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Ecb On Strike Today

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124398150599378901.html

ECB Staff Plan Strike Over Pay, Pension Terms

By ROMAN KESSLER

European Central Bank union staff are planning the first labor action in the ECB's 10-year history by walking off their jobs for 90 minutes on Wednesday. Union leaders warn that unless they get more of a say over how pensions and pay are set, there could be more.

Work stoppages at major central banks are rare events. The U.S. Federal Reserve has no history of strikes, and the last remembered worker protest at the Bank of England was in 1912, when its printers walked out.

The ECB said it has a contingency plan to guarantee the ECB's essential functions during a walkout. The ECB and Europe's 16 national central banks run a payment system that capital markets rely on to conduct asset transactions. An extended interruption in that system would inflict havoc on the markets.

The International and European Public Services Organization, which says it represents 38% of the ECB's full-time staff, is pushing for more say over changes to workers' pay and pensions.

"A work contract with the ECB is much like a blank check the employee issues to the employer," said IPSO representative Wolfgang Hermann. "It features a 'dynamic reference clause' that is the legal basis for abrupt changes to pay and perks over which the employee has no control at all."

The union is focusing its complaints on the ECB's recent reforms to the pension plan, which the union says meant "a cut of about 20% in staff's pension benefits." The ECB says that changes in the economy and demographics rendered the old pension plan unviable. "The contributions for both the ECB and staff, increased by 1.5 percentage points," the ECB spokesman said.

IPSO officials say they don't intend the walkout to disrupt the ECB's operations. But they said they have a plan to step up industrial action and include the national central banks after the summer if the ECB doesn't agree to changes.

Working at the ECB isn't without its perks. As employees of a European Union institution, ECB staffers pay a fraction of the average income tax they would pay in other jobs and enjoy a high degree of job security.

My italics. Did we have QE in 1912 too?

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Last i knew the £ was at 1.16 against the euro but i think it's riding high since it hit 1.02 a few months ago.

The UK is spending (your money) like mad and thats why the euro will out shine the £

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Last i knew the £ was at 1.16 against the euro but i think it's riding high since it hit 1.02 a few months ago.

The UK is spending (your money) like mad and thats why the euro will out shine the £

The same as the predictions of parity with the $ when GBP was around 1.36.

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I like this part:

Working at the ECB isn't without its perks. As employees of a European Union institution, ECB staffers pay a fraction of the average income tax they would pay in other jobs...

Get paid from the [pure] source, non of this PAYE tax-deductable stuff. Genius.

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