Money & Banking

Demand for a five-day week still relevant, say bank officers’ unions

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on August 02, 2020

Bank officers’ associations will continue discussions on the proposal for a five-day week even as there has been an agreement on the wage revision between bank unions and the Indian Banks’ Association.

The union stated that a five-day week has become more essential given the current pandemic and the need to properly sanitise and fumigate bank branches.

“A five-day week is a necessity to break the chain as bank branches are turning into Covid hotspots. After markets, maximum crowds are seen at bank branches with minimal social distancing, especially in semi urban and rural areas,” said Soumya Dutta, General Secretary, All India, Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), pointing out that many bankers are also dying from Covid-19.

Apart from the wage revision, there are a number of non-financial issues like leaves, discipline and appeal regulations, uniform grid holidays and medical insurance for retirees, that are still on the table for discussion, Dutta said.

“We have impressed upon IBA to set a timeline for completion of non-financial issues,’ he said.

S Nagarajan, General Secretary, All India Bank Officers’ Association also said the demand for a five-day week is still on. All four bank officers unions, which had given a two-day strike notice in September last year, had also met former Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar on the issue, he added.

“From 2006, we had been demanding and in 2015 we achieved the first step with two Saturdays off,” he said, adding that bank employees have also been working all through the pandemic.

As part of the 10th bipartite settlement in 2015, it was decided that every second and fourth Saturday would be a bank holiday. Bank unions have since been calling for a five-day working week, a demand which does not seem to have found favour with IBA.

As part of the latest wage settlement, IBA and bank unions have agreed for a 15 per cent annual hike in wages, effective from March 31, 2017.

Published on August 02, 2020

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