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7th Pay Commission Constituted - What should UFBU  Do Now? -  Next Round of Negotiations fixed for 11th October, 2013?



Rajesh Goyal 


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On 25th September, 2013, when I heard  the news  about constitution of 7th Pay Commission, I was dumb for few moments as I felt (as a banker)  that I have been deeply betrayed  by bank union leaders.   After a few moments I came out of the shock and thought as to why I should feel so depressed when I had taken VRS two years back and is not going to get any benefit either from 10th BPS or 7th PC?    Soon I realized that it is due to my over 30 years association with bankers that I felt cheated even when implementation of either of  10th BPS or 7th PC is not going to affect me in any manner.   On second thought, I felt that I should be rather happy as my wife, a government employee, is likely to get benefited from this announcement.   I thought of writing on this subject, as like a bearer cheque,  a banker will always be a banker under all circumstances !  I can realize the pain and mental agony most of you must have gone through on hearing this news.


Now just ponder upon some of the questions.   According to an earlier BPS,  IBA and unions are supposed to start the process of negotiation at least six months before the due date.   I am sure, almost each one of you will remember that UFBU submitted the Charter of Demands to IBA only on 31st October, 2012, i.e. a day or two before the due date.   The worst part was that it was not a comprehensive document and had number of infirmities, some of which I have pointed out in my earlier articles.


Now question arises who is to be blamed for the delay in submission of Charter of Demands.  Can we blame GoI or IBA for this lapse.   Now GoI has announced constitution of 7th PC more than two years from the due date.  This means during this time, the Commission will go through the full process of consultations, and all employees organizations will get sufficient time to put up their demands and revise them after internal and external discussions.   Who stopped UFBU to start the process of completion of Charter of Demands at  least one year from the due date?


Now it is reported that next round of negotiations between UFBU and IBA on 11th October, 2013.   Thus, in the 11 months and 11 days since 10th BPS has become due, the only progress is that IBA has offered to merge DA upto October 2011 (This too is yet to be finally agreed between both the parties).   Thus, we can say over 11 months, there has been practically no progress.   






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Whenever I go through the demands of UFBU,  I am always shocked to see demands like appointments on compassionate grounds,  merger of banks on the top of their agenda.  Inspite of years of negotiations,  they have failed miserably to achieve any progress on these demands.   Instead of fighting for 100% of the serving employees, they are fighting for a small number of people.   I feel that in case union leaders had made a fund for such needy people from their internal accruals, bankers would have come forward to contribute to such a fund and things would have been in a much better state.  


Thus, it is high time that UFBU tighten its belts and make IBA realize that they mean business.  Now onwards the focus should be to get an honourable settlement for the bankers.  


Recently, one development in SBI has shaken the Unions in banking industry.  SBI recently withdrew the ‘Check-off facility” provided to some of the associations.  As per convention all banks allow the individual subscriptions to be deducted from salary accounts of member officers and deposit the same in union account.  This facility has been a lifeline to the associations across the banking industry,  as it give them collection of crores of rupees without any efforts.  

The above action appears to be ill motivated by the management, but it has shown a new way for the bankers.    There is a need to ponder upon this issue by bankers.   In the present system, Union leaders do not have to approach the members for subscription once the member has signed the letter authorizing the deductions.  Union people approach the new recruits and once they have obtained the authority letter, they are able to ignore them and their interests.  Thus, in case banks do not allow this check off facility, Union leaders have to approach members on quarterly / half yearly basis for collection of the membership subscription and thus have to remain responsive to the interests of the members or the member will stop paying the subscription.   Thus, the new system will introduce checks and balances for the members.   Union leaders will not sleep on the issues for years as they have to go to members frequently for subscriptions.    Thus, there is a need that members should ask for this new system whereby the Unions have to collect the subscription directly from members on quarterly / half yearly basis (on monthly basis it will be too much work load).

I suggest that in case IBA continues with its negative attitude and tries to circumvent the demand for reasonable hike by putting different scenarios and / or CTC concept etc,, bankers should unite and simply demand the following :-


(a)   The pay scales which were given to central government employees wef 01/01/2006, should be made applicable wef 1st November, 2012, so that bankers are at least at par with central government employees after a gap of over 6 years;


(b)   From now onwards the pay scales of bankers too may be revised after 10 years and be at par with central government employees i.e. 7th Pay Commission recommendations may also be made applicable to bankers wef 1st January, 2017;


(c)    The pension for the retired bankers too be on similar lines of central government employees.


In case some perks are required to be pruned (e.g. newspapers, furniture etc), let these be done, as I am sure the loss on these is minimal, though IBA and bankers keep beating drums for such perks given to bankers.  Ask for perks enjoyed by Central Government employees like medical facilities, enhanced leave encashment etc.



The above will make IBA and UFBU irrelevant and bankers will have at least satisfaction that they are at par with central government employees.   I know for this bankers will have to stand united as it is likely to be opposed tooth and nail by UFBU and IBA.


With above suggestions, I throw the discussions open to our readers who can express their views in the Disqus forum below, as to  whether they agree with above suggested pay structures on lines of 6th and 7th CPC.  If yes, some of you  can even write directly to UFBU and / or respective unions for introduction of central government employees pay scales immediately and 7th Pay Commission recommendations wef 1st January, 2017.    Start building pressure or else be ready for peanuts.  


I also solicit the views of readers about stoppage of ‘check off’ facility for union subscriptions, and introduction of collection of subscription directly from members on quarterly / half year basis.



You can give your feedback / comments about this Article.   Please give only relevant comments as irrelevant comments are waste of time for yourself and our other readers.



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