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Three busy years ahead

Working at home, sexism, atypical employees, job satisfaction, digitalisation, social dumping, poor image and consolidation were among the subjects that were debated Tuesday afternoon at the National Congress.

19. Oct 2020
4 min
Af Carsten Jørgensen
cjo@finansforbundet.dk

Both the presidency’s verbal account and the written report received praise when the delegates debated them at Finansforbundet’s (Financial Services Union Denmark) National Congress on Tuesday afternoon. Numerous subjects were also brought up from the rostrum concerning areas that the union should work with in the years to come.
“We are in an exciting place right now. Good things have occurred in the union, particularly with respect to competency development, job satisfaction and communication. With respect to working from home, it is our task to ensure a good working environment without compromising flexibility,” said Kristina Andersen Skiøld, president of Finansforbundet NYKREDS.

Pia Back Stæhr, president of Finansforbundet Kreds Øst, is pleased with the work with sustainability that the union has carried out over the last few years, and she expressed her satisfaction that the local branch’s old proposal to replace the expression of “tillidsmand” (shop steward) with tillidsrepræsentant (union representative) now seems to have been approved.

The president of Finansforbundet Jyske Bank Kreds, Marianne Lillevang, praised all the good ideas that had been initiated and indicated that now the union had to move forward.

“Societal responsibility, women in management and cooperation in general are some of the things we need to work more with.”

Tackling sexism

Jannie Skovsen, president of Finansforbundet Spar Nord Kreds, is proud of the union’s involvement in Copenhagen Fintech and the project Future Work Lab, which will investigate how to ensure mental health at the workplace. And then she also indicated that sexism was missing in the reports.
“The sexism debate was missing, which is something that is an important issue in society right now. It is important that we help our delegates handle the subject in the companies’ SU,” said Jannie Skovsen.

“It is difficult to find the right way to tackle sexism – it is not difficult to dissociate from, I do this as often as possible – but it is very difficult to find the right solution. At the same time, we should also not make it difficult for men and women to work together because we cannot establish the right language to use with each other. The individual workplace has to talk about it and figure out what is acceptable to us – to define the boundaries. You cannot use legislation to get out of it, though legislation can be a good point of departure. It is about how you apply the letter of the law,” said union president Kent Petersen.

Social dumping

Jarl Oxlund, president of Finansforbundet Sydbank Kreds, believes that atypical employees – which, for example, are hired for IT projects – are a growing group which the union must make an effort to organise. However, it can be difficult to figure out exactly which members’ offer the group is attracted by.

Finansforbundet Assurandørerne’s president, Jørgen Lykke, spoke of the challenge that the insurance agents face every third year when they have to pass the so-called IDD-efteruddannelsesprøve (IDD continuing training test). And that social dumping takes place in several insurance companies where the companies use so-called agents without responsible conditions of employment.

Dorrit Brandt, president of Finansforbundet in Nordea, encouraged that, in connection with the union’s work towards diversity, it should focus on Poland, where Nordea employs nearly 5000 employees.

“40 municipalities in Poland, which corresponds to one third, have declared themselves LGBT-free zones. We need to unambiguously distance ourselves from this and to discuss the subject in relation to Christiansborg and in the EU,” she said.

Challenges ahead

Kirsten Ebbe Brich, president of Finansforbundet in Danske Bank, told the delegates that employees in Danske Bank were very tired of the tsunami of negative cases at the bank right now – most recently the debt recovery case.

“The only good thing I have to say about corona is that, right now, we don’t have to go to parties and say where we work,” said the local branch president with a wry smile.

Jakob Thorgaard, president of Finansforbundet Kred Vest, pointed out in his contribution that there were a number of challenges ahead.

“Consolidation, digitalisation and Bigtech as well as decentralisation of the collective agreement mean that we need to look into additional initiative areas in the future, and we may also have to strengthen our employment efforts if unemployment rises. I believe we will be facing three busy years,” said Jakob Thorgaard.

Alliances and partnerships

Another important matter in the debate was how Finansforbundet would continue to develop as a community – and as part of the trade union movement.

Part of the discussion involved the importance of being relevant to new members, but also the necessity for alliances and partnerships that can generate results. This was pointed out in several presentations, while the debate also covered how the union would participate actively in the right relations.

“We must generate results for our members, and this requires that we look towards the communities and alliances that can strengthen us and contribute in our struggle to represent our members’ interests,” said Kent Petersen.