Republic Bank is defending its position with regards to claims made by the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Trade Union that the bank is not offering descent wages to the workers.
The bank issued a statement on Thursday stating, among other things, that wages given to staff are among the best in the country.
The following is the bank's statement:
"Republic Bank Limited is currently in negotiations with the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) for a new collective agreement related to its clerical staff.
The Bank notes, with concern, incorrect and misleading statements made in the media by representatives of the Union over the last week, and take this opportunity to share relevant facts.
Compensation packages are determined based on job roles and the salaries paid within the specific industry, and grouping for comparative jobs.
Consideration of the prevailing and projected economic climate is also relevant in determining wage proposals. Republic Bank adopts this approach.
Independent reviews of compensation packages, within the banking and financial services industry in Trinidad and Tobago, all confirm that Republic Bank’s salaries and benefits are among the best in the country.
Additionally, in recognition of the valuable contribution made by all employees of Republic Bank to its annual performance, its staff share in the profits generated each year by the Group, through its profit sharing plan.
The plan offers employees a combination of Republic Bank shares and cash, every year.
As an investment, their Republic Bank shares generate annual dividends and capital appreciation, depending on the performance of the Bank.
This is a benefit that is not offered to employees in the majority of other companies in Trinidad and Tobago.
Republic Bank also provides its employees with performance-based incentives that are above industry norms.
Republic Bank employees who are required to work outside of their normal working hours are paid for the overtime worked at rates already in place.
This is standard practice. The Bank also provides opportunities for staff development and furtherance of their careers, including, in some cases, inclusion in assignments related to the Group’s overseas subsidiaries. Involvement in such assignments benefits the staff and organisation tremendously, from a learning, development and business exposure point of view, and these are actively sought after by many employees.
Republic Bank believes that an engaged staff body will provide a higher quality of service to our customers and an enhanced quality of life for themselves.
This engagement includes a readily available executive and management body to all staff, to share and explain strategy so that staff can better understand their roles and the direction of the Bank, and provide feedback as owners, customers and employees. These interactions assist in the development of productive working relationships among the staff body.
Republic Bank also continues to provide benefits to its employees, over and above those that are negotiated with the Union.
These include reward and recognition programmes and online learning facilities aimed at acknowledging employees’ contributions and supporting their career ambitions. Health and wellness programmes, including a well-equipped sporting facility and gym, support the enhancement of their quality of life.
The Bank, however, does not negotiate terms and conditions of work directly with staff and remains committed to the best long-term interests of our staff."