6pc pay rise for bank workers

Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union Vanua Levu AGM in 2017. Picture: SUPPLIED

UP to 380 employees at two major banks in the country will enjoy a 6 per cent pay increase from the beginning of next month.

Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union announced it had signed agreements with ANZ Fiji and the Bank of Baroda for pay increments yesterday.

“We have signed a 6 per cent of increase in salary for all our members in ANZ in all the branches around Fiji with effect from June 1, 2019. That is a significant event because ANZ being the market leader in the finance industry makes a difference to the entire finance industry,” said Sailesh Naidu, the union’s national secretary.

“This will also affect other financial institutions in how they operate and how they pay their employees in other organisations.

“The second agreement that we have signed is with Bank of Baroda this morning, that is also a 6 per cent increase — 3 per cent backdated to August 1, 2017 and another 3 per cent backdated to August 1, 2018.”

Apart from this, Mr Naidu said the union had negotiated a 4 per cent increase in salaries for about 40 New India Assurance employees last month, which would be backdated to January 1, 2019.

He said the union had also successfully negotiated a 3.3 per cent salary increase for about 450 BSP employees, also backdated to the beginning of this year.

“This is a relief for the workers, particularly with the rise in cost of living.”

Mr Naidu said the union was facing challenges with finalising the agreements with Westpac and Bred Bank and they would focus on this in the next few weeks.

Since banks had been included in the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree from 2011 to 2015, Mr Naidu said it had taken them a while to negotiate the salary increments. “… so we had teething issues going back after 2011 to negotiate, so we had to rectify a lot of things.

We did not know what happened between 2011 and 2015, whether the changes which took place, the structures would have changed, the matrix would have changed, so we had to re-look and really re-evaluate ourselves.”

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