Special agreement covers euro changeover in banking

Download article in original language : GR0202101NEL.DOC

In January 2002, a special collective agreement was signed regulating pay and conditions in Greek banks during the time when both the drachma and the euro are in circulation - ie up until the end of February 2002. The deal provides for longer bank-opening hours during this period and a lump-sum payment to all employees.

On 18 January 2002, the Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) and representatives of banking employers signed a special collective agreement, thereby ratifying a 'record of agreement' to the same effect, which had been concluded between them on 20 December 2001. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Minister of Labour and Social Security, who confirmed and co-signed it. The accord refers to aspects of pay and working time in banks for the period during which both the drachma and the euro are in circulation - that is, from 1 January to 28 February 2002.

The special collective agreement contains the following provisions:

  • to make matters easier for bank users and perform work relating to the replacement of the drachma by the euro, OTOE has agreed to lengthen statutory bank opening hours, which are from 08:00 to 14:00 on Monday to Thursday and from 08:00 to 13:30 on Friday, by one hour per day. The longer opening hours will be in effect only during the time that both the drachma and the euro are in circulation (1 January-28 February 2002);
  • the banks will pay to every employee as soon as possible, and by 28 February 2002 at the latest, the net amount of EUR 450. This sum is not subject to any withholding against profits in the current or future accounting periods, in accordance with the relevant provisions;
  • the lump-sum payment of EUR 450 will not be offset against pay increases or other benefits that have been or will be granted in future sectoral or enterprise-level collective agreements, or claims for overtime worked over and above normal working hours, which will be paid in accordance with the provisions in force to date; and
  • the special collective agreement affects all workers covered under the current sectoral collective agreements concluded between OTOE and the banks (GR0107113N) - ie to more than 70% of employees in the sector.
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