The Unions affiliated to AIBEA and BEFI have given a strike call in Bank of Baroda on 7th Jan 2022 against the unilateral imposition of a new designation and role for the clerks and sub-staff in violation of the industry-wide bipartite settlements. NCBE Union has raised an Industrial Dispute on this issue.
Digi Saarthi, Digi Mitra
Bank of Baroda (BOB) management vide its circular dated 28th Oct 2021 has proposed new role variants for clerks and substaff as Digi Saarthi and Digi Mitra respectively. In each of an identified branch a separate Digi Corner will be created for this purpose with a kiosk or tab for self-service transactions. The role of Digi Saarthi and Digi Mitra is to help the customers towards that and convert the traditional branches into digital branches in course of time.
They shall have to assist the customers and shift them from cash counters to ATMS, Cash Deposit Machines, Pass Book printers etc. They shall have to undertake digital campaigns, send SMSs or digital links etc. to customers for various requirements. They have to introduce the “BOB world” – moblie app created by the Bank and encourage the customers to do all transactions using the app. In nutshell they have to promote digitization and drastically reduce the footfall of the customers into the branches.
Division among employees
They will be rated based on their performance into four categories namely A, B, C, D – A being the top category and D being the lowest category. They have to achieve at least D level as otherwise they will be reversed to their original position in course of time. They will be given monthly incentive ranging from Rs.3500 to Rs.7000 in the case of clerks and Rs.2500/- to Rs.5000/- in the case of sub staff. The Performance Linked Incentive thrust by the IBA during the 11th Bipartite Settlement divided the employees of each Bank. Now BOB Management has started creating division among the individual employees through this incentive.
Acute shortage of staff
Initially BOB will earmark 1000 branches for this digitization. That means 1000 clerks and 1000 sub staff will be removed from the main stream banking for this purpose. Already around 3000 workmen have been reduced post-merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda due to superannuation, death etc. There is no fresh recruitment to compensate that. This new plan will further aggravate this situation and there will be acute shortage of staff.
Therefore there is unrest among the employees and the unions have strongly protested this action of the Management through strike call. If the BOB management does not withdraw its unilateral move, the employees will be forced to stop this through their militant actions.