Vancity promises job security in sale of retail loans and refocusing of Citizens Bank business

August 5, 2009

Alert for all BCGEU members at Vancity

BCGEU members affected by today's Citizens Bank announcement have a promise of job security from Vancity's top executives.

Vancity is selling Citizens Bank's retail loans to the TD Canada Trust and leaving the retail banking marketplace.

In a sign of good faith, Vancity president and CEO Tamara Vrooman briefed BCGEU's Vancity bargaining committee and other union representatives about the developments in a confidential session before the announcement.

The CB moves are part of Vancity's three year plan. The retail loans sale to TD will generate capital that the credit union says will help it move forward and make much needed investments in key areas like staff training and technology.

Vrooman and the credit union's interim vice-president of human resources, Ellen Pekeles, also invited BCGEU representatives to be present in the work place and part of the announcement process this morning when affected union members are given more details about developments.

About 200 BCGEU members who work in the National Contact Centre (NCC) will be directly affected. The sale and refocusing of operations is expected to take six months to complete. During that time, BCGEU NCC members will have crucial roles to play helping the bank's 30,000 members make the transition.

Staff may be asked to perform new tasks and work with different people, but there will be no layoffs of BCGEU members in the process. Role changes will be supported by proper training.

In the longer run, Vancity is looking at ways of building on NCC member service expertise to harness it more broadly for Vancity's operations. As the changes take time to settle out, any adjustments to staff numbers will be dealt with through attrition and vacancy management.

The announcement will not have an impact on bargaining between BCGEU and Vancity for a new contract for some 400 unionized staff. Negotiations between the two sides are set to resume in the middle of August.

In July, CEO Vrooman signalled a desire to put talks on a positive track and urged the parties to re-engage at the negotiating table to achieve a settlement.

We'll keep you up to date on these developments.

click here to download pdf of this alert