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Union now tells IBRC staff to cooperate with NAMA over new roles

The Irish Bank Officials Association is now telling its members at IBRC to cooperate with NAMA if they are interested in roles there having previously said it was “imperative” that they did not cooperate.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation headquarters on the Burlington Road in Dublin 4
Irish Bank Resolution Corporation headquarters on the Burlington Road in Dublin 4
Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

A UNION REPRESENTING hundreds of workers at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) has rowed back on previous advice to members not to cooperate with NAMA or another firm involved in the transfer of assets out of the liquidated bank.

The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) has now told its members that they should cooperate with the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and Capita, a firm hired by the agency to handle over €40 billion of loans that had until recently been managed by IBRC, if they are interested in a role with the two firms.

Staff at the bank are in dispute with KPMG, the liquidator at the former Anglo Irish Bank, over changes to their redundancy terms following the dramatic liquidation of the bank in February.

IBOA told staff earlier this month it was “imperative” that they did not cooperate with NAMA or Capita but with a deadline approaching for IBRC staff to express an interest in roles with the two firms, the union has rowed back on this advice.

In an update to members last Wednesday, seen by TheJournal.ie, IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick said:

“Given the immediacy of the deadline for Expressions of Interest to be emailed to Capita/NAMA and not wishing to see members put at a disadvantage, I encourage all members interested in a role in Capita/NAMA to email them as they have requested.”

However Broderick said that staff should “highlight that this is done ‘without prejudice to the on-going discussions with your Union.’” He also suggests that staff should identify their salary range, grade and other terms and conditions when making contact with NAMA and Capita.

‘Time is running out’

Earlier this month, Broderick had told members that “cooperating with NAMA or Capita is essentially working yourself out of a job” and said that no meetings should take place and no information should be shared with NAMA or Capita.

The dispute centres on redundancy terms for IBRC staff who were entitled to four weeks’ pay per year of service prior to liquidation. This has now been replaced by statutory redundancy of two weeks’ pay per year of service, effectively halving redundancy packages for many workers.

Broderick also noted in his update to staff this week that it has been “extremely disappointing” that a solution with KPMG over redundancy has not been achieved. He said that a planned meeting with the liquidator did not take place on Tuesday as had been expected and adds:

“We are conscious that time is running out for a solution to be achieved in a reasonable manner in the near future. If this cannot be achieved members will be required to take further action to demonstrate their anger.”

He asks that members and all staff at IBRC cooperate and support IBOA’s attempts to achieve a solution to the matter.

Meanwhile Finance Minister Michael Noonan has again ruled out any intervention in the matter, saying that to direct the liquidator to divert assets from one category of creditor to another, i.e. to the employees, could be legally problematic.

“Any such interference would be open to challenges in the Irish Courts by unsecured creditors,” Noonan said in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath this week.

The minister added: “I am sure the staff will continue to work to ensure a satisfactory outcome for Irish taxpayers while they remain in employment under the liquidation process. Furthermore, some staff may, in time, be re-hired by NAMA or other purchasers of the assets.”

Previously: Union warns of ‘further serious action’, tells IBRC staff not to cooperate with NAMA

Read: ‘All we’re looking for is a fair deal’ – An IBRC worker on the impact of liquidation

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Hugh O'Connell

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