Tariffs: Employers dampen expectations ahead of wage negotiations for banks

Tariffs: Employers dampen expectations ahead of wage negotiations for banks

Next week, collective bargaining negotiations for employees at private banks in Germany begin. The main issue is more money – but the unions have other demands.

Before the start of collective bargaining for around 135,000 employees of private banks in Germany, the employers’ side is dampening expectations. The unions’ wage demands are “significantly too high” in view of the great uncertainty in the market, said the general manager of the Employers’ Association of the Private Banking Industry (AGV Banken), Carsten Rogge-Strang, to the dpa in Frankfurt.

A weak economy and the expected decline in interest rates are just two of the many challenges facing the institutes. “We really have to be moderate here.” However, employers are “ready to make fair salary adjustments,” said Rogge-Strang.

The Verdi union is demanding a 12.5 percent increase, but at least 500 euros. The German Bank Employees Association (DBV) wants to push through an increase of 16 percent, or at least 600 euros gross per month. “We are demanding a significant increase in income to offset the loss in real wages of employees in private banks,” argued Verdi negotiator Jan Duscheck.

The negotiations are scheduled to begin on Thursday with a first virtual round. Further dates for June 17 in Berlin and July 3 in Frankfurt have already been agreed.

Shorter weekly working hours demanded

In addition to higher salaries, the DBV wants to achieve a reduction in weekly working hours: As a first step, the 38-hour week should be introduced on January 1, 2025, with the same salary. Rogge-Strang stressed: “We will not go along with a reduction in working hours.” The banks are already very flexible in terms of working hours and place of work for employees. “We are striving to focus this round of collective bargaining, which is taking place in a highly volatile environment, on the core issue of salary,” said Rogge-Strang.

In the previous round of collective bargaining, unions and employers only reached an agreement after more than nine months. In April 2022, salary increases in two stages totaling 5 percent were agreed. There were also two one-off payments of 500 euros each. The collective agreement had a term of 35 months. This time, Verdi is aiming for a term of 12 months, while the DBV would agree to 24 months.

Source: Stern

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