One was found Thursday agreement for the renewal of the collective labor agreement in the banking sector, which expired in December 2022 and concerns the approximately 270,000 employees of banks based in Italy. It was highly anticipated and the main banking unions (FABI, FIRST, FISAC, UILCA and UNISIN) representing workers had been working on it for months, in collaboration with the main banking association, ABI, and Intesa San Paolo. The agreement must be definitively approved by the meetings of the parties. This is a remarkable agreement for two reasons: both because it offers particularly favorable conditions for workers in terms of wages and working hours, and because contract renewals in other sectors usually arrive years after their expiration and with less visible changes.
The agreement provides for an average monthly increase in gross salary of 435 euros by 2026. The increase will take place in four slicethe first starting from December, salaries will increase on average by 250 euros, the second provides for an increase of 100 euros from September 2024, the third by 50 euros from June 1, 2025, the fourth by 35 euros from from March 2026.
These are average increases: they will be greater for workers with higher roles, such as those with a management contract, i.e. the level below management, while they will be more low for those with more operational roles. Collective labor agreements generally provide that for each role and task there is a “table minimum”, a minimum gross salary that must be paid for each classification: the increase will increase as the level increases.
These substantial increases come in a sector, the banking sector, in which the salaries of Italian employees are already the highest.
The previous contract expired in December 2022 and for this reason the agreement provides that employers will also pay part of the arrears accumulated in previous months in which the adjustment was not in force: they will take charge of those for the months from July to November, for an average of 1,250 euros which will be paid from December. Also in this case the arrears will vary depending on the contractual level.
The method of calculating the TFR will also change, the severance pay which is paid when a worker leaves the company, after the sum has been accumulated month after month during their period of work: in short, the new method will be more generous than the old one. A. A reduction in working hours is also expected. For the banking sector, it is currently 37.5 hours per week: the unions had asked to reduce it to 35 hours per week, but the compromise was found at 37, with a reduction of 30 minutes per week from July 2024.
Generally speaking, the agreement adjusts salaries to the increase in the cost of living that has occurred over the last two years (and which has greatly impoverished people on fixed incomes). But the main reason why the change is so favorable is linked to the significant profits that the banks themselves make thanks to the general increase in interest rates on loans and mortgages, in addition to the sectoral unions which are particularly effective and incisive. Faced with the insistent demands of the unions, the employers’ associations have been more inclined to make concessions given that the budgets are very good.
In many sectors, it is common for contracts to remain expired for years awaiting agreements between unions and employer associations. In Italy, around 50 percent of workers work under a collective agreement that has expired for at least two years, with the result that wages increase very little over time. Experts generally attribute this problem to the fact that unions in certain categories do not have sufficient bargaining power to prevent workers from working for a long time with an expired collective agreement: this is not the case for workers in the banking sector, being given that the renewal has just arrived. less than a year ago, a year after the deadline.