The SCECBU, represented by its President and Secretary, met today a delegation from the Hungarian trade union inside the National Bank of Hungary, in Budapest.
The discussions focused on the Hungarian central bank actuality. On the occasion of the last meeting of the Executive Bureau held in Budapest in 2006, the President of the NBH, with whom the members of the executive bureau had then the chance to discuss, mentioned the possibility for the evolution of NBH structures under the swedish model, e.g., an intense outsourcing of the NCB activities. Two years after, the restructurations have been held, more than ever, under the swedish model by reducing the number of effectives from 1000, in 2006, to 650 end-2008.
Last December, the Human Resources department handed over to the trade union a new restructuring project for two years focusing on a reduction of staff of 14% , specially at the head quarters. The taking off are scheduled to happen progressively between July 2009 and 2010 on the base of 47 workers in 2009 and 48 in 2010. Among theses workers only a few will probably have the possibility of using their retirement rights. The majority will receive 7 months of salary maximum; training plans on finance and banking issues will be organised under a delicate economic context (strong progression of unemployment in these sectors end-2008).
A project of relocation of the general cashier through the setting up of a strong external center in Budapest is under analysis. The whole center will be completely automatised and will have a negative impact on cashier staff. The NCBs specialisation process was also mentioned.
As it is the case with the Czech trade union, also the Hungarian colleagues are worried about their entry in the euro area and the impact on their activities. They observe a very strong specialisation of central bank activities, at computer level (projects linked to the payment systems) and logistical (EPCO), a wild competition among Eurosystem NCBs and fear the reduction, or even the disappearance, of the departments linked to these activities.
The ECB keeps very discrete on this subject and do not mention anything during the ESCB social dialogue meetings about their impact in terms of employment on Eurossytem NCbs and even less on the countries that are to join the euro area in the coming years.