Monday, June 21

Bank wage talks to cover officers up to AGM rank

Kolkata: Indian Banks’ Association has expressed willingness to expand the scope of bipartite wage talks up to Scale V officers in public sector banks while suggesting bank-wise and performance-linked reward structure for deputy general managers and general managers.

Deputy general managers and general managers in state-owned lenders fall in the Scale VI and VII categories respectively.

The updated proposal for officers means bipartite negotiation will now cover 3.76 lakh officers, which is 99.27% of total officers in public sector banks.

Earlier, IBA had proposed to restrict the bipartite wage settlement for officers up to Scale III suggesting bank-wise remuneration for officers in Scale IV to VII.

Six banks — State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Indian Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India – had mandated IBA to restrict the wage rise offer to officers up to scale III. These banks proposed to fix compensation for their senior officers independent of the bipartite negotiation, and based on their paying capacity.

These banks with better financials wanted to reward their senior officers based on performance.

IBA has come up with the revised proposal in the last meeting with bank unions held Thursday. However, the country’s largest bank officers union – the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) — continued to abstain from the negotiation talks protesting the split mandate, two people familiar with the matter said.

The National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) also boycotted the meeting.

AIBOC & NOBO remained firm on their demand of wage negotiation up to Scale VII which remained the practice so far.

Wage revision in public sector banks takes place in every five years. The 11th bipartite settlement is due from November 1, 2017.

The February 21 meeting remained inconclusive in the absence of two major officers’ group.

At a previous meeting, IBA proposed 10% wage revision.

Differences within the United Forum of Bank Unions — the umbrella body with nine unions — surfaced publicly in last December when AIBOC observed a one day bank strike on December 21, five day before a strike called by all unions.

The five workmen unions led by All India Bank Employees Association are now contemplating on whether they would go ahead with negotiation only for their members under the Industrial Dispute Act.

The 21 public sector banks employ over 8.5 lakh people with about 458000 workmen. Their unions will meet on March 1 to discuss the future bipartite wage settlement strategy.

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