BANK EMPLOYEES FEDERATION OF INDIA
NARESH PAUL CENTRE
53 Radha Bazar Lane (1st Floor), Kolkata – 700 001
To all Units, Affiliates, Office Bearers, CC & GC Members
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),
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
(Debasish Basu Chaudhury)