Wednesday, March 22

SBEU: New collective agreement ‘windfall’ for bank employees


Paril (second left) exchanges documents with SBEU president and exco member Fabian Oliver Patrick Munan, while being watched by others. Also in the picture is Nora (third left). – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Jan 5): Employees of the banking sector in Sarawak will receive a ‘windfall’ in increment of their salary following the signing of the 16th Collective Agreement (CA) between Sarawak Commercial Banks Association (SCBA) and Sarawak Bank Employees Union (SBEU).

SBEU chief executive officer Andrew Lo said this was decided after discussions on eight-point negotiations for the last two years since January 2021, and will take effect this Jan 21, 2023.

“This agreement will benefit about 2,000 employees from the banking sector in the state, who will also receive salary arrears amounting to RM10,000 to RM36,000.

“This will also include an agreement for the granting of a digital allowance amounting to RM100 per month, in line with the governance of banking which is more towards digital services,” he said when speaking at signing ceremony between SCBA and SBEU, attended by 200 members of the banking association from all over Malaysia, at a hotel here yesterday.

He also said among other things that were agreed upon were the salary increases of between eight and 15 per cent, abolishing of the limit on overtime claims, an increase in other allowances between 10 and 18 per cent, including housing allowance of up to RM575 per month (for those with families).

“The latest agreement also sets a salary range increase, for example for Grade SS1 (between RM1,691 to RM3,729 now to between RM1,945 to RM4,065), SS2 (RM2,409 to RM5,847 now to between RM2,713 to RM6,316), for SS3 (from RM2,885 to RM6,175 now to between RM3,319 to RM7,503) and others.

“With the new CA, all SBEU members will get eight per cent to 15 per cent salary increase. They will enjoy a gross wages increase of RM406 to RM1,026 a month,” he said.

At the same event, Malayan Commercial Banks Association (MCBA) president Datuk Nora Abdul Manaf said the global economy is expected to experience contraction and rising inflation rates, and Malaysia is no exception.

“It is clear that this situation will contribute to an increase in the amount of loans and some other interest rates during recession or economic depression expected to occur this year.

“I hope that the latest achievements through this agreement will help employees in the banking sector to weather a more challenging economic period,” she said.

Meanwhile, SCBA president Maureen Paril welcomed the signing of the CA between SCBA and SBEU.

She said this collaborative partnership by both sides will certainly bode well for the continued good relationships between SCBA and SBEU in the years to come.

“Both parties had enjoyed good relationships in the past and I must thank the leadership of SBEU for their understanding and support in ensuring we continue to have a very harmonious and healthy industrial relations climate in Sarawak.

“The willingness of both parties to adopt a give and take mind-set for a win-win solution to issues is certainly very important for the wellbeing of the banks and our employees, particularly with the ever increasing tough business climate,” she said.

She also thanked the MCBA team led by Looi Heong Meng for assisting SCBA in handling the negotiation and the team’s wealth of experience which eventually led to the conclusion of this CA negotiation, and also to the SBEU team led by Lo for their professionalism and cooperation in ensuring that they were able to sign the CA without any third-party intervention.

“On this aspect, SCBA is proud to be associated with SBEU which has continued to be a progressive union and place a lot of emphasis on a performance driven culture amongst its members.

“The fact that the SCBA/SBEU CA is the only CA with a performance bonus provision is a testimony of the mind-set of SBEU and we believe this is imperative in this current era where we must always be on our toes to succeed in a very challenging economic environment,” she said.