New collective agreement concluded in banking

A new collective agreement was concluded in the Norwegian banking sector in May 1998, providing for a general pay rise of 4.1%. All employees are guaranteed an annual increase of at least NOK 10,000. A new bargaining structure has also been introduced.

On 14 May 1998, the bargaining parties in the banking sector finalised a new collective agreement for the period 1998-2000. The agreement was concluded between the Finance Sector Union of Norway (Finansforbundet), which is affiliated to the Confederation of Vocational Unions (Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund, YS), and the Norwegian Bank Employers' Association (Bankenes Arbeidsgiverforening, BAF). The new agreement awards a general pay increase of 4.1%, and no employee will receive an increase of less than NOK 10,000 per year. In addition, there will be local pay increases at company level. Approximately 20,000 people are covered by the banking sector agreement .

The parties also agreed to change the structure of bargaining in the sector in order to achieve a more coherent system. The changes include a joint Basic Agreement, joint nationwide agreement (Sentraloverenskomst) and the introduction of company-level agreements. The new structure follows a proposal worked out by a joint committee in the autumn of 1997. The most significant change is the introduction of company agreements. A wide range of issues are left to the parties to decide at company level, including the type of wage systems to be used and the regulation of working hours. The joint nationwide agreement, however, stipulates that ordinary working hours are between 08.00 and 16.00, and lays down the type of pay rates to be used outside these hours. It will not be possible to take strike action in connection with the renegotiations of these agreements, and an arbitration committee will resolve disputes.

The banking sector has undergone a restructuring process in the last few years, the results of which have included a reduction in the number of employees. The sector has also had restrictive provisions in relation to opening/closing time.

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