AIB is to let up to 150 long-serving staff go as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme across its retail and business network.
It is understood that the scheme which is in “local markets” — the branch and business banking network — will only be applicable to staff who have more than 15 years’ service.
The bank has had voluntary redundancy drives at various times in recent years but there has not been one in local markets since 2013.
The Financial Services Union said the redundancies must be under the agreed “Foley” terms which guarantee a minimum of four weeks’ pay per year of service.
It said the exact number of redundancies had not been agreed but will be limited to no more than 150.
The union said it has raised concerns about AIB’s proposals, particularly in light of staff shortages across the bank’s network.
It said it was also concerned that, despite the bank’s return to profitability, it is still seeking reductions in staffing numbers.
Billy Barrett, FSU senior industrial relations officer, said: “While the redundancies are being carried out under agreed terms, the FSU is concerned about the future structure of AIB and the impact on staffing levels across the network.
“We have sought assurances from the bank that the current round of redundancies will not add to the already increased workload and stress on members in AIB.”
The union’s general secretary Larry Broderick expressed concern at AIB’s focus on offering redundancy to long-serving staff “which is leading to a steady decline in the availability of experienced bankers”.
“The union has also expressed a concern that promotional opportunities for remaining staff will be limited or non-existent,” he said.
For its part, the bank stressed there would be no compulsory redundancies.
“There is an opportunity for a limited number of staff to avail of voluntary severance and therefore we have decided to open a programme now,” a spokeswoman said.
“There are no branch closures or reductions in hours associated with this change.
“In fact AIB opened three new outlets in 2015, as well as launching a joint venture with SuperValu this year, and we have just extended opening hours in several Cork branches as well as our Grafton Street flagship location,” the spokeswoman said.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved