David Massiah, General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, says the signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for line staff at ACB Caribbean is a “milestone” accomplishment, given the unique challenges posed by the acquisition of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
Following the signing of the Agreement, the bank’s line staff will benefit from a 6.5% salary increase that covers the period October 2020 to September 2023.
The Union, ACB Caribbean management, and representatives from the Employers Federation met to affix their signatures to the document on Friday, June 3.
Joanna Charles, the bank’s General Manager, praised the Union for its “understanding and flexibility” throughout the negotiations.
Charles admits that the RBC acquisition “introduced a layer of complexity to the negotiations, but the Union provided guidance and advice throughout the process.”
She says the relationship between both entities is geared towards working together for the good of the employees … and the banking industry as a whole.
Massiah agrees that all the parties displayed the level of maturity and engagement the process required. What is important, he says, is to have an industrial climate that is settled – one where there is not so much friction.
In addition to the salary increase, some staff received further increments from a recently concluded review undertaken by the bank.
Regarding other benefits, the Union has negotiated an increase in annual vacation leave, from 12 to 15 days, for employees who have completed between one and five years of service.
The Union says it eagerly anticipates the 2023 round of negotiations with ACB Caribbean.