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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bank workers to get 17% payrise

First, the fuel hike that affects virtually the entire nation, then, the electricity tariff hike with almost similar reach (except for the small users), and now, we are starting to see what started as a couple of shock waves becoming larger and larger tsunamis from an inflationary viewpoint.

The full article here - http://themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysian-news/34-malaysian-news/879-bank-workers-to-get-17pc-pay-rise. My comments in italics brackets.


KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — After months of a deadlock in negotiations for a new collective agreement (CA), banks have agreed to pay a 17 per cent salary rise for about 32,000 employees, including 25,000 members under the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE).

(Seng: It is unclear to me whether this 17% is a per annum figure, or accumulated since Jan 1, 2006, so that the yearly increase might be smaller when spread over 2-3 years. 17% for just 1 year looks TOO BIG a figure. If anyone knows, please feel free to let me know)

The salary adjustment would be based on the basic salary as at Dec 31, 2005, with arrears backdated to Jan 1, 2006.

The employees would also continue to receive two months’ contractual bonus at the end of every year.

According to NUBE secretary-general J. Solomon, the arrears for the salary and bonus, between RM4,000 and RM17,000 depending on their positions, will be paid within one month, less the 7 per cent interim salary adjustment which was paid in February this year.

(Seng: Even though I don't know the actual % increase in future, the key here is the amount mentioned here per person. They can use whatever %, old or new salaries, backdate it to whatever date, but bottom line is that these 32,000 employees will receive extra payment in respect of a past period, and future salary increases. The extra payment alone will probably cost $10,000 (say) x 32,000 = $320,000,000 or say $200M to $300M, which is a decent boost to the economy, with multiplier benefits and some inflationary effect. And higher salaries means higher future bonus, etc. so more multiplier effects in future. Of course, salaries are company expenses which means smaller profits unless prices goes up. Short term, more pressures on bank profits. Expect nationwide inflation figures to go up. Not sure what BNM's exact stance on interest rates is going to be yet.)

"This (17 per cent) increase is the highest in the last 10 years. If you look back in the year 2005 when we concluded the last CA, we only got nine per cent, but now we have 17 per cent," he said.

He said this to reporters after the signing of the collective agreement between the NUBE and the Malayan Commercial Banks' Association (MCBA) here today. It was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

(Seng: Nice 'feel good' feeling at a critical time .... how can any of these 32,000 bank employees hate Abdullah now? See Bernama's reporting below too.)

Besides this, the workers’ other terms and conditions of service would also generally be enhanced with increases in various allowances and benefits.

Among these enhancements are a 5 per cent increase in various allowances, a higher eligibility for housing loans and the provision of a sum not exceeding RM300 from the medical benefits for the purchase of a hospital and surgical insurance for the spouse and children of staff.

Solomon also said bank employees will also be getting RM100 as a cost of living allowance for the next collective agreement, which is effective from Jan 1, 2009. — Bernama


Since the actual source is from Bernama, I thought it might be worthwhile to read the news from the horse's mouth here - http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=340985

Just 2 extracts:

"The event was witnessed by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi."

"Solomon also said that the decision was in line with the advice given by the Prime Minister."

Wow! See how this 17% pay rise decision came as a result of the advice given by the PM? Now, why am I not surprised?

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