The European Banking Authority interprets Collective Bargaining
The European Banking Authority (EBA) makes a restrictive interpretation of the right to free collective bargaining in a recent publication. This could have an effect on the Nordic collective agreement model.
In the spring of 2015, EBA launched a public consultation on sound remuneration policies where NFU and other stakeholders raised the importance of free collective bargaining and the lack of reference to it in EBA’s guidelines. EBA’s analysis of the responses came just before Christmas and included a part specifically dealing with collective bargaining and the compatibility of EBA Guidelines on sound remuneration policies with other legal acts, namely Article 28 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Article 153(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union. Article 153 (5) reads that the social partners have an absolute right to decide on pay through collective bargaining as pay is not the competence of the EU.
What EBA finds is that its guidelines are not contrary to Article 153(5) of the TFEU, “…since they do not set a uniform level of pay within the European Union or the equivalence of the constituent parts of pay.” With regards to article 28 of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EBA means that “…the right of collective bargaining should be exercised within the framework laid down by EBA GL on sound remuneration policies.”
NFU finds that EBA’s analysis is worrying as it restricts the right of free collective bargaining. EBA suggests that collective bargaining would have to take place within the frames of its remuneration guidelines. NFU means that EBA does not see that even if the guidelines do not set out to regulate pay levels it can still have an effect on collective bargaining. The labour market parties’ right to set wages through collective bargaining is an absolute cornerstone of the Nordic model. NFU is continuously raising the importance of that the social partners can, and must be allowed to, assume the responsibility of sound and sustainable remuneration principles. NFU strongly supports the idea of remuneration policies and practices that are consistent with and promote sound and effective risk management, but believes that remuneration policies should be left to the social partners to decide upon.