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Rajesh Goyal 



I have restrained myself from writing on the topic of Xth Wage Revision as I was expecting that union leaders may be working out their strategy and will be able to put IBA in dock by confronting with some hard facts and putting pressure so that the wage revision talks are concluded in a time bound manner i.e. maximum within one year from the date these have become due.    I have been receiving number of letters wherein our readers have been asking the reasons for my silence on this aspect.   Some readers have been asking me to analysis the progress in wage revision talks so that they can better understand different aspects as union leaders are in the habit of double talks and issuing circulars which are in guarded language.    Thus, I finally decided to continue with my assessment of the progress on wage revisions.   I assure our readers that I will try my best to keep them aware of my analysis of the developments.   I have come to know that even a campaign has been launched by some  union leaders against for showing them in poor light based.   Without wasting any further time on what union leaders think of us, let me analysis the developments in last few weeks.


First of all, I will remind that the wage revision has already been due now for almost 7 months and there has been no progress in this front.  


Vide Circular No 7 dated 22/04/2013, UFBU informed the cadre that a meeting with IBA has taken place wherein IBA informed that the total establishment expenditure / wage bill of the public sector banks as on 31/03/2012 is Rs 56,292 crores which will be the basis of negotiations.   Thus, assuming that UFBU is able to extract 20% wage hike, the total benefit to workmen and officers will be Rs 11258 crores or about Rs 1,000 crores per month.   Considering that the rate of interest on FDs for staff is around 9%, the bankers are losing Rs 90 crores per month in the shape of interest alone.   Thus,  for amount due from 1st November, 2013, bankers have already lost over Rs600 crore merely in the form of lost interest on their due share.    I am sure, union leaders will cry foul and will take a similar stand (zero loss theory) as was taken by Mr Kapil Sabil in 2G case when CAG has pointed out a loss of over Rs 1.76 lakh crores.   But it is a fact and bankers understand the same.    Now even Kapil Sibal is afraid of talking about zero loss theory.   Similarly, soon UFBU union leaders too will realise their mistakes and will bow to cadre pressure.   


In the above circumstances, I feel UFBU needs to put pressure on IBA that delay  beyond 10 months will make the bankers entitled for interest at the FD rates for 3 years or so.    This will force IBA to revise its strategy of delaying tactics.  


Now coming to second part of the above circular, wherein UFBU has informed that IBA submitted the following Management demands :






  1. (a) Introduction of Cost to Company.
  2. (b) Introduction of Performance linked Variable Pay.
  3. (c) Restrictions on applicability for wage revision.




  1. (i) Introduction of Cost to Company.
  2. (ii) Introduction of Performance linked Variable Pay.
  3. (iii) Deployment of Staff by invoking Para 536 of Sastri Award and superseding the provisions of 8th BPS.
  4. (iv) Rationalisation of special pay posts.
  5. (v) Departmental action to continue after retirement.
  6. (vi) Premature retirement of workmen employees in public interest after 55 years of age or 30 years of service.
  7. (vii) Simultaneous disciplinary action under departmental enquiry as well as judicial proceedings.

IBA further stated that they would make their presentations on these issues in the next meeting. They also informed that the next round of discussions would be held by the middle of May 2013.




Readers need to note down few things.  First of all, why IBA has been allowed to raise demands at this late stage.   If Unions were required to submit their Charter of Demands by 31st October, 2012, then why IBA has not submitted their so called demands by that date itself.   UFBU leaders have failed to resist.  They need to say that they will not entertain any demands from IBA.   It is nothing but delaying tactics and derailing the wage revision talks.  I was most surprised to read that IBA would make their presentations in next meeting that was to be held in middle of May 2013.   This clearly shows that IBA is hell bent upon delaying the talks and ensure that bankers lose almost Rs 90 crore per month in the shape of interest itself.   Why IBA had not come prepared with presentation in the above meeting itself.   Did UFBU leaders questioned IBA?   UFBU instead of raising the real issue of delay and honorable wage revision is still talking mainly of compassionate appointments, grid based clearing system, which are of little consequence for 99% of the bankers.   These issues needs to be delinked from Wage Revision,  UFBU should concentrate on higher salary for young officers and good retirement benefits for retiring and retired bankers.


Now coming to demands of IBA in detail.   I am of the view that at this stage IBA should not be allowed to raise their new demands.  The introduction of cost to company concept is being mooted to make fool of the union leaders in particular and others in general.    If this is accepted, the maximum cheating will be to officer cadre as their perks (which only some of them may be availing) will inflate their salary on papers.   Only today (29th May, 2013)  in an advertisement for recruitment in Navy, they have advertised that CTC for a Sub-Lieutenant would be approximately Rs 65,000/- per month (excluding the free medical facilities, LTC, canteen facilities, entitled rations, government accommodation, loans at subsidized rates.  I would like to add here that Sub-Lieutenant is the lowest ranked in Navy and his Basic Pay is Rs15,600/- with grade pay of Rs5400/-.


The second demand of Performance Linked Pay is also fraught with lot of risks.   My experience of over 3 decades in bank does not give me confidence that if such pay is agreed upon, it will lead to payment to honest and hard working bankers.  Most of the time, the plum foreign postings or less riskier jobs are given to people who are flatterers of top bosses.  I am sure, unlike in private sector, the performance linked pay will mostly go to people who keep on buttering or are ready to do flout norms in sanction of loan etc.  Thus, officers need to oppose this tooth and nail till a fool proof systems are put in place ensuring that it really goes to really performing bankers.   I think bankers must be aware that in recently concluded IPL the Fair Play Award has been given to Chennai Superking Team !  Even a layman can tell that Chennai team did not deserve as Team Owner himself has been found betting and is in police custody now.  Such blatant things are common in banking too.


Third demand is totally absurd and will lead to a lid on the wage revision for officers.


The demands relating to workmen staff are still more retrograding and are like a gag order so that even workmen staff and their union leaders do not protest for the blatant flouting of rules. 


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UFBU leaders needs to do their home work well.  Have they asked IBA to give details of the components of Cost to Company and what is the total salary at present (cost to company) for a newly recruited clerk and a new PO.  What is the same at the end of each scale alongwith cost of various perks?   If they have not done this exercise, I am sorry to say they will miserably fail in getting an honourable settlement.  In case they have done this exercise, they need to publish the same immediately so that bankers know what bank thinks the present Cost to Company of bankers at each stage of every scale.   Union leaders needs to be fully transparent in this regard and let such details are discussed thread bare in the public.


I will be soon writing more about the next circular of UFBU which has already been issued.   In this age of internet, workmen and officers can not be taken for granted as was done by UFBU in the past.  Information flows very fast.   I request all our readers to send us any new development in wage revision which comes to their notice alongwith the source.   I hope UFBU leaders will learn their lessons well now or they will continue to face wrath of the bankers.





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