About Financial sector trade union

In 2006 the Latvian SEB Bank Trade union was founded. The motive to establish a trade union was the employees’ wish to unite in order to tackle important labor issues and to create a representative force acknowledged by the employees that would deal with employers. At the beginning SEB Trade union operated as a part of a larger trade union, in order to save resources and not to assume administrative burden right away.

In 2007 SEB Trade union signs the first collective agreement with SEB Bank. The term of collective agreement is one year. The collective agreement secures the social benefits provided by the employer and in addition new improvements, regarding basic social issues, are created in cooperation with the trade union. For example, the accumulated savings for 3rd pillar pension, paid by the employer, can be transformed as insurance savings.

At the end of 2008, SEB Trade union had to participate in activities, that concerned a major part of employees. There was a staff reduction. At the time both the events in global and local economics, – financial crisis in Latvia, – had a heavy impact on the Latvian labour market. Financial institutions experienced cost reduction, operational restructuring and some even got closed down. At that moment the trade union was an effective instrument for the employees to represent their interests. In cooperation with the trade union, a mechanism for compensation and social protection was created for the employees. In case of termination of employment, a set of activities for a year and a half was envisaged by the mechanism to acquire new skills and knowledge for the advancement of the employee’s competency and qualification, without losing the previous quality of life.

In 2009 an open-end collective agreement was signed. The parties represented were SEB Bank, SEB Leasing and SEB Trade union. The achievement of most significance from this collective agreement was the preservation of social benefits, as the impact on national economy in Latvia was the harshest at that time.

In 2011 and 2012 SEB Bank received gold nomination for corporate sustainability. One of the constituents evaluated in corporate sustainability index is the working environment for the employees and cooperation between employees employers and their representative associations.

At the beginning of 2012 a large-scale collective agreement was signed, involving all SEB Group Latvia enterprises – SEB Trade union, SEB Bank Ltd., joint-stock company SEB Leasing, insurance joint-stock insurance company SEB Life, investment management joint-stock company SEB Wealth Management and joint-stock company SEB Open Pension Fund. About 1300 employees were united under one collective agreement.

Since the founding and beginning of cooperation, SEB Trade union is a partner for employer in everyday labour. During this time SEB Trade union has participated in solving a few hundred work related problems between employees and employer. The daily performed functions of representation, mediation, conciliation and control allow to look at the processes in an impartial manner. This enhances the working environment for the members.

At the end of 2012 due to the rising interest from employees in the financial sector, the members of SEB Trade union took a decision to create an independent trade union, into which SEB Trade union was integrated and the majority of its members, as well as members from other financial institutions. The title of the trade union – Financial sector trade union (FSTU).

Currently FSTU unites members working for SEB Group Latvia enterprises, SEB AB branch in Latvia, Unicredit Bank Latvia, GE Money Bank, Bank Citadele, DNB Bank, Nordea Bank branch in Latvia, FCMC, Pasta Banka and M2M Private bank.

February 7, 2014.Financial sector trade union and enterprises of SEB Group in Latvia signed a large-scale collective agreement in the banking sector. In the Baltics it is an occurence of great importance for the employers and employed in the financial sector, as the standards secured by the collective agreement significantly improve the working and social securities of the employees and it stipulates the form of partnership between employers, employees and FSTU.

The essential values of FSTU are:

  • the member is the lord of the association and he defines its actions;
  • representation of member interests;
  • transparent action and finance;
  • independency in action and decision making.