Another round of bipartite discussions was held today in Mumbai between IBA and UFBU on our demands for wage revision. IBA was represented by its Core Committee led by Shri R K Dubey, CMD, Canara Bank and UFBU was represented by all the Nine Constituent Unions.
D.A. Formula: Revision of Dearness Allowance formula has been discussed at length since the CPI points under 1960-series are no longer compiled and published and the DA payable is being arrived at after duly converting the Consumer Price Index (CPI) points compiled under 2001-series. UFBU has impressed upon the need to switch over to CPI 2001-series for payment of DA and revision of DA on monthly basis. IBA said that they have to examine the matter in detail before responding.
Reimbursement of Hospitalisation Expenses: Management wanted to know the response of the UFBU on introduction of Medical Insurance Scheme. UFBU constituents after elaborate discussions among the unions decided to have improvements in the present scheme and have it in-house rather than switching over to insurance especially in view of the difficulties faced wherever the insurance scheme is in operation. Hence, UFBU conveyed to IBA its disinclination towards introduction of Medical Insurance Scheme in place of the existing scheme for Reimbursement of Hospitalisation Expenses. However, the IBA suggested that whatever difficulties that are being envisaged could be discussed and sorted out and requested UFBU to reconsider its viewpoints.
Compassionate Appointments: UFBU sought to know the developments in regard to Compassionate Appointments, since a long time has elapsed after sending recommendations of IBA on the Scheme to the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. IBA informed that the matter is still pending with the Government. UFBU exhorted upon the need to finalise the matter immediately as it has been lingering on for many years without any resolution.
Superannuation Cost: UFBU demanded that the cost on superannuation and welfare measures should not be included in the cost of wage revision. IBA said that they would examine the matter.
Five-day Week: UFBU has insisted for introduction of 5-day week in the banking industry for the reason that after introduction of technology, various alternate channels like ATMs, Net Banking, etc. are widely available and being utilized by the customers, and hence, it would not cause any inconvenience. Besides it is a common and growing phenomenon globally to have 5-day week to ensure better quality of life. IBA assured to examine the matter.
Introduction of concepts of Cost-to-Company (CTC) and Variable Pay: UFBU has conveyed unequivocally its opposition for the introduction of concepts of CTC and Variable Pay in the banking industry.
Wage revision of officers: Responding to the earlier stand taken by IBA to restrict negotiations in case of officers from Scale-I to Scale-III alone excluding officers from Scale-IV to VII, UFBU demanded that the negotiations should be held with the negotiating unions on wages and service conditions of all officers from Scale-I to Scale-VII as hitherto especially in view of the service conditions being common for all the categories and also to ensure relativity between the Scales.
Directions to work on Holidays declared under N.I. Act: Most of the holidays declared for festivals in various States under N.I. Act differ from State to State resulting in most of the festivals days would happened to be a working day in one State or the other. After introduction of Cheque Truncation System (CTS) on grid basis, since there is no common holiday in the respective States connected under any grid, bank employees and officers are forced to work on festival days foregoing the holiday as well as the traditional rituals to be performed on those festival days adversely affecting their sentiments and social obligations. UFBU exhorted the need to delink the operations of CTS of a particular State from the Grid on the day in which it is declared a holiday under N.I. Act to enable the employees to follow their customs and perform the rituals as per their religions.
Similarly, on other holidays/Sundays, the Banks are directed to keep open their branches quoting the reason of continuous holidays or for accepting the Government challans/Tax payments. UFBU impressed upon IBA that in the present technological environment, with the availability of alternate channels like ATMs, Net Banking, etc. the necessity to keep open branches on holidays is obviated. Besides, it is becoming unproductive as the business that is being transacted is too low in relation to the expenditure being incurred by banks to work on a holiday.
IBA has appreciated the difficulties of the employees and officers and the reasons adduced by UFBU and assured to take up the matter with the authorities concerned.
Wage Revision and Increase in Wages: UFBU wanted to know the response of IBA on the wage load and the offer of IBA on wage increase. IBA expressed its inability to respond in the absence of mandate from the authorities concerned. UFBU expressed its concern in not holding the meetings on regular basis at frequent intervals and undue delay in the process of wage negotiations. UFBU expressed its dissatisfaction and insisted for expeditious wage settlement.
Comrades, since there is no satisfactory progress towards revision of wages and it is unduly delayed, the Constituents of UFBU decided to exhibit their dissatisfaction. UFBU has, accordingly, decided to express its dissatisfaction by conducting demonstrations throughout the country in all State Capitals and other Major Centres on 22nd October 2013 demanding expeditious wage settlement. We request all our units/members to conduct massive demonstrations at all these Centre and make it a thunderous success.
We also exhort upon our units and members to be in readiness for further agitations, including strike if need be, if there is no positive and expeditious response from the Government/IBA to settle the 10th Bipartite Wage Settlement at the earliest.