By our correspondent
The call for 2-day countrywide Bank Strike, for 30-31 Jan 2023, was given by UFBU on the following demands:
• Introduction of 5 banking days week;
• Updation of Pension for past retirees;
• Resolution of residual issues;
• Adequate recruitment in all cadres to ensure better customer service;
• Scrap New Pension Scheme and restore Old Pension Scheme;
• Immediate commencement of negotiations on Charter of Demands for wage revision.
The employees and officers, throughout the country, enthusiastically responded by preparing for the strike through various programmes like displaying posters, wearing of badges, organizing rallies/demonstrations, holding press conferences etc. In the meantime, two conciliation meetings took place on 24th and 27th of this month at the Office of Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Mumbai where representatives of all 9 constituents were present.
On 24th January 2023 conciliation, IBA representatives appealed to UFBU to come for discussion and not to go on strike. It was recorded by UFBU that IBA has been reiterating same commitment since June 2022, prior to strike call on 27 June 2022. It was further suggested by UFBU that IBA must come forward with some concrete proposal, if they want to get the strike deferred. The Dy. CLC, Central proposed to have one more conciliation at his Office on 27th Jan 2023.
Accordingly, one more conciliation meeting took place on 27th January at the Office of Dy. CLC (Central), Mumbai. The IBA representatives proposed for a meeting at IBA Office on 31st Jan 2023. Minutes were signed and the strike call was deferred.
OUTCOME OF DISCUSSIONS ON 31.01.2023 WITH 8 UNIONS
- 5 day work week: The Unions suggested an increase of 30 minutes per day and declaring all Saturdays holidays. The IBA (Indian Banks Association) proposed that the working hours be increased by 45 minutes. After discussions, it was agreed that the unions would submit their views after discussions amongst the constituent unions.
- Updation of Pension: IBA informed that the pension fund is not adequate to meet the additional cost of pension. The Unions demanded sharing of data and engagement of one or more actuaries to calculate the actual cost of updation and also to analyze the health of the fund.
- Scrapping NPS and restoration of old pension scheme: To the demand that the National Pension System has to be scrapped and all the employees who joined after April 2010 are also to be covered under the old pension scheme, IBA suggested that the same might be taken up during the ensuing wage negotiations to which Unions agreed.
- Regarding increase in Ex-gratia pension for Pre-1986 retirees, IBA informed that the matter was under active consideration and a decision would be taken shortly.
- On Negotiations on Charter of Demands, IBA informed that it had requested all Banks to peruse the charter of demands and submit their mandate to IBA. The unions suggested to fix an early date for commencement of negotiations to avoid undue delays. IBA agreed with the views of the Unions and informed that they would discuss amongst themselves to further move in the matter.
On the other residual issues, discussions were held with workmen and officer Unions and most of the issues were either under consideration or requiring further discussions in the small committee.
The settlement of all these issues brooks no delay.