DIWALI BONANZA for these bank employees - 1st time in India's banking history | DETAILS HERE
Diwali bonanza: The Public sector bank employees have been waiting for the wage revision from November 2017.
Diwali bonanza: For the first time in India`s banking history, a handsome part of wage arrears is being extended to employees of public sector banks (PSBs) as Diwali bonanza, however, final agreement on their wage revision is yet to happen between the employee unions and the management. The Diwali bonanza for the bank staff is seen as the outcome of IBA letter.
On October 1, the IBA had written to all the heads of government banks and private banks, that are part of the bipartite settlement, directing them to pay an ad hoc amount of the pending wage settlement equivalent to a month`s salary (Basic Pay + Dearness Allowance) and adjust it later when the final wage arrears are paid after the unions reach a settlement.
Notably, the Public sector bank employees have been waiting for the wage revision from November 2017. Despite about 30 rounds of talks between the United Forum for Bank Unions (UFBU) and the Indian Banks` Association (IBA) since 2017, a wage agreement is not in sight.
Preferring anonymity, a government bank employee told IANS, "The employees can opt out or take the part arrear payments. If they take the part arrear, the amount credited will not be less than Rs 50,000 and may exceed Rs 100,000," adding "It is really interesting to see the speed at which the bank managements are working towards payment of the part wage arrears, while the wage revision talks are moving at a snail`s pace."
In January 2016, the government had told Chief Executives of all public sector banks to initiate the wage revision talks and conclude them before 1.11.2017.
The bank employee was quoted as saying, "The government has stolen the thunder of the unions by paying part wage arrears. Normally, the wage arrears are paid to the employees after the wage agreement is signed between the unions and the management," adding "This time around, the management has offered a wage revision of 12 per cent. Since the final percentage would not go below that, the banks have decided to calculate the wage arrears and pay the employees."
The banks have reportedly made provisions for wage revision in their accounts and it will therefore not make any major impact.
Upset at the turn of events, the UFBU wrote a letter to the IBA on October 3 saying: "The decision to pay the ad hoc amount is not just unfair, unilateral and arbitrary, but it is also a deliberate attempt to undermine the role of unions and their right of collective bargaining."
The UFBU reportedly told IBA, "Though the negotiations commenced in May 2017, if was only in May 2018, a full year later that the IBA made its first offer of 12 per cent. Thus one full year of negotiations went without any offer from the IBA. This delay is solely because of the IBA and not the Unions."
The UFBU letter further stated, "Suffice it to say that this goodwill gesture was absent in payment of overtime wages/compensation to employees and officers, when they bore the brunt of demonetisation and suffered during the implementation of Jan Dhan Yojana. Many Bank managements are still defaulters on this."
C.H.Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees` Association (AIBEA) told IANS, "We have been insisting on an expedited settlement - even now we are ready to conclude a reasonable and satisfactory settlement by mutual discussion," adding that the unions are aware that the economy is not doing well and the banks are facing a lot of challenges.
The banks should be focusing on their business and conclude the wage settlement at the earliest, he said, adding "The last time the hike was 15 per cent. So far, the IBA has offered 12 per cent. They should improve their offer and conclude at a satisfactory level."
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The employees of government-owned insurance companies -- life and general -- are complaining that they not as fortunate as their counterparts in public sector bank, who are being given the Diwali bonanza.
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