Wage Revision Settlement for bank employees and officers due from November, 2017 – unwarranted delay by Indian Banks’ Association, United Forum Of Bank Unions (UFBU) to go ahead with the 2 Days Strike from January 31 to February 1.
A press conference was held at Press Club on January 29 by the members of United Forum Of Bank Unions where they informed about the strike and demands.
Suresh Bobhate convenor of UFBU informed that the, wages and service conditions of bank employees and officers are governed by collective bargaining and bilateral agreements. The same are being revised once in 5 years based on the demands submitted by the Unions and arising out of discussions with the Indian Banks’ Association on behalf of all the member Banks. Accordingly, the last Settlement was finalized to cover the term from November, 2012 to October, 2017. Hence wage revision was due from November, 2017.
Keeping in mind the past experience of delay in arriving at Settlements, the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, vide their communication dated 12-1-2016 advised all the Bank managements and IBA to expedite and conclude the 11 Bipartite Wage Settlement well before November, 2017. Hence Unions also submitted the Charter of Demands well before and the negotiations also commenced in May, 2017 wifh the assurance that the settlement would be arrived at before November, 2017.
Unfortunately, the IBA did not make any offer on wage increase until May, 2018 when their very meagre offer of 2 % increase was offered. After series of discussions in the last 30 months, the IBA has improved their offer only to a hike of 12.25% while even in the last settlement, the Government cleared a hike of 15%.
During the recent period the prices have gone up steeply and the workload on the banking workforce has also gone up enormously. Hence bank staff expect a fair and reasonable hike in wages in the current settlement. Hence there is huge disappointment and resentment about the present offer of IBA and their rigid approach. Similarly other important demands also remain unsettled and unresolved.
Hence United Forum of Bank Unions which consists of 9 bank unions of employees and officers, viz. AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO, has given the call fOr agitational programmes including strike actions on the following days-
January 31 to February1 (2 days), March 11, 12, and 13 (3 days) and an indefinite strike from April 1 on the following issues and demands:
- Wage Revision Settlement at 20% hike on Pay slip components with adequate loading thereof 2. 5 Day Banking
- Merger of Special Allowance with Basic Pay
- Scrap New Pension Scheme (NPS)
- Update of Pension
- Improvement in Family Pension
- Allocation to Staff Welfare Fund based on Operating Profits
- Exemption from Income Tax on retiral benefits without ceiling
- Uniform definition of Business Hours, Lunch Hour, etc. in Branches
- Introduction of Leave Bank
- Defined Working Hours for Officers
- Equal wage for equal work for contract employees/Business Correspondents Conciliation meeting.
Chief Labour Commissioner, Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India intervened and held a conciliation meeting on January 27 at his office in Delhi. During the conciliation, IBA remained adamant and rigid in their attitude and hence there was no improvement in the position.
On January 31 all the bank employees will take out a procession from Bank of India branch Kingsway to Allahabad Bank Civil Lines.
In view of the above, there is no alternative before the Unions and the unions are compelled to highlight their demands through their agitation and accordingly on 31st January, 2020 and it February, 2020. Public and our banking customer would appreciate that we have patiently negotiated for the past 30 months with a view to settle our demands amicably without creating any industrial relations problems and without affecting banking services, strikes, etc. But IBA’s rigid approach has left us with no option than to go on strike. We appeal to the banking customers to bear with us for this disruption in services due to the strike but the same has been forced on us by the bank managements and IBA.