Agreement in the collective bargaining conflict between public banks

Frankfurt Banking Skyline

The Verdi union has agreed a new collective agreement with state and development banks and some savings banks. There is more money and agreements to work from home.

(Photo: dpa)

frankfurt Employees of state and development banks, as well as various savings banks in Germany, will receive more money and will be able to work from home more often in the future. The sixth round of collective bargaining for public banks represented a breakthrough in the negotiations that had been going on since the end of June last year.

As the Verdi union and the Federal Association of Public Banks (VÖB) announced on Friday, the approximately 60,000 employees will receive a three percent wage increase from July 1 this year and a further two percent increase on July 1. July 2023.

The new collective agreement also provides for two lump sum payments and a reduction in the weekly working day from one hour to 38 hours from January 2024. In future, employees should be able to work up to 40 percent of their working hours on the move. .

The agreement on a home office regulation is noteworthy. Private banks, which have also been negotiating with Verdi since the summer, have so far rejected a collective bargaining right to work from home.

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They argue that designing mobile work requires a differentiated approach that differs by business model, work organization, and corporate culture. Therefore, the issue should be regulated at company level and not in an industry-wide collective agreement.

Private banking rejects collective agreements for mobile work

During the corona crisis, almost all employees of many banks worked from home at times. Even when the obligation to work from home was lifted last summer, working from a desk at home dominated among German financial institutions. At several major banks, the office share was only between 10 and 20 percent at the time, according to a Handelsblatt survey.

The situation is different for employees in branches. At the beginning of the corona pandemic in the spring of 2020, some credit institutions had closed their branches completely. But that was only a brief phase.

Verdi’s negotiator, Jan Showereck, said the result was reached after very tough and lengthy negotiations. “And the pressure from the many strikes that the workers had done before certainly contributed to this.”

Gunar Feth, a negotiator for the public banks, spoke of a “really very good salary package” that significantly cushions the consequences of inflation for public bank employees and recognizes their achievements.

A total of 44 money houses belong to the tariff community of public banks. These include the large state-owned banks, BayernLB, LBBW, Helaba and NordLB, as well as the savings bank fund service provider Deka, most development banks, including the state-owned bank KfW, and numerous state-owned building societies.

Some large savings banks such as those from Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Bremen, as well as the Nassauische Sparkasse from Wiesbaden are also represented here.

She expects commitments with private banks.

Verdi entered the negotiations with a demand for 4.5 percent more money, but at least 150 euros more per month. The German Bank Employees Association (DBV) wanted more than 4.8 percent. With an eye toward mobile working, Verdi wanted employees to be able to work mobile for up to 60 percent of their working hours.

Duscheck now asked the bosses of private banking: “Return to the negotiating table.” The agreements for the public institutes and before that for the Postbank demonstrated “that fair and viable compromises are also possible in the banking industry these days”.

With agency material

Plus: NordLB goes back to black and makes a small profit in 2021


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