New collective agreement for banking employees

Download article in original language : LU9706113NFR.DOC

A new collective agreement was concluded in May 1997 for Luxembourg's banking sector. In contrast to the previous 1993 agreement, the accord was signed by all the main trade unions in the sector.

Following the signing of a new collective agreement by the nationally representative unions and by the trade union with most membership in the sector - the Luxembourg Association of Bank Employees (Association luxembourgeoise des Employes de Banque, ALEBA) - a new collective agreement for the banking sector has been declared "of mandatory compliance". In other words, it has statutory force in all institutions in the finance sector.

In a sector of vital importance to the Luxembourg economy, such news was bound to be greeted with some relief. It is worth recalling that a collective agreement was signed in the banking sector in 1993 with two trade unions (LCGB and FEP-FIT) that enjoyed national representative status, but which were seen as minority organisations in the sector (LU9705107F). ALEBA has always contested the legal validity of this collective agreement, and made a formal complaint in law to the Council of State. However, this body did not submit the application to careful scrutiny, simply declaring that the complaint was inadmissible.

It is interesting to note that the 1993 agreement, which was hotly contested by non-signatory unions and introduced a new remuneration system based on new "groups of functions and performance criteria", provides the basis for the new collective agreement. The old system relied to a degree on automatic pay rises, for which staff already employed on 31 December 1991 qualified.

The new collective agreement also provides for annual pay rises of 1.7%, 1.6% and 1.5% for the years 1996, 1997 and 1998, together with a new scheme of so-called "conjunctural (ie long-service) bonuses" and "special bonuses".

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