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Friday, October 3, 2014

Talks on wage revision break down; bank unions plan national strike

Talks on wage revision break down; bank unions plan national strike 


1 OCTOBER 2014

Improvements on many counts, but IBA not to raise wage offer beyond 11% 


Following the breakdown of its negotiations with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) for a wage revision agreement, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has decided to go on a one-day all-India strike later next month. 

Employees will wear black badges on October 10 and country-wide protest demonstrations will be conducted on October 17. 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, date for which is yet to be decided. 

The decision to resort to further agitations to press the IBA to agree to a more liberal wage offer was taken by the UFBU leadership after the failure of the September 26 talks. The UBFU has been demanding a 25 per cent revision in pay slip components, but the IBA offered 11 per cent. 

Union leaders told Business Line that while the IBA negotiators were flexible on certain issues, they were adamant that the wage increase could not go beyond the already offered 11 per cent in monthly salaries. The unions were ready to scale down their demand, but the banks’ management was totally inflexible, they alleged. 

Wage agreement

At the negotiations, the IBA wage negotiation team was led by Central Bank of India Chairman and Managing Director Rajeev Rishi. The talks on a five-year wage agreement in the banking sector have been going on for more than a year. 

UFBU leaders said that at the latest round of talks, the demand for 100 percent reimbursement of hospitalisation expenses of the bank staff and their families was raised. The IBA agreed to the unions’ demand that employees will be covered by the Mediclaim scheme, but they had to submit their claims to the banks and that the reimbursement will be made by the banks with the improved benefits of the new insurance scheme. A final medical reimbursement plan will be worked out based on the consensus. 

The IBA is willing to consider the demand for 100 percent DA on pension for pre November 2002 retirees. The IBA will also consider a reasonable proposition on updating pension. It will look into the demand for a five-day week if UFBU submitted a new set of proposals. On the issue of regulated working hours for officers, the IBA agreed to study the new proposal submitted by the unions.

The IBA’s suggestion of implementing the CTC (cost-to-company) principle was rejected by the unions. The suggestion of limiting the wage talks up to Scale-III officers instead of up to Scale-VII was also rejected

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