreement with the Agricola Credit Union (12 percent over a three-year period, 2011 to 2013); Eastern Credit Union (13 percent increase over a three-year period, 2013 to 2016) and the Telephone Workers Credit Union ( 12 percent over the period 2013 to 2015). In the banking sector, agreement was reached with First Citizens Bank (14 percent over the period, 2015 to 2017); Republic Bank Limited (14 percent, 2014 to 2017) and the Central Bank (14 percent, 2015 to 2017).
The union made particular mention of its recent settlement of collective agreements for three successive periods at the Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company (TTMF). Wage negotiations for the period 2009 to 2012 were pending before the Industrial Court but BIGWU said agreements were reached with TTMF.
The agreements were as follows: 15 percent (2009 to 2012); 12 percent (2013 to 2015) and 17 percent (2016 to 2019). The union said the latter period is for a four-year agreement but inclusive of the introduction of an annual profit sharing plan, starting in the financial year 2016.
BIGWU also said it agreed with First Citizens Bank to a profit sharing plan to take effect from financial year 2015. Workers at both entities are now the beneficiaries of a profit sharing arrangement similar to that in existence at Republic Bank for over 20 years now.
The union said in arriving at the settlements they did, due consideration was given by both the respective employers and the union to the legitimate aspirations of the workers to maintain and/or improve their working conditions and the employers’ ability to pay.
The union said these agreements reflect the general level of profitability and viability of the companies and firms operating in the financial sector of the economy. BIGWU said its policy focuses on increasing shareholder value and this must be accompanied by fair increases in the emoluments paid to workers.