Separate collective agreements signed for most large banks

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At the close of 1999, the sector-wide collective agreement for the Dutch banking sector ended. By the end of June 2000, all major banks except ING had reached company agreements.

The large Dutch banks opted to dispense with the sector-wide collective agreement and go their own way at the end of 1999 (NL0003184F). The existing sectoral agreement had to make way for company-level equivalents. By the end of June 2000, separate agreements had been finalised at most large finance companies, including Fortis, ABN Amro, Rabo and SNS-Reaal.

At SNS-Reaal, an integrated collective agreement has been finalised, covering some 6,000 employees. This is the first time that terms and conditions of employment at a bank (SNS) and an insurance company (Reaal) have been harmonised. With effect from 1 June 2000, the employees will be awarded a salary increase of 3.8% and an option scheme will be introduced for all employees. Employees may become eligible for a bonus of up to 15% of their salaries.

The 10,000 employees at Fortis Bank will also be eligible for such a bonus. From 1 July 2000, their salaries will increase by 3.75%, with a further 0.5% increase from 1 January 2001. For the time being, separate terms and conditions will remain applicable to the banking and insurance companies within Fortis, which is allied to the Amev insurance company. However, the new collective agreement has brought the three existing packages of terms and conditions of employment within the bank into line.

A wage increase of 3.9% has been agreed at ABN Amro (37,000 employees). In addition to their existing "13th month" payment, employees will also receive a 14th month payment. As of 2001, more options will be introduced for employees regarding individual terms and conditions of employment (NL9906144F). They will, for example, be able to exchange their share in the distribution of profits or accrued days of leave for a higher salary or a personal computer for private use.

Despite the fact that ING could be considered the driving force behind the disintegration of the former sector-wide agreement, it was the only bank that had failed to reach consensus on a new company agreement by the end of June 2000. The company is striving to achieve full integration of the currently separate terms and conditions of employment governing employees within its banking and insurance operations. At present, the trade unions consider integration to this extent, combined with modernisation, too far-reaching. If the parties concerned fail to reach agreement, the sectoral collective agreements in force for the smaller banks and for the insurance sector will take effect at ING.

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