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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 33 New Delhi August 8, 2015

On Wage Settlement of Bank Employees

Saturday 8 August 2015

by Basudev Ganguly

Ultimately the bipartite talks between the IBA and bank unions are over and the tenth bipartite settlement has been arrived at. Many questions and issues have cropped up in the meantime.

a) Are the bipartite settlements being carried forward with the purpose of achieving signifi-cant achievements towards improving service conditions, enhancing wages and super-annuation benefits?

b) It is the unions’ mental bankruptcy to accept a new vertical of 7.75 per cent as Special Allowance which is unrelated to basic pay; hence 7.75 per cent of the total increase of 15 per cent on the payslip component is neither leading to super-annuation benefits for the employees retiring in the interim period nor will it help in forming new wages in the next wage revision. It will be a loss to the NPS optees also as the employer will not have to contribute for the same.

c) There is lowest loading of two per cent ever in the history of bipartism.

d) The unions signing the joint note with the IBA on retirees is the greatest blunder, as it states that any demand of retirees can be examined only as a welfare measure, whereas pension as a deferred income of rendered service in the past upgradation of pensions as per the Central/State Government norms is denied. Family pension as per the Central Government and RBI rules has also been left out, whereas we find that the Pension fund of all the PSU banks is running in surplus year after year.

e) Extending Dearness Relief at 100 per cent compensation to all pre-November 2002 pensio-ners as well as in the case of post-November 2002 retirees has been denied.

f) Hospitalisation scheme of the existing staff outsourced is another source of worry as the loss of a hard-earned right with a limitation of Rs 3 lakhs, Rs 4 lakhs of Insurance cover in lieu of in-house unlimited coverage. Apart from that, the employees have to face the hassle to get reimbursement from outsourced Insurance agencies.

g) In the present economic scenario the political elements are ruthless towards the working class. The unions, by dint of the erosion in their principled values and sincerity, are further increasing the agony and plight of the workers.

The author is a retired bank employee.