Bank of Valletta (BOV) and the General Workers Union (GWU) have signed a new collective agreement covering the period 2022 to 2024 at the House of the Four Winds in Valletta.
CEO Rick Hunkin, Vanessa Borg, Ray Debattista, and Lawrence Schembri signed the agreement on behalf of BOV. GWU Section Secretary for the Professionals – Finance and Services section Riccarda Darmanin, accompanies by the Group Commmittee members for BOV, represented the GWU.
“This agreement seeks to plot a path forward for the Bank in increasingly complex times whilst better meeting the needs of our colleagues. It will be beneficial to everyone, and I am confident today’s signing will provide our employees with growing support, better opportunities and the ability to develop and grow in line with our business,” Mr Hunkin said.
The Agreement, which is the result of extensive negotiations held over a period of months, provides for significant changes from previous arrangements. In an increasingly complex and highly regulated environment, the Bank and its people need to adapt for the future and the Bank and the Union have worked together to provide for this new world.
Accordingly, the agreement encompasses significant changes to management structures within the bank, creating a simpler organisation where we can empower and reward our people for doing well.
The agreement allows for significantly increased flexibility on salary and benefits to reflect market conditions, and in relation to new innovations tied to employee wellbeing, the Bank has included environmental and socially based rewards which will greatly benefit lower earning staff whilst contributing to the Bank’s ESG commitment.
Similarly important, and again a first for BOV, the Bank has introduced a new voluntary occupation pension scheme which will be available to all employees in the coming weeks. This scheme provides for direct contributions by the bank into an employee’s personal pension, providing for our colleagues’ long-term future.
“Our HR initiatives are focused on the Bank being ‘An innovative partner that fosters success, employee growth and wellness’. I firmly believe that this agreement ties in neatly with our People and Change Strategy and serves as a sound platform to support these same initiatives. We are very pleased that through this collective agreement, we have set the foundations for improved rewards to our staff based on more streamlined yet flexible career opportunities,” Dr Borg said.
Gordon Cordina, Bank of Valletta Chairman was also directly involved in shaping innovative new ways of supporting our people as part of a wider environmental, social and governance ambition.
He commented that “through a collaborative approach, the Bank and the Union have created a framework where the commitment of our people is being duly recognised, while their productivity will continue to sustain business growth and personal development.”
Ms Darmanin described this agreement as an important achievement that continues to build sound working conditions on past agreements.
“We have managed to negotiate this agreement in unprecedented times. The employees at BOV have been striving through a period of continuous changes brought about by new regulations, new systems, besides being the frontliners through a pandemic. They merit to be compensated for their loyalty to the Bank and to its customers. We have also made it certain that all the Bank’s employees be given opportunities for training and progression.”
She concluded by thanking Dr Cordina, the Bank’s Management, and the group committee for the support given during the negotiations, whilst noting that she looks forward to continuing to strengthen the already healthy partnership with the Bank that commits to guarantee a sense of fairness and transparency among the employees.
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