At the outset we do not accept that no contractual relationship exists
between Banks & Retirees and that their demands can be examined only as
a “Welfare Measure”.
We maintain that payment of Pension cannot be construed as a mere
Welfare Measure. As a matter of fact, there are several court judgments
upholding that pension is a deferred portion of the compensation for the
service rendered. In landmark “Narkara Case”, the Hon. Supreme Court has
held that “Pension is a statutory, inalienable, equally enforceable
right that has been earned by the sweat of brow. As such it should be
fixed, revised and modified/ changed in the ways not entirely dissimilar
to the salaries granted to serving employees.”
Pension Regulations have been framed under section 19(1) of Banking
Companies (Acquisition & transfer of undertakings) Act 1970/1980 and as
such the relationship between Banks & Retirees is a statutory one.
Service Regulations/ Bi-partite Settlement provisions for workmen,
inter- alia, provide for post- retirement benefits including Pension/
PF/ Gratuity etc.
These are in
the nature of statutory obligations on the part of Banks. In these
circumstances, how can it be inferred that there is no contractual
relationship between Banks & Retirees/ Pensioners? Moreover in case of
officers, Officers’ Service Regulations/ Disciplinary Rules providing
for disciplinary proceedings after retirement will lose the test of
validity before law in the absence of contractual relationship.
It is strange that now AIBOC says it does not accept ‘no contractual
relationship exists between Banks and Retires’.
How come such a change of mind and heart has taken place within a
nine wise union leaders were fooled by IBA to this extent that none of
them realized what they were signing.
landmark famous Nakara case is well known
and should be known to each and every union leaders. We have quoted
this case in number of our earlier articles.
The words “pension should be fixed, revised and modified / changed in
the ways not entirely dissimilar to the salaries granted to serving
employees” should have formed part of the Record Date.
It is of
no use now to cry over the spilled milk.
All these postures are only to cover up their misdeeds in selling the
interests of retired employees by signing the Record Note.
strange that now after hue and cry by various retiree bankers, Mr
Harvinder Singh has realized about all the rules and regulations which
exist since decades.
It is shame that after selling the interests of retiree bankers, they
are trying to do the act of “Sau Chuhe Kha ka Billi Haj to gaye”.
signed an illegal “Record Note” and are likely to be in soup when
retirees go to Courts.
Like wise in
the absence of any contractual relations with Pensioners, clause 48 of
the Pension Regulations 1995 i.e. right to proceed against retired
employees will also not have any sanctity.
comparison with Central Government Pension Scheme, we specifically bring
to your notice that Pension Regulations under the head Residuary
Provisions, specifically stipulates that “in the matter of application
of these Regulations regard may be had to the corresponding provisions
of Central Civil Services Rules 1972 or Central Civil Services
(Commutation of Pension) Rules 1981 applicable for Government Employees
with such modifications as the Bank with previous sanction of Central
Government, may from time to time determine”. It is clearly understood
that Bank Employees Pension Scheme has been drawn primarily on the basis
of Pension Scheme applicable to Central Government Employees/ RBI
Employees. Hence comparison with the Central Government, Employees
pension Scheme is not out of Place.
It is a
great change of mind in merely within fornight of signing the Record
Note. Now he seems to have become wiser when he says that clause 48
will become illegal if there is not contractual relationship between
retire employees with banks.
of central government were too well known to all the UFBU leaders and
IBA when they signed the Record Note.
demands referred to in the Record Note, we have to state
several aspects of pension improvement,
IBA has been repeatedly forwarding the plea of cost burden but at no
point of time during negotiations, authentic data has been presented in
support of its contention. On the contrary, authentic pension fund data
categorically reveals that as on 31.03.2014, the corpus of Pension Fund
stood at about Rs1,14,000/- crores. More importantly Pension Funds of
Banks are in surplus consecutively over the years and such surplus is
growing year by year
fact that Banks have failed to
the required sum in pension funds as agreed in Bipartite Settlements
these circumstances, demands of retirees for improvement in Family
Pension in line with RBI, 100% DA neutralization to pre Nov 2002
retirees as also updation of Pension, cannot be delayed/
b) We may
point out that Bank Employees Pension Regulations specifically provide
for updation of Pension. We invite refere
Regulation 35 (1) thereof which reads as under;
Pension and additional pension wherever applicable shall be updated as
per formula given in Appendix I”
As a matter
of fact, such updation has already been given effect earlier
pensioners retired prior to 01.11.1987, who were positioned on par with
retirees under 01.11.1987 Wage Settlement. In view of the above,
updation of Pension has a statutory basis
becomes a statutory obligation.
matter of 100% DA neutralization for retirees prior to 01.11.2002 for
which IBA was positive during discussion, there have been several
speaking judgments and favourable court orders. Though the matter is
still subjudice, IBA should settle the matter positively so that
expensive litigation can be put to rest once and for all. But waiting
for conclusion of court proceedings will only add to the delay denying
justice to pensioners who are above the age of 72-75 years and are
anxiously waiting for the justice.
d) The issue
of Pension to left overs also a vital one. The category of those retired
compulsorily and the resignees have been denied benefits due to strict
interpretation of instructions from the Government in June, 2012.
Existing Pension Regulations categorically provide for pension
compulsorily retired from service. Denial of pension option to them is
violative of the very existing Pension Regulations itself. Denial of
Pension option to Resignees has also been
through litigation and several
including the one in Vijaya Bank Case, is a clear pointer that they
cannot be denied pensionafter the stipulated period. In fact
upon such court verdict, several resignees have already been conceded
the benefit of pension option. It
pertinent to note that the number of those retired compulsorily as also
those resigned from Banks (after putting in requisite pensionable
small and the cost cannot stand in
the way of
extending benefits to them.
the above, there are still several issues of pension, which need to be
discussed and sorted out
columns Mr Harvinder Singh has very clearly indicated that the demands
of the retires are genuine. However, he has failed to give even one
reason why they have not discussed these demands for more than 30 months
and confronted IBA with facts. At the fag end of the negotiations UFBU
SECRETLY signed the Record Note about which cadre of any union was not
even had faintest idea. The signing of such a document SECRETLY
indicates only one of the following reasons:
Harvinder Singh and other team members of UFBU very well knew about the
demands of retires and the rational behind the legality of such demands,
but intentionally signed the Record Note for some unknown considerations
(exchange of money or black mailing by IBA on some other issues;
None of them was aware of these and they were such fools that they were
not aware of the legal court judgements and were only awakened when
websites like AllBankingSolutions.com exposed them in next 48 hours and
they realized they folly.
for doing this can only be told by either Mr Harvinder Singh or other
players at UFBU who are keeping silent on the sell off the interest of
retireed bankers completely and leaving them in larch as to who will
negotiate for these demands OR there will be no negotiations as in
the wisdom of IBA and UBFU there is no contractual relationship between
pensioners and the banks. Thus banks may are free to leave them at the
mercy of the God and may throw some peanuts in the name of welfare
measures (as indicated in the Record Note.
interesting revealing in the letter is about the pension corpus. He
clearly charges IBA that although IBA has been raising the boggy of cost
burden but never shared the authentic data with UFBU. Then questions
arise, how UFBU concurred with the IBA that there is shortage of funds.
Now Mr Singh
has clearly revealed that
pension fund data categorically reveals that as on 31.03.2014, the
corpus of Pension Fund stood at about Rs1,14,000/- crores. More
importantly Pension Funds of Banks are in surplus consecutively over
the years and such surplus is growing year by year despite the fact
that Banks have failed toprovide for the required sum in pension funds
as agreed in Bipartite Settlements
by Harvinder Singh should clearly put the IBA on the back foot.
therefore, request you to take a positive view and hold discussion on
all the issues of retirees on the basis of authentic facts, data and
figures. On our part, we are also willing to
facts and figures so that a meaningful dialogue can take place with a
view to resolving these issues.
signing the Record Note, this plea by AIBOC is nothing but eyewash and
to assuage the feelings of the angry retired bankers.