5-12-2013 Letters by all Constituent Unions of UFBU and their affiliates addressed to Chairman,
Indian Banks Association
6-12-2013 Mass Demonstrations in all State capitals and other major centres
16-12-2013 Badge Wearing
17-12-2013 Mass Demonstrations, rallies, processions at all centres
18-12-2013 ALL INDIA STRIKE – demonstrations, rallies
STATEMENT OF THE CASE :
1. IMMEDIATE WAGE REVISION:
Wages and service conditions in the banking sector are governed by the industry-level bipartite settlements signed between the Indian Banks Association and the trade unions of bank employees and officers. Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks and Foreign Banks who give their mandate to the Indian Banks Association are party to the Settlements and hence are covered by the same.
The last Bipartite Settlement on revision of wages and service conditions, otherwise known as 9th Bipartite Settlement, was signed on 27-4-2010 covering the period from 1-11-2007 to 31-10-2012. Hence the 9th Bipartite Settlement came to an end on 31-10-2012. Consequently, revision of wages and other service conditions have become due as from 1-11-2012.
In view of this, as per the decision of the United Forum of Banks Unions, common set of demands for the employees and officers was submitted to the Indian Banks Association on 30-10-2012.
UFBU has been requested the IBA to adopt a time-bound programme to hold the negotiations on the demands and to expedite the Settlement as early as possible to avoid the accusations that the Unions are always delaying the Settlement.
Even though the formal negotiations started in February, 2013, only 5 rounds of discussions have taken so far viz. on 22-2-2013, 22-4-2013, 7-6-2013, 12-8-2013 and 12-10-2013 i.e. one round of discussion once in two months.
It will be appreciated that the alarming and unabated price rise have seriously eroded the income of the employees and hence the wage revision has become all the more important. The Consumer Price Index has gone up by almost 2400 points under ( 1960=100 ) Index series since November, 2007. Hence wage revision to catch up with the high inflation and price rise has become an urgent necessity.
Similarly, the workload in the bank branches has gone up substantially due to increase in total volume of business and also due to non-provision of adequate staff and officers in the branches. Employees and officers are working under a lot of stress and strain. The job profile of the staff has also undergone a change and all these require to be properly remunerated with adequate increase in wages. For this reason also the wage increase has become important.
But unfortunately, the IBA is delaying the Settlement and during the last one year, not even their minimum offer has been indicated to the Unions.
2. STOP BANKING SECTOR REFORMS :
Banks in India today have nearly Rs.75 Lacs crores as Deposits representing the hard earned savings of the people of our country. Hence banking institutions have to be properly regulated. It is because of these defined regulations and predominantly being under public sector, that our Banking system was saved from the global crisis. Because of de-regulation and liberal banking policies, many Banks in many countries including in USA and Europe have collapsed. Indian banks were saved because of our strong regulations and being in public sector.
But in the name of Banking Sector Reforms, the Government is taking various steps and measures to liberalise and de-regulate the banking sector. Recently, the RBI has announced in its discussion paper that the Government’s Equity capital in the Banks can be reduced to less than 51% which means nothing but privatisation of our public sector banks.
The Discussion Paper also proposes that the Banks may resort to merger of Banks to become international Banks. Our Banks are meant for our own economic development and hence this is clearly unwarranted. Further merger has its own adverse implications to the detriment of the employees and officers working in the Banks.
RBI has also issued recent guidelines by which it is proposed to give the Foreign Banks, near national status and even a scope to take over our domestic Banks. Already, the foreign capital and investments in our Banks have been increasing and now the move is to allow the foreign banks to take over our Banks.
The Government has also introduced a Bill in the Parliament seeking to allow 49% private capital in our Regional Rural Banks which are today 100% under public sector.
In the Co-operative Banks, recently, the RBI/Bakshi Committee have decided that 2,20,000 employees presently working in the Primary Agricultural Co-op. Societies would be dismantled and made as private Business Correspondents on contract basis thus serious eroding the jobs and job security.
In the name of Reforms, the Banks are also outsourcing the regular jobs in the Banks on contract basis thus increasing the risks involved. The problems faced in the ATMs on account of outsourcing are there for everyone to see.
While the Government is serious on these retrograde reform measures, the real bane in the banking industry is being ignored. Bad loans in the Banks are alarmingly on the increase. It has crossed Rs. 2 lacs crores and the number of deliberate and wilful defaulters is also on the increase. Substantial amount of profits earned are being diverted to provide for these bad loans thus sharply reducing the profits of the Banks and at the cost of loss to the Government and the Banks.
A developing country like India needs a very strong, vibrant and well-regulated banking system and attempts to de-regulate them in the name of reforms is wrong with serious consequences.
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