Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RIPPLES IN SALARY REVISION NEGOTIATIONS.                                        

(Registered under the Trade Unions Act 1926, Registration No.:3427/Delhi)
State Bank of India Officers’ Association
04th Floor, SBI Administrative Unit, No. 86, Rajaji Salai, Chennai- 600 001
Phone: 044-25227170 Tel/Fax 044 25227170
E-Mail: aiboc.sectt@gmail.com
Letter No: AIBOC/2017/19     Dated: 20/05/2017

Shri. Arun Jaitley,
Hon’ble Minister for Finance,
Government of India,

Dear Sir,

We are sorry to bring to your kind notice that even though the Government of India has been insisting for an early salary revision settlement at the industry level between the Indian Banks Association and the United forum of Bank Unions, there has been an unnecessary delay due to certain avoidable difficulties created by the Management of few banks in the Banking industry. It is historical that the salary revision in the Banking industry takes place once in 5 years through bilateral negotiations between the associations/unions and the Indian Banks Association covering over 10 lac workforce in the entire banking industry. During the last five decades we have concluded 10 bipartite settlements and the 11th one is now expected to take off. The first round of meeting was held between the IBA and the constituents of the United Forum of Bank unions on 2nd May, 2017 but without any concrete progress.  One of the major hurdles that we are now encountering is in respect of the ‘mandate’ to be given by the member banks to the Indian Banks’ Association. A few of the banks have given a conditional mandate creating a chaotic and confusing situation in the negotiations, by insisting that they are allowing mandate for discussions only upto officers of scale III and that the remaining scales will have to be left to the discretion of the Bank.
2. The Banking Industry is overwhelmingly under the control of the Government of India due to the historical decisions taken by the Government of India during 1969 and 1980. The Nationalization of Banks was in the best interests of the economy and to take Banking facilities to the nook and corner of the country. We have seen the great contribution made by the banks during the last several decades due to this consolidation and ownership by the Central Government. But there was one area which was causing serious industrial relations crisis in the Banks at frequent intervals. Different banks had different service conditions and compensation system creating serious problems in the area of HR management.  It was at this stage that the Government of India appointed Pillai Committee for the purpose of standardization of the scales and grades and also to bring parity amongst the Public Sector banks. After a thorough study of the service conditions that existed in those days, the Pillai Committee submitted a comprehensive report aiming at standardization and uniformity in the service conditions of the Officers in the Banking Industry. Thereafter, the Government of India introduced the recommendations of the Pillai Committee in the Banks for ensuring standardization and parity amongst the Public Sector Banks. Thus, a well-developed pattern was established over the next rounds of bipartite system in carrying forward the attempts made by Pillai Committee for the purpose of standardization of the salary scales and compensation system in the Banking industry. The Pillai Committee had recommended 4 grades and 7 scales which has now become a regular feature in all the Public Sector banks including the State Bank of India.
3. The Officers’ organizations have been negotiating with the Indian Banks Association in respect of all these 7 scales over the last several bipartites. Thus, the industrial relations have been cordial and harmonious as far as the salary structure and compensation systems were concerned as they were being discussed and settled through bilateral negotiations at the industry level.  The present decision of some of the Banks, in particular the bigger Banks, seem to create a similar disparity which was prevailing earlier to distort the broad parity that is prevailing in the banking industry by attempting to retain the right of decision in regard to the scale IV and above in the banking industry. This will defeat the very purpose of the Pillai Committee’s attempt in ensuring parity and the subsequent objectives of the bilateral settlement.
4. We have conveyed our sentiments to IBA in our informal discussions and have requested them to ask all the Banks to give an unconditional mandate for negotiations on all scales rather than restricting it up to scale III alone. We therefore request your kind intervention in the matter so that the issue could be resolved without any further escalation on this issue which may affect the smooth conduct of negotiations.
Please treat the matter as urgent.
Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

(D. T. Franco)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wage revision talks 11 B.P.S.
1st Meeting:

CIRCULAR No. UFBU/2017/06                            Date : 03.05.2017



All our unions and members are aware that our present wage revision settlement for employees and officers will come to an end by October, 2017 and hence the next wage accord has to commence from 1st November, 2017.
Since negotiations are taking unduly long time to arrive at the final settlement, we have been desiring timely settlement.

 Government had also advised the IBA and Banks to complete the negotiations early and commence the settlement from the due date i.e. 1-11-2017.

Hence we have been asking the IBA to commence the negotiations early and this was one of the prominent demands in our All India strike on 28th February, 2017.  Earlier to that we had submitted the broad summary of our common demands for employees and officers respectively.

In this background, Indian Banks Association had invited UFBU for commencing the negotiations and accordingly the meeting was held yesterday i.e. on 2-5-2017 at IBA Office in Mumbai.
IBA was represented by its Chairman Shri Rajeev Rishi, CMD, Central Bank of India, Mrs. Arundhathi Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI, Shri Arun Tewari, CMD,  Union Bank of India,  Shri Ashwinikumar, CMD, Dena Bank, Shri R K Takkar,  MD, UCO Bank, Mrs.  Usha Subramanian,  MD, PNB, Shri Shyam Srinivasan, MD, Federal Bank, Shri,  P S Jayakumar, MD, Bank of Baroda and Shri Rakesh Sharma, MD, Canara Bank.

UFBU was represented by leaders of our 9 constituent unions in the discussion.

In his opening remarks, Shri Rajeev Rishi observed that bilateralism has been the hallmark in the banking industry for the past 50 years when successive bipartite settlements have been signed.  He particularly referred to the 9th BPS and 10th BPS under which benefits like one more option for pension,  Full Day Off on 2 Saturdays in a month, medical insurance scheme for employees and retirees, etc. were achieved due to the collective efforts of the management and the unions.

 He urged upon the unions to keep the present health of the Banks and their constraints in mind while negotiating the demands and help to conclude the Settlement early, preferably before Diwali festival this year.

He informed that since some of the Banks have given mandate to IBA for negotiations would be confined only upto Scale III Officers.

He further informed that IBA has set up a Negotiating Committee as under:

Shri  R K Takkar, MD, UCO Bank – Chairman
Shri. Rakesh Sharma, MD, Canara Bank,
Smt. Usha Subramanian, MD, PNB
Shri P S Jayakumar, MD, Bank of Baroda
Shri Prashant Kumar, Dy.MD, SBI
Shri Shyam Srinivasan, MD, Federal Bank

Responding to the observations of the IBA, from our side, we thanked the IBA for initiating the process of negotiations and assured that we shall extend our best possible co-operation to conclude the settlement as early as possible and suggested holding of regular and continuous meetings for this purpose.
We also reiterated our commitment to bipartism and settling the demands amicably through mutual discussions.

 We also conveyed to the IBA that given the increasing stress and heavy workload under which employees and officers are working in the Banks, they deserve satisfactory wage revision and improvement in their service conditions.

We also informed the IBA that our Unions are equally conscious and concerned about the present challenges faced by the Banks and would be willing to work with the managements to overcome these challenges successfully.

We strongly conveyed to the IBA that the negotiations in respect of officers should not be restricted upto Scale III and must cover upto Scale VII as hitherto.

In the conclusion, it was decided that the Negotiating Committee will shortly fix up the date for starting the negotiations when formal talks on our demands will commence.  We shall keep our unions and members informed of further developments.

With greetings,