7th pay commission: For pay benefits sake, these employees take things in own hands
7th pay commission: Without a doubt, the most important aspect under the spotlight for central government employees is the uncertainty surrounding their salaries, which has been continuing for years now and there does not seem to a shred of light being shed by authorities in recent months about whether the 7th CPC pay issue is on the table.
7th pay commission: Without a doubt, the most important aspect under the spotlight for central government employees is the uncertainty surrounding their salaries, which has been continuing for years now and there does not seem to a shred of light being shed by authorities in recent months about whether the 7th pay commission pay issue is on the table. Yes, there have been other big benefits that have been either cleared or are being mulled in recent weeks, but the most important one is about salary hikes and this issue is surrounded by a cloud of doubt.
Issues of wage hikes is also something that the banking sector too is having to grapple with. However, unlike the central government employees, the bank employees have gone beyond just threats and have actually resorted to strikes in recent times to press the issue of wage hikes. Now, they are all set to resort to another strike unless their demands are met!
However, central government employees and their demands for 7th pay commission linked salary hikes is, for now, totally divorced from any calls for strikes and protests. The difference is that the banking staff is unwilling to stay put and have taken things into their own hands. On Monday, the top banking lobby Indian Banks Association (IBA) as well as the bank employees unions will meet to negotiate pay hikes for some 37 banks. These are not just public sector banks, but also span private and even foreign banks. Bank unions are represented by United Forum of Bank Unions and they will decide on their behalf what steps to take to ensure their demands for wage hikes are accepted by authorities.
Bank employees salary revision is pending from November 2017. In the last meeting between these entities on May 5, 2018, bank employees were offered a meagre 2% salary hike by the IBA. Since this was unacceptable to the unions, they started a two-day strike from May 30. Employees want, not 2%, but a 25 per cent salary hike! However, UFBU convener for Maharashtra, Devidas Tuljapurkar said, "We are open for negotiations." Thereby indicating a lower figure would be acceptabe too. Tuljapurkar added, "So far, the wage revisions have always been in double-digits, which we are okay with, but 2% is not acceptable to us."
Banks, on their part, are pointing to the massive NPA crisis they are going through for offering such a nominal hike. The unions said the employees are not responsible for that and in fact they have been working extremely hard to implement various government schemes. This is quite in contrast with 7th pay commission based demands of central government employees. After initially threatening to go on strike, they have preferred to stay silent on the issue of raising the fitment factor to 3.68 times and for minimum salaries to rise to 3.68 times. As far as the banking sector is concerned, the battle lines have been drawn and troops are hunkered down in the trenches. It remains to be seen whether another strike is in the offing.