Money & Banking

Wage revision: Bank unions plan protests from Oct 10

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 12, 2018

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UBFU) has decided to resume the agitation path to protest the ‘adamant’ stand of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) with respect to the pending wage revision.

Accordingly, employees will wear black badges on October 10. Country-wide protest demonstrations will be conducted on October 17.

INDEFINITE STRIKE?

A one-day dharna will be held at all State capitals between October 18 and 31.

This would be followed by a one-day country-wide protest strike, the date for which is yet to be decided.

The next option was intermittent and relay strikes, which would give way to an indefinite strike unless a solution is found to the vexed issue.

According to CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, UBFU, the latest round of talks with the IBA was held on Friday last.

The UBFU has been demanding a 25 per cent revision in pay slip components, while the IBA has offered a “very meagre” 11 per cent.

The IBA wanted to know the UBFU’s views on introduction of the cost-to-company method as well as fixed and variable pay concepts. The unions reiterated that the same was not acceptable to them.

WAGE REVISION

Cost-to-company indicates the employee’s total expense for the employer in a year. This includes all facilities given during the service period.

Venkatachalam said the IBA insisted on limiting the wage revision discussions up to scale III officers instead of up to scale VII, which was also rejected.

On the vital issue of improvement in the IBA offer of 11 per cent, it continued to plead its inability unless the UFBU scaled down its demand in view of the financial constraints of banks.

“This was despite the UBFU indication that we would be flexible in our demand, depending on improvements in other areas.

“We categorically informed IBA that we would be reasonable and flexible provided IBA reciprocated. But the IBA chose to ignore and did not offer to improve its offer.”

However, the talk found some common ground on a few other areas of dispute.

HOSPITAL EXPENSES

For instance, there was a detailed discussion on the demand for 100 per cent reimbursement of hospitalisation expenses incurred by the employees/ officers and family members and the IBA offer of a group mediclaim scheme.

“We explained apprehensions about the implementation of the scheme and hassle-free reimbursement of claims.

“We reiterated that employees/officers should not be required to deal directly with the insurance company or their Third Party Administrators,” Venkatachalam said.

IBA agreed and has accordingly clarified that even though employees would be covered by the mediclaim scheme, they would continue to submit their claims to the management.

The reimbursement would be made by banks with the improved benefits of the scheme accruing to the employees.

BROAD CONSENSUS

IBA also agreed to incorporate the suggestions of the UFBU while finalising the scheme. Hence a broad consensus was mutually agreed upon and the final scheme would be worked out accordingly.

Other demands raised were: 100 per cent DA on pension for those retiring before November, 2002, improvement in family pension, and periodical updation of pension; introduction of five-day banking; and regulated working hours for officers.

IBA said it was inclined to favourably consider the demand for 100 per cent DA on pension for pre-November 2002-retirees.

An improvement in family pension was being worked out and a decision would be taken soon on the same.

5-DAY BANKING

As regards updation of pension, IBA said in view of the high cost involved, it would be difficult to agree to the same.

But it agreed that any viable and affordable proposition from the UFBU in this regard would be examined.

As for five-day banking, IBA regretted its inability to accept the demand in the present situation. It agreed to apply its mind to the matter if the UBFU submitted a detailed note indicating the logic and rationale.

On the issue of regulated working hours for officers, IBA was not inclined to agree to the same.

However, it agreed to study the note submitted by the officers’ organisation.



Published on September 28, 2014

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