Unions at UniCredit Bank have been unsuccessfully negotiating with the bank’s management for a wage increase for several months. According to them, the management also rejected the mediator’s compromise proposal and continues to enforce its proposals. However, the unions do not agree with this, so they started collecting signatures of employees to declare a strike.

Jana Százsová, president of the Basic Organization of the trade union in UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, informed about it on Monday. The bank does not comment on collective bargaining during its course.

Trade unionists have been pointing out for a long time that the ratio of personnel costs to revenues is the lowest in Slovakia within the UniCredit Bank group. While this indicator reaches 18.74% in UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, it represents 28.06% in Germany, 25.73% in Italy, 22.16% in Croatia and 20.38% in Romania. The employees of other banks in Slovakia should also be better off, where the indicator ranges from 24 to 32%.

They reminded that in 2022 the bank’s profitability increased by 32.6% year-on-year, but this year’s wages for employees in Slovakia increased by only 6.19%, which did not even cover half of last year’s inflation. “Employees of UniCredit Bank in Slovakia should not be any better off next year either. Despite the fact that the bank’s profit grew by 23.4% year-on-year during the first half of 2023,” stated Százsová.

As part of collective bargaining, the trade unionists demanded a wage increase from January 2024 by this year’s rate of inflation, as well as the payment of a holiday allowance in July amounting to 60% of their basic salary. “Since both parties could not come to an agreement, a mediator entered the collective dispute. The bank’s employees were willing to accept his proposal, thereby backing away from their original demands,” Százsová assessed. It was supposed to be a general wage increase of 10%, not from January, but from April.

However, according to the unions, the bank also rejected this proposal. Starting in April, he wants to increase salaries across the board by only 7%. The wages of those employees who earn differently in the same positions are to increase by another 3%. Instead of a holiday allowance in the amount of 60% of the monthly salary, the bank proposes to pay a one-time bonus in the amount of 35% of the salary.

“This offer is humiliating and unacceptable for us. Most of our colleagues agreed with it,” said Szászová, adding that the trade unionists let their colleagues vote on the employer’s offer in a poll. More than three-quarters of the employees participated and 83% voted against the bank’s offer. “That’s why the unions started collecting signatures to declare a strike,” added Szászová.