Sunday, December 20, 2020

Bank Employees Federation of India

NARESH PAUL CENTRE

53 Radha Bazar Lane, 

Kolkata – 700 001

                                

Circular No.86/2020     

20th Dec 2020


To all Units, Affiliates, Office Bearers, CC & GC Members


Dear Comrade,


Enhancement of family pension for bank retirees 


The Department of Financial Services, Govt. of India accorded necessary approval, addressing a letter to the Chief Executive, Indian Banks’ Association for implementation of 11th Bipartite Settlement/Joint Note signed on 11.11.2020 and consequential benefits pending amendments to relevant regulations as per laid down procedure.


In the said letter, the DFS advised IBA to submit financial implications/liabilities in respect of family pension and employer’s contribution under the new pension scheme. The IBA since last one year had been informing that the matter has been referred to Govt. of India. Now, given the DFS letter we understand that more time will be required for its approval. In addition, different amounts are being mentioned as cost requirement for enhancement of family pension to 30 percent without ceiling spanning from Rs 9000 crore to Rs 20000 crore. The IBA never shared the details with UFBU officially. As the amount will be provided from individual bank’s balance sheet, we feel that all the stake holders including the Unions/Associations have right to be informed regarding exact requirement.


We addressed a letter to the Secretary, DFS, Ministry of Finance today, text of which is appended.


With greetings,

Yours comradely,

(Debasish Basu Chaudhury)

General Secretary


TEXT OF THE LETTER TO THE SECRETARY, DFS

___________________________________________

Quote: “We have come across a communication of Shri S. R. Mehar, Director, Govt. of India, MoF, DFS addressed to the Chief Executive, Indian Banks' Association bearing No. F No 4/2/2/2/2015-IR dated 18.12.2020 in response to IBA Letter No HR&IR/KSC/Govt/665/9308 & 9309 dated 11.11.2020 on 11th Bipartite Settlement and Joint Note.


In the said communication, the understandings reached between IBA and Unions/Associations  have been approved for implementation. In the matter of Family Pension, in principally agreed by IBA almost a year ago, the DFS communication advised IBA to submit detailed proposal along with financial implications/liabilities. You  will please appreciate that the spouses of the deceased bank retirees, drawing a paltry amount of family pension, are waiting eagerly with desperate need of increase in the amount. We feel that approval for enhancement brooks no further delay. We like to draw your attention that during the wage negotiation, the IBA, though confirmed that actuarial calculation has been undertaken in this regard, but did not share the same with the negotiating unions/associations. We suggest to share the actuarial calculations with unions/associations as several amounts are referred as  required costing in different medium.


Moreover, the banking fraternity have been demanding for revision/updation of pension since quite a long time as it was never revised since introduction of the scheme in 1995 with effect from 1st Jan 1986. During the negotiation for 11th Bipartite Settlement, the issue was discussed on several occasions but, we feel, IBA was never positive to take it forward. The Ministry of Finance approved pension updation for retirees of Reserve Bank of India last year which created lots of hope in the minds of other bank retirees. The Hon'ble Union Minister of Finance recently acknowledged that this  legitimate issue of bank employees are pending since long. Hence, pension of bank retirees formulated as per RBI pension scheme requires to be revised as per RBI pattern implemented last year. We urge upon you to take necessary initiatives for revision/updation of pension in RBI pattern.

Your needful action is solicited.” Unquote

Online memorandum by pensioners

 Re


ALL INDIA BANK PENSIONERS' & RETIREES' CONFEDERATION

(A.I.B.P.A.R.C.) 

C/O BANK OF INDIA OFFICERS' ASSOCIATION

Eastern India

BANK OF INDIA, 

KOLKATA MAIN BRANCH 

23A, NETAJI SUBHAS ROAD, 

KOLKATA- 700 001 Mobile: 9674188524, E-mail: aibparc@gmail.com

Circular no 119--20

Date: 19.12.20.

For circulation among members of the Governing Council, State Secretaries, Special Invitees and Advisors.

Dear Comrade,

Sub: On--line memorandum to be signed by members for submission to the Secretary, DFS, MOF, GOl and The Chairman, IBA on various long pending demands of Retirees.

In pursuance of the decision taken in the 2nd Virtual meeting of the Governing Council of AlBPARC, an On--line memorandum has been prepared on various demands of Retirees. It is to be signed by members by way of giving their concurrence in the designed format. The process to be followed is described hereunder 

1.Members are first to open our website 

www.aibprc.in. 

Just above the words "Welcome to our site", there is an underlined insertion "Memorandum for long pending issues of Bank Retirees". It is to be clicked.

2.A page will open up containing a letter dated 20.12.20 addressed to the Secretary, DOFS, MOF, GOI and The Chairman, 1BA on various demands of Retirees.

3.At the bottom of the letter, each member will type his full name, mobile number and email id in the specific box given and then he/she will record his/her concurrence by clicking on the box named "CONFIRM". The mail will automatically go to the two addressees and a return mail will come to the Member concerned.

4.All our Affiliates are earnestly requested to employ their fullest endeavour to obtain the signatures of maximum possible numbers in the above manner and make the Authorities convinced about the urgency of settlement of the lssues of Retirees.

5.The campaign will remain open for 15 days ie upto 4 th January 2021.We expect an astounding success with the help and co--oprrarion of all concerned.

With best wishes and regards,

(SUPRITA SARKAR)

GENERAL SECRETARY

Friday, December 18, 2020

Govt. approved officers settlement and allow for ad-hoc arrears and new salary. 

However it seems  new rate of NPS contribution by employer and family pension issues will take some time.

*****************

F. No. 4/2/2/2015-IR


Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Financial Services


Jeevandeep Building, 

3rd floor

Sansad Marg, 

New Delhi - 110 001

Dated 18th December 2020


To:

Chief Executive

Indian Banks' Association

World Trade Centre Complex

Centre 1. 6th floor, 

Cuffe Parade

Mumbai - 400 005


Subject: 11th Bipartite Settlement and Joint Note dated 11.11.2020, on wage revision


Sir,


1. Reference is invited to Indian Banks' Association's letters no. HR&IR/KSC/

Govt/665/9308 and 9309, dated 11.11.2020, on the above subject.

2. In this connection, the undersigned is directed to convey to Indian Banks'

Association (IBA)-


(a) 'no objection of the Government for advising Public Sector Banks to pay ad-hoc amount of arrears, revised salary, allowances to serving officers, and revised pension and arrears to existing pension optees who have retired, with effect from 1.11.2017, as per agreed provisions of the 11th bipartite settlement, pending amendments to relevant regulations as per procedure laid down under

relevant enactments, subject to adjustment of ad-hoc amount already released;

and


(b) that it may submit a detailed proposal, along with financial implications/

liabilities in respect of family pension and employer's contribution under the new pension scheme, at IBA proposed rates.


Yours faithfully,

signed

(S. R. Mehar)

Director

Tele: 011-23362133

Email: ir@nic.in

Thursday, December 3, 2020

 I have updated my blog according to 11th BPS.

Those who are interested may visit the title ( on the top)

 Service conditions Clerk/ Substaff ,D.A History, Leave rules, NPS etc.,

 This is a calculation about revised pension after 11 th BPS, in the recent circular issued by AIBEA .

(Applicable to those who retired from 01.11.2017 to 31.10.2020)
I have already explained how the loading of 2.5% only on Basic Pay affects the post retirement benefits.
No need to elaborate here again.
This caculation is to cover up their failure in achieving higher load on Basic Pay and merging of Spl.Allowance with Basic Pay.
There are two options:
Option A:
These union leaders think employees are ...... and does not know basic mathematics.
Option B:
These union leaders themselves are ...... and does not know basic mathematics.
You select any one.



 When the arrears will be disbursed?

10 th BPS signed on 25.05.2015.
New Salary implemented in June 2015.
Arrears for both in service and retired employees paid in the first week of August 2015.(after 70 days).
For retired during 01.11.2012 to 25.05.2015, arrears on pension/commutation/encashment of P.L./gratuity paid in first week of Oct 2015 and Nov.2015.
(After 4 and 5 months)
Revised Pension from Oct 2015.
(May vary from bank to bank)
Let us wait and see, how it is paid this time.

Friday, November 20, 2020

 Like Temporary sub staff, now Temporary clerks/officers.


Will it be extended to other Banks?


Can extract work at nominal wage, instead of recruiting permanent employee.

**********************

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION as on 31.10.2020:

Graduation from a recognised University/ Institute


DURATION OF TRAINING:

Three years only. The selected apprentices should be willing to qualify in the examinations of IIBF (JAIIB/CAIIB) during 3 years apprenticeship engagement in the Bank.


STIPEND/ BENEFIT:The apprentices are eligible for stipend of Rs.15000/- per month during 1st year, Rs.16500/- per month during 2nd year and Rs.19000/- per month during 3rd year. 

*The apprentices are not eligible for any other allowances/ benefits.*




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

 Com.Thomas Franco writes.....

(Former General Secretary of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation.)


After more than 3 years of negotiations, strikes and agitations, wage revision for bank employees has been signed on 11.11.2020. For the award staff it is called Bipartite Settlement as they are covered under the Industrial Disputes Act and for officers it is called a Joint Note based on their bargaining strength.


The highlights of the Wage Revision are...


*15% raise in wages as on 1.11.2017 out which only 2.5% goes towards basic pay which is counted for superannuation benefits.


*5 days leave encashment every year out of their earned leave up to the age 55 and 7 days leave encashment above 55 years.


*Contribution towards National Pension Scheme increased to 14% of basic pay in line with central government employees.


*Performance linked incentive to employees of banks whose operating profit is more than 5% in a year.


*Within the 15%, introduction of allowances like transport allowance for award staff and learning allowance and location allowance in non CCA centres for officers.


*Some improvements in leave rules


*Promise of 30% of pay as family pension as applicable for government servants after the GoI approves.


One of the unions, Bank Employees Federation of India walked out during the signing of MoU, 3 months back. Other unions and associations are claiming it as historic settlement.


These are the following deviations from the earlier settlement.


*The Finance Minister openly went to the media that she has asked the chairman IBA and chairman SBI to take care of the bank employees and retired employees and family members. She also addressed the Annual General Meeting of IBA one day before. 

But in reality, there was nothing given more than what was already agreed with IBA almost a month back. The pensioners issue is not finalised. Many other demands are left hanging. Normally IBA does not call the unions and associations till the time of next wage revision.


*One award staff union claims that there are 100 reasons to cheer but officers organisations have written to IBA mentioning 18 issues left out in the agreement and they are requesting another meeting to discuss which may not happen unless they agitate and lobby.


Important issues left out are:


*Five day banking which is close to the heart of every bank employee as international banks, RBI, central government, private sector, IT companies and several state governments work only 5 days in a week.

 

*Updation of pension for retirees where there are numerous anomalies and court cases in spite of Supreme Court ruling that pension is not a bounty, 50% of the last drawn pay should be the pension and no employer can say that they don’t have money to pay pension. In fact RTI replies prove that there is enough in pension funds to remove these anomalies.

One of the biggest drawback in the settlement is apportioning the increase in wages. 


*For the first time in decades during the last settlement it was only 2% of the increase given to basic pay and this time it is 2.5% (normally 10-11% goes towards basic). This is done to reduce the superannuation benefits of gratuity, provident fund and pension.


*After the last wage revision in banks the Insurance employees and officers got their wage revision with 11.5% of the wage increase apportioned towards basic pay. 

So their basic pay is much more than that of bankers. This time also the same is likely to happen. So there will be a huge difference.


*Another is that in spite of this wage revision, the starting Basic pay of Central Government peon or subordinate staff is more than that of the Clerical staff in banks. Similar is the basic pay of officers.


Unions divided:


*Biggest blow is that the government has managed to divide the unions and associations to among themselves. Officers and award staff had unity through United Forum of Bank Unions. During the last settlement government allowed one more union which is not part of UFBU but has allegiance to ShivSena to sign the settlement which is continued now also. It is because of UFBU, the banking sector unions and associations were seen as powerful.


*With the division the government will find it easy to privatise the public sector banks which is going to happen soon.


*After this government came to power there is no officer/employee director in public banks which is mandatory, in spite of a directive from Delhi High Court in 2017, the unions could not get the appointments done which makes them handicapped.


*Another issue which is likely to crop up is due to the change in Trade Union Act and Industrial Disputes Act which have been changed into Industrial Relations Code. Unions with membership below 10% may not be called for any negotiation.  

Workers with salary of Rs.18000 PM and above are called employees / supervising staff.


*The draft rules do not talk about employees and supervising staff. There will be a Workers Committee and Grievance Redressal Committee.


*Another provision of the Code says, for strike, you have to give 60 days’ notice instead of 15 days. Then it will be referred to a tribunal. If tribunal fails again, 60 days needed for strike. So one of the main tools available is taken away.


*The Central Trade Unions have decided to fight against the four Labour Codes.  One of the Nov 26 strike demands is change in Labour Codes.


But only 2 unions in the banking sector AIBEA & BEFI are joining the strike.


(So the future of wage revision and trade unionism in banking sector is in question.


*The Finance Minister wants to settle few demands, like updation of pension and family pension outside the bipartite mechanism to weaken the trade unions. 

Five day week is not in the horizon.


*The disunity among unions and associations is going to cost them a lot.

The younger generation is unhappy and a section of them are working under the banner, “We Bankers”

Officers Association has many internal contradictions and one group under the banner of Nationalised Bank Officers Federation is revolting and filing cases.


*The unions and associations are getting alienated from the public, the customers due to shortage of staff, bank charges and poor service.


*Is it the end of the road? It depends on the leaders of the trade unions.

 How much an employee looses and how much Bank saves by Spl.Allowance concept?

(i.e. spl.allowance is given separately instead of adding to Basic pay itself )


A Special Assistant retiring with Max. B.P+Spl.Pay+PQP+FPP will be as follows with Spl.allow. and with Spl.allow. added to Basic Pay:


Gratuity: 20,00,000-18,44,483

Diff. (-)Rs.1,55,517


Commutation: 16,59,459-14,47,642

Diff. (-)Rs.2,11,817


Pension after commutation: 38259-33375

Diff. (-)Rs.4884 per month

If we assume life expendency as low as 70 years it will be 4884×120=Rs.586000

(Excluding D.A.increase every six months)


For officers loss will be more as their B.P. is much higher.


For employees under NPS , contribution by Bank will be lower by 16.4% every month for 35 years of service.

As NPS contribution is based on B.P+D.A there will be no increase in NPS contribution even though D.A increases, on Spl.Allow. portion.

Future increments also already reduced by 16.4%.

Therefore Contribution on future increments will also be reduced by 16.4%.

If the concept is continued this percentage will go on increasing by every 5 years due to wage revision.

In this way Accumulation of NPS corpus will be affected at the time of retirement.


This concept is not a Govt.Policy like introduction of NPS.

This concept is accepted in Banking sector only.


Hence, IBA winsπŸ‘, Unions failedπŸ‘Ž

Monday, November 16, 2020

 Why concept of  loading on Basic Pay is significant?

As all of us know if less percentage of loading means reducing post retirement benefits.

Up to 9th BPS around 10+ percentage is loaded on B.P.

In 10th it was 2% and 11th it is 2.5%

Our Pension/NPS/Commutation/Gratuity all calculated on the basis of Basic Pay.

If B.P.is reduced all the above benefits will reduced.

I attached a calculation, showing how pension reduced after commutation instead of increasing.

Some tall leaders argue that "don't commute, your Pension will not be reduced".

I doubt the soundness of their mind. 

I think employees are well versed with mathematics than these leaders.

Let them answer one simple question.

Why pension not reduced up to 9th BPS?

Employees retired in 9th BPS got more Pension and more commutation amount than those retired in 8th BPS?

But, why this did not happened for retirees of 10th and 11 BPS?

Even after getting 2 more stagnation increments retrospectively, 11 BPS retirees will not get more pension than their counterparts in earlier BPS.

Do they argue loading of 2% or 10% does not affect post retirement benefits?

Employees under NPS also will be affected in the same way, but calculation are different.

Their loss will be more than the senior employees under Pension option.



 *Review of 11th BPS!! 


First of all congratulations to all Bank employees! 


11th BPS is concluded after three years. Anxiety come to an end. 


Every settlement has its own plus and minus factors. 

This one is not an exception. 

Let us start with positive factors. 


Every time it was said it will be the last BPS, but it is achieved this time also.


Wage increase of 15% on pay slip component is not bad for a 5 year settlement, even though we expected a higher % 


Increase of one more stagnation Increment (total 9) , change of periodicity as 2 years,  given effect retrospectively is a welcome improvement. Those who retired/retiring during this BPS will be benefitted immediately.


Reimbursement of Lodging  expenses while on outstation duty  is long standing demand and now becomes reality. 


Linking Transport allowance with D.A  is good .Will increase whenever D.A increases.


HRA at  uniform 10.25% is good. 


NPS contribution by employer is increased to 14% is beneficial to young generation comrades. (It is as per Govt. guidelines. Unions didn't raised it in Charter of demands.) 

It is to be seen whether it will given effect retrospectively or from Nov.2020.


Leave rules are changed favourably. The question is will the management sanction leave as and when required? 


Improvements in LFC. Practically most of the employees avail encashment of LFC itself. Not going on actual travel.


Increase in annual Medical Aid. Employees troll about meager increase. Pl.understand there is no point , in increasing a head which is static one, does not increase with B.P and D.A. It is a once in year payment. Loading other components which are growing in nature will be a prudent decision. 


Family Pension expected to be increased as per IBA's assurance. All along it is said some improvements will come in Family Pension, but, surprisingly it is expected in line with Govt.staff. 


Passing powers of Clerks not increased. But, latest circular by 4 unions say it is be discussed. 


Coming to minus/negative aspects…. 


*Again, loading on Basic Pay is compromised at 2.5% as was in previous settlement (2%). This concept was not prevailing in any Sector/Industry/Central/State/PSUs/Departments in India. 


This will lead to  lowest  post  retirement benefits  among  all  sectors. 

This provision will affect  younger  generation comrades by way of  low  NPS  corpus  at  the time  of retirement , as  they are  left  with more  number of years of service.


Spl.allowance  started with 7.75%  is  now  16.4% 

In  another  25  years  (5  settlement) How much % it will grow?


Unachieved demands: 


*Merger  of  Spl.allowance  with Basic pay.

This demand is buried  once  for  all. 


*5 day Banking, is  not  accepted by Govt./public  perspective 


*No updating  of  Pension.  Not  moving  an inch.

Only sugar  coated words  are  coming. 


*Lastly PLI concept is introduced by IBA.

Let us wait and see the effect of this in coming years.


Now, one union claims that all the achievements are because of them.

All along 9 unions are on the negotiating table.

Only BEFI exit on the day of MOU on the basis of unachieved demands. After that only distribution of load took place.

It is a collective effort of all 9 unions backed by employees.


We all think that the settlement is over.

But, 4 unions issued circular stating there are issues to be discussed.

O.k.Let them discuss, there are 2 years left in this settlement period!!




 Bank Employees Federation of India

NARESH PAUL CENTRE

53 Radha Bazar Lane, Kolkata – 700 001


16th Nov 2020


The Governor

Reserve Bank of India

Central Office Building

Shahid Bhagat Singh Road

Mumbai-400001


Sir, 


Sub: Business Correspondents (Bank Mitras)


Since introduction of kiosk banking in our country for providing banking services mainly to the vulnerable groups such as weaker section and people with low income in the unbanked areas; this model played pivotal role in reaching new heights of Govt’s project of financial inclusion. The Business Correspondents (BC) popularly named as ‘Bank Mitra' which provides friendliness to the customers managing the kiosks, termed as Customer Service Points (CSP), have put yeomen service to make this project successful.


We welcome modifications of comprehensive guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on BC operations from time to time. We understand that the latest guidelines have been issued by RBI through Master Circular on Branch Authorization No. DBOD. BAPD.BC.7/22.01.001/2014-15 dated 01.07.2014. So far Cash Management of BCs is concerned, RBI issued circular on Scaling up of the Business Correspondent (BC) Model with No. RPCD.FID.BC. 96/12.01.011/2013-14 dated 22.04.2014.


However, we would like to draw your attention to some of the problems related with the BCs mentioned herein below:


1. There are two types of BCs; appointed by the banks directly and appointed through corporate agencies. While the commissions earned by the directly recruited individual are free from any deduction, the commissions earned by those recruited  through corporate agencies are subjected to deductions of corporate commissions. The banks should ensure payment of uniform commissions to all the BCs, otherwise the agency based recruitment should be done away with.


2. The BCs are earning commissions depending upon assessment of volume and/or quantum of performance and nature of services rendered etc. We observe that commissions are varying from bank to banks. In this regard also parameters should be set at par for all the banks.


3. The BCs are required to bear their establishment and operational costs such as electricity, prints out supplied to customers, maintaining office, computers and other electronic gadgets etc. The commissions earned accordingly stand reduced through meeting such costs. A fixed remuneration towards establishment expenses should be considered.


4. The BCs are performing highly  skilled jobs but denied central Government Minimum wages payable for skilled workers as was defined under the minimum wages Act 1948 and continued even after enactment of the code of wages 2009 replacing the above act. The justice for BCs could only be met, if equal pay for equal works could be ensured. Moreover, in many occasions the BCs are to perform works for more than eight hours to complete day’s job. The working hours of BCs to be limited upto eight hours a day.


5. The BCs are supposed to handle cash directly, from receiving money of customers till deposited at the respective bank branches; some of which are far away from the CSPs. We came across information that several BCs have been looted and murdered by miscreants while remitting cash. The banks should be directed to extend cash-in-transit insurance for all the BCs who have not done as yet and at the same time make appropriate security arrangements .


6. The BCs are not covered under PF, gratuity , Bonus etc Acts. In the given nature of their appointment,  the legal provisions as comprehended under Contract Labour [Abolition and Regulation] Act 1970 cannot be denied to be applicable to them, if  on positive consideration of same, they would be entailed to central Govt. Minimum Wages for skilled employee, PF. Gratuity, Bonus , Medical assistance etc. They should be covered under medical assistance also.


7. This demand has become more relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic when the BCs rendered their services to the people even risking their lives. These BCs performed their jobs, in many places round the clock, in paying the allocated amount to the PMGKY beneficiaries. These BCs had to utilise biometric devices when in all other places it was banned to contain spreading of virus infection. In the process, thousands of BC got infected while a number of them died. 


We seek your intervention in this matter so that the banks take care of  service conditions and remunerations of the BCs in accordance with their services and law of the land. 

 

Yours faithfully,

(Debasish Basu Chaudhury)

General Secretary

Sunday, November 15, 2020

 πŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ˜œ





 *"BANKS ARE SWALLOWING PENSION FUND"*


The most popular Malayalam newspaper The Mathrubhoomi has published an 8 column

news item titled 


*"NO PENSION REVISION FOR BANK EMPLOYEES DURING PAST 26 YEARS".*


Tere are also sub tities such as 

*"Pension of Chief General Manager is less than that of a clerk"*

and 


*"The accumulated pension fund is Rs. 2.40 lakh crores".*


The news translated into English:


The accumulated idle fund in Bank Employees

Pension Corpus Fund started in 1993 is Rs.2.40 lakh crores. 

The reason given by the banks for non-revision of pension is that there is insufficient balance in the fund. The fact that there will be sufficient amount in the pension fund even if employees pension is doubled now has come to

light when the 

*All Kerala Bank Retirees Forum*

obtained facts from various public sector banks under RTL.

The Total amount disbursed as pension in the

year 2017-18 was Rs.14800 crores. 

The interest earned in the corpus fund during the same period was Rs. 18400 crores. 

75% af interest accumulation

in the pension fund is sufficient to disburse pension to all pensioners. There are 6.91 lakh pensioners as of now of which 1.20 lakh are family pensioners.


*Details were collected by Mr. K. T. Babu, Vice President of All Kerala Bank Retirees Forum.*

Bank managements have to transfer 10% of

employees salary to Pension Corpus Fund every

year. During the last two years six banks have not

transferred even a single rupee to the fund. 

Not only that they have also not made any provision for

this in their balance sheets

Employees are facing a dangerous situation due

to non-revision of pension.


 A chief General manager

retired in 2002 is receiving lesser pension than a

clerk retired in 2018. 

It is the family pensioners

who are facing maximum difficulties. 

In 1993 when pension was introduced the family pension was fixed at 1596 the salary at retirement Central government is paying farrily pension at 50% of the pension drawn by pensioners.


*RS. 3445 CRORES, FROM PENSION FUND SPENT FOR OTHER PURPOSES:*


Oriental Bank of Commerce spent Rs. 825 crores

in 2017 and another Rs. 2620 crores in 2018 from the pension fund for other purposes. Bank has admitted in their written reply that these amounts

were not withdrawn for pension payment. It is not

clear which are the Lother banks that have utilise pension fund for other purposes like this." 


Even though salary of public sector bank employees had been revised five times since 1993, Pension has not been revised even once.


Friday, November 13, 2020


 

AIBEA's claim on 11th BPS 

AIBEA on 11th BPS

 ALL INDIA BANK EMPLOYEES' ASSOCIATION

Central Office:  Chennai-600001


CIRCULAR NO. 28/250/2020/88

12-11-2020


TO ALL UNITS AND MEMBERS:

Dear Comrades,


• 11th Bipartite Settlement signed

• Platinum Jubilee Gift from AIBEA to bank

employees

• Greetings and massive congratulations

• You have created one more milestone in our

onward march

• One Nation One Salary achieved.


*Tribunalisation to Bipartism:*


Ever since AIBEA was founded on 20th April,

1946, endeavouring to improve the wages

and service conditions of bank employees has

been a part of our basic commitment. From

those days of jungle rule exploitation by the

management, we travelled to the days of

pleading before Tribunals and were faced with

unsatisfactory Awards.

Then dawned the era of bilateralism from 1966 when AIBEA fought a royal battle and achieved the first ever bipartite settlement in any industry at that time. Bipartite Settlement in Banks became a hallmark for others to follow and thus AIBEA became the pioneer and pace-setter. It became a trend and AIBEA achieved 10 bipartite settlements thereafter in 1970, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. This is the 11th successive one the 11th Bipartite Settlement which AIBEA has signed yesterday. AIBEA is the only organisation that has signed all the 11 Bipartite Settlement so far. We can

legitimately feel proud about it. It is a unique achievement indeed.


*Attacks on bipartism:*

It is important to remember that in the last five decades, there have been innumerable attempts to scuttle this bilateral system to foist third party interventions. We have constantly opposed these attempts. This time also, there were

serious attempts by anti-AIBEA inimical forces

to foist a Tribunal. We are happy that we could overcome all these nefarious moves and

sign one more bipartite settlement thus preserving the hard-won right of collective bargaining and bilateralism which have been bequeathed to us by our leaders Com.Prabhat Kar and Com HL Parvana.

Similarly, as in the past, this time also till the last minute attempts were afoot to create legal hurdles through obtaining some stay order from court, etc. All these ill-motived

efforts could also be frustrated and the Settlement could be signed. It is a unique

achievement indeed.


*One Nation One Salary unique achievement:*


 From the earlier period, when salary of the bank employee was differentiated based on the size of the Bank and the place of his working, like A Class Banks, B Class Banks, C Class Banks, and D Class Banks and Area I, II, II and IV based on

population, we achieved uniform Basic Pay/Pay Scales in 1970 in the 2nd Bipartite Settlement but the total emoluments were

based on category of Banks and place of work

of the employee.

Today we are very happy and proud that in

this 11th Bipartite Settlement, we could

achieve ONE NATION ONE SALARY by which employees working in any Bank and in

any place will get the same uniform total emoluments. It is a unique achievement

indeed.


×Achieved under difficult circumstances:*


We cannot forget the fact that our country is

still not out of the challenge and health risk posed by covid19. Because of Covid19, our national economy is facing stagnation and stagflation. GDP has plummeted and

struggling to come up. In no other industry or sector, there are talks of wage revision and wage increase.

In fact, on the other hand,

workers in many sector are facing wage cuts, wage reduction, etc. Even for Government employees, DA has been frozen. It is in this

adverse situation that we have achieved this wage increase. It is a unique achievement indeed.


*Government's policies not so friendly yet we could achieve:* 


All of us know the

labour policies of the present Government. It

is not worker-friendly at all. Even minimum wage is being denied to millions of workers.

Labour laws and labour rights are being weakened. Role of trade unions are sought to be diminished. It is significant that in this

scenario, we have been able to conclude the

Settlement successfully. It is a unique achievement indeed.


*Banks passing through tough times, yet we could make it:*


 We also know that all

Banks are not doing well. Banks are facing multiple challenges. NPAs are on the increase and revenue level is a matter of concern.

Hence profitability is a major issue for the Banks. Covid19 has added to their problems.

Hence while our demands for more wages are very genuine and quite reasonable, we faced

a lot of problem during negotiations. IBA

started with a meager 2% and it took a lot of efforts including strikes to reach the level of 15% i.e. an amount of Rs. 7,898 crores (Rs.3,385 crores for workmen and Rs. 4,513

crores for officers). This much higher than Rs. 4725 crores that we achieved in the 10th Bipartite Settlement in 2015 (Rs. 2270 crores for workmen and Rs. 2455 crores for officers), an increase of nearly 70% in the total

quantum of hike in the wage revision. It is a

unique achievement indeed.


*Management's various adverse proposals

thwarted:*


When we submitted our Charter of Demands in May, 2017, managements/IBA

submitted various issues as management's issues to be discussed and resolved which included permission to outsource all our regular jobs, introduction of Cost to Company package, Fixed Pay and Variable Pay system, flexibility to transfer employees, premature retirement of employees in public interest, etc. IBA brought all these issues during the

course of negotiations but through our arguments and standpoints, we could thwart all these proposals. It is a unique achievement indeed.


*Improvements in service conditions

secured:*


Besides wage increase, various service conditions have been improved upon.

Special Allowance and Transport Allowance

have been improved upon and will attract DA,

Leave benefits like sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, special casual leave/curfew leave, special casual leave for

PWD, Leave Fare Concession, Halting

Allowance, Hill and fuel allowance, all other

allowances, etc. have been improved upon. 

It is a unique achievement indeed.


*Uniform HRA in all Centres:*


 There is a remarkable improvement in HRA. In the 1st BP Settlement, HRA was Rs. 11 to Rs. 25 in

Mumbai and Kolkata. In places with 7 lacs

population & above, it was Rs. 9 to Rs.18. In

other places, no HRA was paid. In the 4th BPS in 1984, even rural area branches were covered for payment of HRA but rates were different for different centres. In this Settlement, for the first time, HRA will be paid at 10.25% to all the employees in all the Centres. Moreover, where an employee is transferred by the management (other than at request), he/she can claim HRA at 1.5% of

his HRA by producing rent receipt. It is a unique achievement indeed.


*New benefits introduced:*


 A new Scheme

of Performance Linked Incentive has been

introduced from this year under which all employees will be paid additional incentive amount based on the profit of the Bank.

Similarly, Privilege Leave can be encashed every year for any one of the festivals upto 5/7 days. For the first time, it has been agreed that substaff who pass CAIIB/JAIIB, will be sanctioned additional increments like clerical staff. One more stagnation increment has been introduced and periodicity has been made uniform to all at once in 2 years. All

these are new benefits in this Settlement. It is a unique achievement indeed.


*Retiral benefits will go up:*


 In these hardays of unabated inflation and constant fall ivalue of money, while our wages are

important, equally important are our post-

retirement benefits. Under this Settlement, care has been taken to improve retiral benefits also. For the young employees who

have joined Banks after April, 2010, the management's contribution to New Pension Scheme would be 14% instead of present 10% i.e. a 40% increase in the amount of

Bank's contribution to the Fund. For senior

employees, there would be increase iGratuity, Pension, Commutation and Leave

Encashment amounts. It is unique achievement indeed.


*Family Pension being improved:*


 It has been recorded in the Settlement itself that

Family Pension would be revised at uniform

rate of 30% without any ceiling. This would

result in increase in the Family Pension of all

existing family pensioners. Ofcourse this would also apply to the families of existing employees who unfortunately die during

service or after retirement. It is a unique

achievement indeed.


*All due to your unity keep it up:*

 

Dear comrades, all these unique achievements

were possible because of your unity, militancy and faith in the organisation. Ofcourse, achievement is a tradition in AIBEA.


Hearty Greetings to all of you. Massive congratulations to all of you.

We dedicate this Settlement to the hallowed

memory of Com. Prabhat Kar and Com Parvana who are the architects of bipartism in banking industry.

This Settlement is a gift from AIBEA to all our members when we are celebrating the 75th year

Platinum Jubilee of our

beloved AIBEA.


Enjoy the benefits.

Enumerate the achievements to others.

Educate the ignorants.

Eliminate the ill-motived.

Endeavour to strengthen AIBEA - it is yours.


Yours comradely,


C.H. VENKATACHALAM

GENERAL SECRETARY

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Arrears calculator


This is arrears calculation programme provided by AIBEA

(In XL.format)

If you are having your salary history with you it is a matter of minutes to calculate your arrears.

More calculators will be coming from other unions/individuals also.

However your Bank will calculate and pay arrears, that is final.



Arrears Calculator for CLERKS 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Old and New Salary calculation!
Basics:

H.R.A calculated @ 10.25%(7.5%) on Basic+Spl.Pay+PQP.

D.A. calculated @ 23.8% (81.8%) for the month of Nov.2020, on
Basic+Spl.pay+PQP+Spl.Allow.+Trp.Allow.

Spl.Allow. calculated at 16.4% (7.75%) on Basic Pay only.

F.P.P is fixed amount, does not attract D.A+H.R.A.
A portion of it Rs.1992(1310) taken for P.F. deduction .
***************
One correction
NPS deduction for new employee is 10% (10%) Basic Pay+ D.A=
Rs.2463new /2377old


 

BEFI circular on BPS

 BANK EMPLOYEES FEDERATION OF INDIA


NARESH PAUL CENTRE

 53 Radha Bazar Lane (1st Floor), Kolkata – 700 001

 

Circular No.78/2020

 11thNov2020


To all Units, Affiliates, Office Bearers, CC & GC Members


Dear Comrade,


11th Bipartite Settlement

We are happy to note that 11th Bipartite Settlement has been signed today between 

IBA and four workmen unions, viz. AIBEA, NCBE, INBEF, NOBW; while Joint Note 

was signed with four Officers’ Associations. 

The settlement has been signed 

through collective bargaining process. Attempts were on to foil the right achieved 

through years of struggle. 

This is positive.

Starting from formulation of common charter of demands (CoD), 

Bank Employees 

Federation of India was very much in the negotiation process till the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 22nd July 2020.


 BEFI has always been 

undauntedly in the forefront of all struggles under the banner of UFBU for achieving reasonable and justified demands of the bank employees and officers.


BEFI did not sign the MoU. It had been mentioned through different mode of 

communications that the MoU could not fulfil aspirations of the employees, both working and retired, particularly after spontaneous and enthusiastic participation

by all concerned in 2-day strike on 31st Jan and 1st Feb 2020. 


We feel that the MoU was signed in a hurry without settling many sensitive issues like five day week, merger of special allowance with basic pay, family pension,

revision of pension. 


An impression was created that given the pandemic, if the settlement is not concluded early, the whole process of negotiation may jeopardise. This, we considered, was a ploy of IBA to brush aside important issues from the terms of settlement and hence was unacceptable us.


We observed that signing settlement this way did not impress leadership of Unions in Insurance Sector and they did not accept increase of 15% offered by their management during a meeting recently. With all probability, the employees of Insurance sector will receive total wage increase of more than 15% with much higher loading on B.P. after merger of DA as they could achieve last time.


So far loading on basic pay is concerned, we could gain only 0.5% by agreeing 

2.5% even after stupendously successful 2-day strike due to such hurry. 

All the constituents of UFBU were not consulted before accepting 2.5% loading. The bankers denied merger of special allowance with basic pay on the plea of ‘subjudice’ matter. The same bankers agreed to increase this ‘subjudice’ special 

allowance to the tune of 16.4% which, we apprehend, will be uphill task to merge with basic pay through negotiation in future. 


Given meagre 2.5% loading and

special allowance not merged with basic pay; the pay scale after the final

settlement will lag further behind after pay revision in RBI and insurance Sector. 


The employees and officers will have increase in take home pay but with less 

impact on superannuation benefits. 


In matter related with revision of pension, the IBA treated the record note signed

on 25th May 2015 as merely a piece of paper on which no action was taken 

whatsoever in last five years. During three and half years of negotiation which 

concluded today, the IBA practically played hide and seek game with the unions through adoption of dilatory tactics In pushing the issue further away from settling.

At one point of time IBA was ready to share data regarding pension with actuary recommended by UFBU. 

It is a matter of pity that from UFBU we failed to decide

for a common actuary to be referred to IBA. 

Since 22nd July 2020, we addressed several letters to IBA and Ministry of Finance for settling the issue along with the ongoing negotiations. Quite a good number of Hon’ble Members of Parliament, 

both from lower and upper houses approached the Union Finance Minister for 

revision of Pension in RBI pattern. We are glad that the Hon’ble FM, though at the fag end of the negotiation process, has acknowledged the issue recently but this has not been reflected in the Final Settlement.


Clause 19 of the 11th BPS in regard to Family Pension reads, “Subject to approval 

by the Government, it is agreed that family pension shall be payable at the 

uniform rate of 30 percent of the Pay of the deceased employee and that 

there shall be no ceiling on family pension”.

 We are particularly happy that on 22nd July 2020, BEFI suggested to include the Clause exactly in this manner in MoU. 

This is a moral achievement of BEFI. 

We shall continue our initiative for its approval at the earliest.

With the characteristics of the government and the bankers; we firmly believe that the sensitive issues which have been kept out of final settlement cannot be achieved without struggle. 


We congratulate our members across the country who

observed Demand Days on the days of the negotiation which had definite impact 

on the meetings of the working groups as well as on IBA and the MoF. 

This was reflected by a series of letters addressed by different negotiating unions to the IBA and the government including MoF even after signing MoU on several matters like five day week, pension revision, merger of special allowance with basic pay. 

Though the final settlement has been signed without BEFI, but we believe that the struggle to achieve the unachieved demands cannot move further without

involvement of BEFI.

 BEFI stayed away from signing the Mou but it will never remain away from the field of struggle to achieve the legitimate demands for common employees and officers.


In regard to the demand of 5 day week, which has become one of the most 

sensitive issues given the increasing work load and hazards, the IBA changed their stand from time to time. At one point of time, IBA agreed to refer the matter to the 

stake holders for consideration. 

In January this year, the then IBA Chairman told 

during negotiation that this matter will not be referred to the Govt.

We firmly believe that the bank employees and officers deserve more than what has been agreed by the IBA and Govt. after long 39 months of negotiation. 

We shall not allow passing the issues to oblivion. BEFI shall continue its campaign for 

achieving the issues in coming days through struggles.

In the prevailing situation, we call upon our Units and Affiliates to organise 

demonstrations at all places immediately at convenient time on the following demands adhering to the health protocols and restrictions in force.


•Immediate Enhancement of Family Pension

•Pension Revision as per RBI Pattern

• Uniform Dearness Relief for all

• Introduction of 5 day week

• Scrap NPS and implement Defined Benefit Pension Scheme for 

all


With greetings,


Yours comradely,


(Debasish Basu Chaudhury)

General Secretary


Officers Settlement

 Game Over!!

😊 or 😩


Officers Joint Note

11 th Bipartite Settlement

 Game over!!

😊 or 😩


11th Bipartite Settlement


Tuesday, November 10, 2020


CHV tweets...

11th bipartite talks discussions concluded. Settlement being signed  tomorrow.  

Detailed circular follows. 

#AIBEA -NCBE -NOBW -INBEF.

***************

We can't taste sugar by writing "Sugar" in paper  Honourable F.M.




Monday, November 9, 2020

 

Update on Bipartite:
IBA & UFBU MEETING CONCLUDED.
BIPARTITE MEETING WILL BE HELD TOMORROW TO FINALISE THE SETTLEMENT .
DO NOT BELIEVE RUMOURS .

**************************
Eighth Joint Note : Update

Talks concluded today on a  positive note. Joint note to be drafted tomorrow. Detailed Circular will follow.

AIBOC/AIBOA/INBOC/NOBO
************************
11th BPS update- today’s marathon meeting just concluded. Work sheet revised and likely to be finalised tomorrow and in all probability Settlement will be signed on 11-11-2020.
*************************

Sunday, November 8, 2020

 Bank Employees Federation of India  

                                                                 NARESH PAUL CENTRE                          53 Radha Bazar Lane (1st Floor), Kolkata – 700 001 

                                    

Circular No.75/2020                                

7th Nov 2020 


To all Units, Affiliates, Office Bearers, CC & GC Members  


Dear Comrade, 


Letter to IBA Chairman:   

We addressed a letter to the Chairman, IBA on 11th Bipartite Settlement/Joint Note

 Text of the letter is appended which is self explanatory.  

With greetings, 

Yours comradely, . 

 (Debasish Basu Chaudhury) 

General Secretary  


TEXT OF THE LETTER TO THE CHAIRMAN, IBA 


 Quote: “Our attention has been drawn to a communication issued by the Senior Advisor (HR&IR) of Indian Banks' Association addressed to the Convener of United Forum of Bank Unions as per approval of Chairman of the Negotiating Committee for holding a meeting with 8 unions/associations, except BEFI, to move forward towards signing the 11th Bipartite Settlement/ Joint Note (HR&IR/UFBU/ XIBPS/9289 dated 05.11.2020). 


 We came across an interview of Hon'ble Union Finance Minister published in a financial daily, a few days ago; where it was printed in the verbatim of Hon'ble Minister as: (Quote)


 ”Today I had a meeting with newly appointed SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara. One of the questions that I asked he may or may not be directly involved into it but as a big brother among all the banks, he should be talking to IBA to short out issues related with bank employees, their pension, family pension and pension of those who retired a long time ago, whose pension does not commensurate with the pension of equal rank” (Unquote).  


 She further told that: (Quote) “I am communicating with IBA. Secretary (Banking) is also working with them” (Unquote). The Hon’ble Minister also told. (Quote) “... I want bank employees to be given their dues. A lot of pensioners are waiting for very long time. Yesterday I had meeting with Rajkiran Rai of IBA. I spoke to him too. We need bank employees to be attended too, particularly their families and pension of retired employees too. Pension matter, staff welfare, these are the issues  on which I am definitely concerned” (Unquote).  


We understand that the comments of Union Finance Minister in regard to Pension and Family Pension  have created a new dimension for the ongoing wage negotiation. You may recall that during the wage negotiation talks, issue of pension revision was taken up on quite a number of occasions without any meaningful headway. 


At one point of time, you proposed for  ad-hoc increase of pension instead of revision in RBI pattern as IBA was not inclined to amend the Bank Employees Pension Regulations 1995. We feel that there should not be any second opinion on  revision of pension as per RBI pattern. The then IBA Chairman, on 22nd July 2020, informed that IBA   agreed in principle to enhance family pension. We are unaware whether any recommendation in this regard has been forwarded to the Govt. and subsequent development, if any.  


In the prevailing circumstances, signing of 11th Bipartite Settlement/Joint Note without addressing the matters of Pension and Family pension will be in gross deviation from Hon’ble Finance Minister’s desire of settling the issues. 


We unequivocally demand of finalising all pending matters related with pension and family pension along with 11th Bipartite Settlement/Joint Note honouring public expressions of Hon’ble Union Finance Minister. 


 Anticipating positive response from your end,” Unquote

Thursday, November 5, 2020

 When officers unions were ready, IBA postponed signing.

Now, when IBA is ready, officers unions are raising issues like 5 days banking , updation etc.,


Then what was position of these issues on 18.10.20 , when they  were ready to sign.


Is it a tit for tat or ego clash?


O.k. take your own time. 

No hurry.

Employees have waited just 3 years.

Let them wait some more time.



Final of BPS negotiations...

 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Effect of webankers court case..

 *Legal Standing of Writ C No 15574 of 2020 - United forum of We Bankers vs Union of India & Ors*


IBA refused to discuss the matter pertaining to Salary Settlement with We Bankers since they are not registered trade unions under the Trade Union Act 1926 and hence ipso facto a nonentity.


Since they had approached the conciliation officer after giving a strike call and the conciliation failed, conciliation officer advised the Central Government to refer the matter of dispute to National Tribunal as per Sec 12(5) of ID Act read along with Sec 10 (1A)


The central government passed an order on 3-11-2020 invoking Section 10 of ID Act, referring the issue to the tribunal whether the action of IBA not discussing the issues with We Bankers Kanpur is justified or not.?? 


Since the Central Government already made a reference as per ID Act, court refused to keep the matter pending and disposed off the petition. 


*Epilogue*


πŸ‘‰πŸ» Claim of We Bankers that "they won the case" is totally wrong. 


πŸ‘‰πŸ» No question of fact relating the Bipartite / Service conditions / Pension has been referred to National Tribunal by the Central Government.  


πŸ‘‰πŸ» Central Government has just referred the question of legal locus standi in the decission of IBA not to entertain or recognise We Bankers for talks


πŸ‘‰πŸ» The claim of We Bankers that the National Tribunal will decide on the Bipartite settlement is factually incorrect. 


πŸ‘‰πŸ» The claim of We Bankers that they are a syndicate of registered trade unions is inapt & lack legislative basis. 


All our officer comrades kindly make a note that court has refused the plea of We Bankers on enhancing the scope of reference and disposed off the petition. 


Greetings & Regards


Sreenath Induchoodan 

National Convenor (Youth Wing) 

All India Union Bank Officers Federation 

*_State Secretary, AIBOC Kerala_*

***********************

It is nothing.

If conciliation fails and the management refuses to talk, the concerned makes a reference to Industrial tribunal. The Govt has made such a reference only to decide NOT the wage revision, pension or any service conditions but ONLY the following: 

1) if IBA refusing to talk with We Bankers forum is justified 

2)  if this refusal can be reckoned as an Industrial dispute. 

3) IF NOT, what relief and what directions should be given by the government. 


The tribunal will simply hold IBA’s refusal to talk is justified. This forum cannot even prove any significant membership ( leave alone majority). 

Much ado about nothing


IBPARA 

Monday, November 2, 2020

BPS update 02.11.2020

 Some more light on 31.10.2020 understanding....


1.D.A. will be paid on Special Allowance. and also on Transport allow...


2. Stagnation increment periodicity is 2 years uniformly.


Still unknown are..

1.Special Pay amount and powers..

2. Whether stagnation increments will be implemented from 01.11.2017?

3.Uniform H.R.A rate?

4. Any proposal on 3rd Saturday holiday?

5. Revised Transport Allowance?

6.other non pay slip issues like leave,LFC.,et.c

7. Last but most important is any hidden agenda, will unfold at the time of signing settlement?



Saturday, October 31, 2020

BPS update 31.10.2020

 Today's talks details....


As I mentioned earlier, one surprise element is out. Increase in passing power of Clerks is going to happen.

No such increase of powers in past 2 BPS.

Passing a transaction by a single clerk is more risky in the present environment of computer regime.

A meager increase in allowance won't compensate the risk.

(Officers pass all financial transactions on maker checker concept.)


O.k. is it over or any other shocking matter unfold?




11th BPS/my views!

 11th BPS / my views!!


Court cases will not stop signing / implementing BPS.


Settlements are between Banks & Unions and not between IBA and UFBU.

Settlements are signed by individual Banks and individual unions.

Negotiating team also consists of members appointed by Banks and Unions.


Questioning the legal status after 10 BPSs is quite surprise.


Regarding joint note for officers, as they are not coming under ID act, implementation needs necessary approval and changes in Officers service Regulations.


Even in State Govt./Central Govt. Employees it is only notification by Govt. and not settlements based on Pay Commission.

Govt. Employees only give their charted of demands to the commission. On the basis of Commission's recommendation Govt. will take final decision.

It is not necessary that Govt. should accept all the recommendations of the Pay Commission.


Coming to today's meeting I think unresolved matters will be settled and BPS may signed next week and can expect arrears before Diwali.


*No 5 days week.

*No merger of Spl.Allow. with Basic Pay, instead increase in Spl.Allow.

*Loading on Basic pay is final at 2.5%

*Updation of Pension will not find place in the settlement.

Instead an assurance may be give to look into it.


Apart from above, some surprise element may be made known to employees after signing of the settlement as in previous occasions like


* Different D.A merger points for serving staff and pensioners.

* Uniform D.A percentage will not applicable to past retirees.

* No arrears of revised pension from starting of settlement but from date of settlement only.

* penalty for one more option for pension restricted to new optees and not for all, though PF optees also contributed amount for pension expenditure in every settlement.

* Loading on Basic Pay restricted to 2% only instead of 10+% thereby curtailing post retirement benefits drastically.


O.k. above are my view only.

What will happen next week?

Let us keep our fingers crossed.





Friday, October 23, 2020

 GOVT. UNILATERALLY CHANGES BASE YEAR FROM 2001 TO 2016 FOR CALCULATION OF PRICE INDEX. 


*No change for Pensioners.




Thursday, October 22, 2020


 

 Bank Employees Federation of India

NARESH PAUL CENTRE

53 Radha Bazar Lane, Kolkata – 700 001

       

Circular No.71/2020 22nd Oct 2020


To all Units, Affiliates, Office Bearers, CC & GC Members


Dear Comrade,


11th Bipartite Settlement


We are aware that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 22nd July 2020. It was mentioned in MoU that, “The parties will endeavour to finalise the Bipartite Settlement/Joint Note within a period of ninety days from the date of this minutes”. Ninety days' period expired on 20th Oct 2020; final settlement is yet to be signed. Though this is not the first instance a settlement could not be signed within stipulated time, but the banking fraternity is unaware of the reason for the delay.


A number of meetings with the working groups for officers and workmen were held during the period and it was understood that the final settlement would be signed on 18th and 19th October 2020 with the officers and workmen respectively. We came across a joint circular issued by four officers' Associations on 17th instant stating that the negotiation is 'derailed'; and the signing of joint note did not take place as scheduled. The bank employees are unacquainted about the status with the workmen issues.


It is apparent that the point of dispute is with percentage of special allowance which is almost certain to increase from its existing 7.75%, 9% and 10%. This clearly exposes the design of IBA to deny merging special allowance with basic pay as ‘subjudice’ matter. Now, IBA did not find any problem in increasing the percentage pushing it further away from merging with basic pay. With available communication issued by the negotiating unions, it seems that the recent dispute is not related with any of the sensitive issues like 5 day week, revision of pension in RBI pattern, uniform DR etc. We understand that the Govt. is yet to accord approval for enhancement of family pension. The retirees are quite apprehensive and out of anxiety quite a good number of them are sending mails regularly to UFBU and other constituents pleading to settle the issue along with ongoing settlement to which we should not remain indifferent.


We congratulate our members across the country for observing Demands Day. We shall continue our movement even after the settlement is signed in case the sensitive issues do not find any place. We advise our members to continue campaign among all sections of employees and officers including the retirees.


With greetings,

Yours comradely,

(Debasish Basu Chaudhury)

General Secretary

Friday, October 16, 2020

BPS update


 

History of Pension in Banking Industry

 A MUST READ


Extracts from History Of Bank Employees Movement - A BEFI publication

CHAPTER XIV

Pension Movement


..........

From the above, it has been clear that the demand for pension as 3rd retiral benefit was raised before Desai Tribunal also, but not conceded. Subsequently, the issue came to focus after the Reserve Bank of India, to scuttle the demand of pension as 3rd retiral benefit, unilaterally announced a pension scheme in lieu of Contributory Provident Fund for its workman and officer employees without any consultation and agreement with the employees’ organizations. The employees willing to accept pension in place of provident fund were called upon to exercise their option for pension. Against this unilateral imposition of pension in lieu of Contributory Provident Fund by RBI management AIRBEA went ahead with serious opposition and called upon their members not to exercise option for pension so as to keep demand for pension as 3rd benefit alive. Overwhelming majority of the employees responded to the call of the Association.

In this background a meeting was held on 11 July 1990 participated by major unions of workmen and officers in the financial sector, viz., BEFI, AIRBEA, NCBE, AIBOC, All India Insurance Employees Association, LIC Class I Officers Federation, etc. except AIBEA which preferred to keep away. The meeting unanimously resolved to form the Co-ordinating Body of Associations/Federations in Banks, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, with Samir Ghosh, General Secretary of AIRBEA, as Convener, for conducting necessary campaign and struggle for pension as third retiral benefit. It was a unique experience of urge for an all-embracing common platform and united action on an issue which concerns everyone employed in the financial institutions. A renewed appeal was made to AIBEA and to associate itself with the Co-ordinating Body but they did not respond. Subsequently, All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association, All India NABARD Emp. Assn, AIIFCEA, National Confederation of

General Insurance Officers and INBEF joined the Co- ordinating Body further widening its reach. The united movement gathered tremendous momentum and became widespread. Even employees belonging to organizations outside its ambit came with their spontaneous support. Delegations of leaders met successive Union Finance Ministers as well as the RBI Governor beginning from 5 October 1990. Several well-articulated memoranda explaining the rationale of the demand was submitted, but things did not move in the desired direction. The forms of agitation had, therefore, to be stepped up. Under the auspices of the Coordinating Body the first country-wide strike action on this issue was observed on 30 April 1992. The response was very encouraging.

When this movement for pension as third benefit had thus gathered high momentum encompassing response from members of all other unions in financial sector, it was unfortunate that AIBEA, with the intention of confusing and weakening the movement, stepped in with campaign that the health of the banking industry being unsound, the third benefit was beyond reach and, therefore, pension by surrender of employees’ contribution to P.F. was a realistic and pragmatic approach. The Co-ordinating Body took the firm stand that pension as 3rd benefit was realizable. AlBEA’s stand and the premise thereof were conceptually as well as factually wrong. The Coordinating Body, therefore, decided to further intensify the struggle.

In this background the Co-ordinating Body met at Bombay on 14th February 1993 and decided upon a programme of another full-day strike on 29th March 1993 to be followed by a series of intensified struggle including two days strike immediately thereafter in the event of no positive response from the Government. However, at this stage two major Bank

Unions AIBOC & NCBE asked for a change of Convener and AIBOC General Secretary suggested Com. P. Narsaiah, General Secretary of NCBE, as Convener in place of Com. Samir Ghosh, although his performance was upto the mark in every respect. Many constituents including BEFI did not like this change, but gave in for the larger interest of unity and united struggle in a meeting at Calcutta on March 6,1993. The name of the Co-ordinating Body was also changed to Joint Action Committee.

The strike on the issue on 29th March 1993 was responded magnificently by employees and officers in financial sector at large, preceded by an indepth campaign and other forms of mobilization in which all the units of BEFI played a very active role of organizer and coordinator in very many  places.

In the absence of desired response from the Government, consecutive two days’ strike action on 11 and 12 May 1993 was announced. The decision created tremendous impact and the strike call went beyond the constituent units, a large section of membership of AIBEAalso rallied in its support. However, in a meeting of the JAC at Bombay on 7th May 1993 some constituents having negotiating status with IBA proposed that IBA being desirous of settling the matter by discussion, the agitational call might be deferred. BEFI, AIRBEA and some other constituents expressed strong reservations and apprehended that this might be a ploy of the bankers. But the Bank Unions having negotiating status insisted on deferment and the strike did not materialize. As apprehended by BEFI, IBA seized the opportunity of the let-up, signed a MOU with AIBEA on 25th May 1993 agreeing to introduction of pension in lieu of CPF. JAC’s protest was of no avail. Subsequently, the whole situation was analyzed in several meetings of the JAC. BEFI, AIRBEA proposed for immediate resumption  of

the two day strike call as bankers had gone back on their commitment of a settlement through negotiation. JAC meanwhile sought a meeting with the Finance Minister. He, however, was unresponsive. Hence to escalate the struggle, two one-day strikes on 2nd Sept. 1993 and 4th October 1993 and a continuous strike from 2nd November 1993 was decided. which was widely acclaimed all over the country. Serious preparatory steps began in right earnest and the stage was set for a decisive battle. The first strike of the series on 2nd September evoked a tremendous response. Entire financial sector came to a standstill. The second strike, however, could not take place because of a devastating earthquake in Maharashtra. More than one million workforce were poised for the continuous strike from 2nd November 1993. Determination was writ large everywhere.

Settlement of 1995

In this situation, IBA was clearly jittery and Government’s uneasiness, palpable. Bankers started informal parleys with two of the then negotiating unions in the banking sector in the JAC viz., AIBOC and NCBE with no positive results. In this backdrop a meeting of the JAC was called at Hyderabad on 12 October 1993 wherein the decision of continuous strike was reiterated and it was also decided that in the event of any negotiations meanwhile our demand for pension as third benefit should be seriously pursued. Meanwhile backdoor parleys had started between IBA and AIBOC-NCBE for averting the proposed continuous strike. BEFI was informed later that a meeting had taken place at Delhi on 21st October 1993 between IBA, Government and the RBI management on the one side and AIBOC leaders on the other and an understanding had been reached for pension in lieu of contributory provident fund on the same line as MOU with AIBEA, giving up the demand of third retiral benefit. As P. Narsaiah, Convener was lying ill in a Nursing Home, the Minutes were signed by the

General Secretary of AIBOC alone on behalf of both AIBOC and NCBE, keeping other constituent organizations completely at dark. Thus a powerful movement with promise of successful result came to an abrupt end without yielding result due to pre-mature withdrawal, caused by one-upmanship of the then leaders of two major unions, behind the back of the other participating constituents, and that at a time, when there was every possibility of realization of pension as a 3rd retiral benefit.

Formal meeting of JAC was held on 26th October 1993 wherein the negotiating unions, viz., AIBOC and NCBE proposed acceptance of the understanding. BEFI, AIRBEA, AIRRBEA stated categorically that it was a complete surrender of the collective demand of pension as a 3rd retirement benefit, belying expectations of employees at large and unbefitting the powerful agitation including successfully conducted 3 All India strikes and seriousness shown by the employees and officers all over the country to achieve the demand. BEFI also pointed out that the lacunae in RBI pension scheme persisted and the employees would be faced with a difficult choice between pension or CPF which, in case of large number employees, was to be decided such a long time before their retirement that it would be next to impossible for them to foresee at this stage which would be more beneficial for them - Pension or CPF; and the new entrants would compulsorily have to forego CPF. BEFI demanded that agitational course be pursued further and necessary improvement clinched which was definitely possible, given the tempo of the agitation that was sweeping across the country. However, the leaders of major Unions like AIBOC or NCBE were not ready to reopen the arrangements agreed on 21 October 1993, thus putting a seal on further united struggle on the issue and the agitation had to be called off by JAC. Surprisingly, it was further informed that the

agreed understanding was conditional on acceptance of a package agreement between IBA and the workmen’s organisations on computerization in banks in lieu of one increment. BEFI was completely taken aback by revelation of this surreptitious deal and though invited by IBA to sign the settlements on the appointed day, did not do so without consideration and decision of the Central Committee.

The employees were seriously confused regarding exercising option, when they were called upon to exercise option individually. Different unions took different position. Ultimately it turned out that majority of the employees including officers did not exercise option for pension considering high interest rate then prevailing which would have fetched higher return on accumulated provident fund amount at the time of retirement, compared to pensionary benefit.

Although the agreement came into effect in 1993 with retrospective effect from 1.1.1986, technical difficulties arose in the way of implementation of the pension settlement even after completion of option exercise. According to Income Tax Act, pension had to be made payable by means of insurance policy obtained from Life Insurance Corporation of India, to get exemption from income tax on the amount spent on pension. The difficulty was obviated by issuance of Gazette Notifications by Government of India for payment of pension in respect of each individual bank on the same terms and conditions as embodied in the pension agreement. But while doing so, the Government made one modification to the effect that participation in strike would result in forfeiture of pension. However, with strenuous persuasion by the Unions this clause was subsequently withdrawn. As the Gazette Notification was made in 1995, implementation of the settlement was delayed

by two years and fresh options were invited. The eligible employees opting for pension who had retired in the meantime had to refund the Bank’s contribution to Provident Fund received by them with 6% interest thereon. This was, however, adjusted from the commuted amount of pension.

However, with downward trend of interest regime coming in a big way subsequently, all previous calculations regarding returns on Provident Fund amount were upset. Considering the inadequacy of social security measures and dwindling retirement benefits due to reduced interest rates on savings BEFI General Council in its meeting held at Hyderabad in July, 2004 adopted a resolution to unleash movement on the demand for opening of another pension option and also strive for making it a common issue under the banner of UFBU. Incidentally, it should be borne in mind that in other sectors and institutions such as Railways, Reserve Bank of India, Insurance sector, further option was allowed, but IBA adopted a step-motherly attitude and continued to deny another option to bank employees.

Initially there was absence of common approach on the issue inside UFBU. However, initial skepticism, hesitation and reluctance, within UFBU, to go for a sustained movement on the issue, could be overcome with the passage of time. BEFI played a pivotal role in bringing about this change in attitude and building up of a common approach in this regard.

The attitude of IBA and Government combine on extending the existing Pension Scheme to the non-optees was totally negative. During early stage of negotiation on the issue, IBA wanted to sell the idea of introducing an alternate Pension Scheme in lieu of the existing one. This attitude of IBA could be thwarted by the united opposition of UFBU and the struggles including strike that was organized during the period

of last four years. On the demand for opening another Pension Option, along with the other issues, strikes were observed in banking industry on 28th July 2006, 25th January 2008 and the last one was on 6th and 7th August 2009.

As a result of these struggles, IBA agreed in principle, through the MOU signed on 25th February 2008, for opening of Pension Option and to arrive at a Settlement in that regard. IBA had all along been pleading that for opening of another option to the non-optees, the banking industry will have to bear an additional expenditure of Rs.26000/- crores. This was firmly contested by UFBU, saying that actuarial calculation of load made by IBA was fallacious and much on the higher side. On behalf of the UFBU, BEFI took upon itself the task of load calculation by a renowned Actuary of the country which was presented by UFBU before IBA on cost for opening of a second Pension Option. But IBA was reluctant to accept this presentation as the basis of negotiation on the plea that this was prepared by an Actuary appointed by the Unions and, hence, the question of appointing a common Actuary, acceptable to both the parties, for cost calculation came to surface and it was mutually agreed by the Unions and IBA to go for such an exercise.

After appointment of the common Actuaries, the hurdle that had to be crossed was fixation of yard sticks of different parameters relevant to the cost calculation. Two rounds of tripartite negotiations were held to finalise the parameters and our forceful logic and arguments could keep the final yardsticks close to those of our original presentation. The cost factor having been thus arrived at, the question of sharing it then came up for discussion. IBA started with a proposal for sharing in the ratio of 50:50 and, through several rounds of talks, it was finally decided to be 30:70 by employees and management respectively.

Another pertinent point relating to cost sharing was who, among the employees, are to bear the burden - the fresh optees only or all the serving employees? During the early phase of negotiation on Pension, it was a consensus decision of UFBU that all serving employees, whether optees or non-optees, would contribute for the quantum to be shared by the employees out of the total cost for another Pension Option. In tune with this decision of UFBU, the language relating to sharing was given in the MOU signed on 27th November, 2009. Exact quantum of money to be contributed by each serving employee was also finalized on 13th April 2010 and that was 1.6 times of pay as of November 2007.

But the situation took a worse turn on 18th April onwards resulting in change in the agreed position as on 13th April. While in case of serving employees contribution remained at

1.6 times of November, 2007 Pay as agreed earlier, it was raised to 2.8 times of pay of that month for fresh optees.

The question of date of effect of payment of Pension to the retirees who would opt after opening of the scheme was also an important point to be addressed during the negotiation. There was lack of seriousness to vigorously pursue the matter by some constituent within UFBU. BEFI, with the help of CITU leaders, played a leading role in clinching this issue. Though not entirely satisfactory, five months Pension as arrear preceding 27th April 2010 was available to all those who retired in the month of October 2009 or before that. This has been a matter of some relief on the burden of additional 56% of bank’s contribution to PF to be refunded by such retirees.

Another negative aspect of the Pension Settlement was consent, for all future recruits in the banking industry with effect from 01.04.2010, to introduction of Contributory Pension Scheme akin to what had been made applicable by Central

Government to its employees joining service on and from 01.01.2004. Principled opposition to it notwithstanding, the UFBU had to adjust itself with the ground realities keeping in view the expectations of the bulk of the bank employees and keeping the issue to be reopened at the time of next bipartite negotiation.

In relation to pension some issues still remain unresolved. UFBU has to vigorously follow up with IBA for (a) improvement of family pension, (b) payment of DR at uniform rates to all pensioners, (c) updating of pension scheme, (d) additional pension to pensioners above the age of 80 years. IBA is reported to have expressed inclination to accept the first two of the above items which, in all likelihood, would be formalized in the next bipartite settlement.

Settlement on opening of Pension Option, in spite of not being fully satisfactory, is a significant achievement of bank employees’ movement in the back ground of the grim situation prevailing in the country. In the expectation of UFBU, the employees would carry forward the message of achievement on the Pension Settlement made so far and strive in unison for settlement of the remaining unresolved points.