New demand framework from the OTOE
In January 2001, Greece's OTOE bank workers' trade union issued its platform of demands for forthcoming bargaining over a new collective agreement for the banking sector. OTOE's demands include pay increases which take into account future inflation and past losses of purchasing power, and the introduction of a 35-hour working week.
On 24 January 2001, the executive council of the Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) decided on its framework of demands in forthcoming negotiations over a new agreement in the banking sector, aimed at meeting workers' current needs and safeguarding their rights.
The OTOE is demanding pay increases which take the following into account:
- the anticipated inflation rate which, based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, will average around 2.5% in 2001.
- bank employees' loss of income during 2000. A pay increase of 2.4% was agreed for 2000 (GR9906135F), but the average inflation rate was 3.2%. Apart from the difference between these two rates, OTOE is also demanding a 1% "corrective sum" for 2000 (as also demanded more widely by the Greek General Confederation of Labour, GSEE);
- employees' contribution to the rise in per capita GDP which is estimated at 2.9% for 2000 (GDP rose by a total of 4% during the year); and
- banks' positive financial results and marked increase in profitability.
OTOE's main demands on other issues include:
- a reduction of the working week to 35 hours, without loss of pay and without flexibility, and the recording and regulation of "special" working hours where these are necessary (as in dealing rooms, computerised operations and stock market transactions);
- increased consultation rights in the event of an acquisition or a merger (on top of those provided for in Presidential Decree 572/1988), aimed at safeguarding employment and labour rights for all workers;
- provisions on outsourcing and subcontracting to non-bank enterprises. In particular, OTOE is demanding an end to outsourcing and to the "unacceptable practice" of hiring-out of labour;
- new works rules, where necessary, with OTOE participating in the relevant bargaining;
- termination of contract systems which safeguard employees; and
- the establishment of a permanent bipartite committee to deal with employment issues. This body should enable more effective monitoring of the quantitative and qualitative restructuring of employment, and the systematic supervision of the relevant developments in the sector.
OTOE is also demanding improved education and continuing training, enhanced bonus arrangements, better terms for housing loans and personal loans, gender equality measures, health and safety improvements, increased bank security, and various family and other allowances.
The agreed framework will be submitted to banking employers, with a request for the establishment of a competent bargaining group with which the OTOE board will negotiate the sector's new collective agreement.