Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank welcomes new staff redundancy package

By Clare Weir

Ulster Bank has welcomed news that union members have voted to accept recommendations for an improved redundancy programme.

Staff who belong to the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) agreed with proposals from mediator Martin King on the bank's restructuring plan announced in January, which involves the loss of up to 950 jobs.

"Ulster Bank welcomes the acceptance of the mediated recommendation through the recent IBOA ballot," a statement from the bank said. "We hope that we can now move forward and bring certainty to all our people."

The bank's senior management has also indicated its acceptance of the recommendation.

Among the improvements were enhanced severance terms of four weeks' pay per year of service, including statutory entitlements - additional provisions to protect the terms and conditions of the staff who remain with the bank - especially on relocation to other workplaces and redeployment to other roles.

Mr King also recommended training grants for departing staff and an early retirement plan for as many as 50 people over 55 years of age.

The development is part of a series of announcements expected this week about the future of Ireland's major retail banks being considered by over 120 IBOA activists meeting in Galway.

Recommendations have also been made on restructuring plans at AIB and Bank of Ireland, while Danske Bank has just outlined proposals for a major reorganisation of its National Irish Bank and Northern Bank under the Danske brand.

IBOA general secretary, Larry Broderick, said that the onus is now on Ulster Bank to set out in detail, for the benefit of customers as well as staff, the full implications of its plans.

"The full details of its restructuring plan have still to be clarified," he said.

"This is essential to enable staff to make an informed decision about whether they should remain with Ulster Bank or leave at this time."

A spokesman for Ulster Bank welcomed the acceptance of the mediated recommendation through the recent IBOA ballot.

"We hope that we can now move forward and bring certainty to all our people," he added.

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