Twelve years after signing the first historic document, CIBC FirstCaribbean and members of eleven regional trade unions recently initialed a second FirstPartnership Principles Agreement.
The signing took place during a two-day meeting of bank executives, managers, staff delegates and union leaders at the Hilton Hotel on June 22-23rd, 2017.
The groundbreaking FirstPartnership Principles Agreement was first signed in 2005 and remains the only one in the financial services sector in the Caribbean. The unique agreement sees the signatories committing to follow a set of principles which will guide them in their engagement. It also outlines the roles and responsibilities of the parties and their behaviours.
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Chief Executive Officer Gary Brown writing in the forward to the document said the bank was “fortunate to have a document like the Partnership Principles that has helped and will continue to help guide us when resolving issues affecting our people”.
“That we have been able to come together to develop and agree on such principles is a testament to the professional ism and spirit of cooperation of all parties. I look forward to continuing the dialogue between the members of the Partnership and to the many years of productive interaction that will benefit our employees, our company, our shareholders and all the clients we are in the business to serve,” he added.
Managing Director, Human Resources, Neil Brennan, who signed on behalf of the bank, said “through the principles of the agreement CIBC FirstCaribbean has been able to collaborate with its Trade Union partners to navigate through some turbulent times, make some significant changes to the organization and the way it operates, to build a stronger, more successful bank”.
Also signing on behalf of the bank was Mark St. Hill, Managing Director, Retail and Business Banking who noted that through the partnership the bank hoped to “continue to deliver growth for the bank, its employees and customers. It is for the mutual benefit of our employees, our company, our shareholders and most importantly, the clients we serve.”
Chairperson of the partnership and president of the Bahamas Financial Services Union, Theresa Mortimer said the partnership document demonstrated a commitment by the bank and the trade unions to work together to maintain a stable industrial relations climate within the financial services sector.
She was supported by vice chairman and General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union David Massiah who hailed the agreement as one developed by Caribbean people which demonstrates “how important it is for this partnership of employer, employee and unions to be working together”.
The trade unions which are signatories to the newest agreement are:
• Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union
• Bahamas Financial Services Management Workers’ Union
• Bahamas Financial Services Union
• Banking, Insurance & General Workers Union of Trinidad
• Barbados Workers’ Union
• Bustamante Industrial Trade Union of Jamaica
• Commercial Technical Allied Workers’ Union of St Vincent
• Federation of Financial Unions (formerly Bond di Empleadonan Bankario I Aseguro (BEBA) – Netherlands Antilles (St Maarten)
• National Workers’ Union of St Lucia
• National Workers’ Union of Grenada
• Waterfront and Allied Workers’ Union of Dominica