Talks to focus on fair deal for staff at AIB

Staff mortgages are not set to be a major issue when AIB and the Irish Bank Officials’ Association meet today to try and thrash out the terms and conditions for staff at AIB facing redundancies.

According to Seamus Shields, IBOA spokesman, the negotiations will focus on getting the best deal possible for the 2,500 employees who face redundancy, but that staff mortgages were not a major issue.

“What we’re trying to achieve is a fair redundancy deal that is sufficiently attractive to insure that staff who are contemplating leaving, can.

“The terms of any redundancy arrangement should be sufficient to give staff a choice. The danger is that if it is too low that brings in the spectre of compulsory redundancy. Redundancy should be on a voluntary basis,” he said.

Mr Shields said the reported €2bn worth of mortgage debt held by employees would not be a major factor in the talks.

“Staff mortgages are hypothetical until the terms of the redundancy are agreed, No one will know what percentage of staff with mortgages will emerge.

“It is pure speculation. It could be wildly wrong in either direction. It won’t be clear until the age profile and terms of people who are leaving are revealed.”

In previous redundancies with financial institutions, the indebtedness of staff members was not an issue in whether or not they were let go, said Mr Shields. “This hasn’t been a factor in terms of staff being let go.

“Staff are neither let go nor pushed out due to their financial circumstances. Decisions will be made on the roles that staff are working in, not on their indebtedness,”

Mr Shields said IBOA would also be seeking clarity from AIB on the type of bank that would emerge once the dust settles from the redundancies.

“Customers will want to know what effect the redundancies will have on branch closures and services.

“Staff are entitled to have a reasonably clear sense of the type of institutions that they are leaving or staying in. The working conditions that will be in the bank.

“Staff need as much information as possible.”

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