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What Strategy Now Aam Banker Needs to Follow To Get the Maximum Possible Hike in Salary?


Rajesh Goyal 

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On 6th January, 2015, UFBU has withdrawn one day strike as IBA offered to increase the pay slip component from 11% to 12.5%.   UFBU was well aware that it is far far below the expectations of the Aam Banker, and thus they kept a lollypop ready by adding a sentence that negotiations will continue on 7th January, 2015.  Thus, hoping against hope, Aam Banker kept on thinking during the night that may be UFBU may go for hard bargaining on 7th January, 2015, to have some sizeable further increase.

However, it was just after 11.00 AM on 7th January,  that the following message was flashed on the following lines :

Discussions continued today with I.B.A.U.F.B.U. insisted on further increase over 12.5%. I.B.A. wanted some more time. Sub committees formed to deal with other issues like medical scheme, 5 days' banking, regulated working hours, pension issue etc..   Next meeting to be fixed soon.”

I kept on waiting for more details but till writing of this article at around 9.00 PM, have not been able to get any further updates.   What does the above message means?   For me it means even if a meeting started  at 10.00 AM, there was no hard bargaining or detailed discussions as the meeting must been over by 11.00 AM i.e. less than hour, as above message was in circulation around that time.   Thus, today’s meeting (7th January) was a mere formality and no serious discussions seems to have taken place and UFBU’s lollypop melted in first hour itself and IBA was given free hand to choose the timing of next meeting.  We all now that Sub Committee’s will work at the usuall snail’s pace with all the pulls and pushes from various quarters and we can not expect much from these Committees.    Next date of meeting is yet to be announced.

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A scan through various posts on various facebook blogs and other social media websites, clearly indicates the highest level of frustration among Aam Banker for deferring the strike on offer of mere hike to 12.5%.   Even local union leaders have criticized their central leaders, as they have to face the wrath of the bankers at their offices (they have to face the Aam Banker at branch / administrative offices).   However, UFBU has remained unmoved and they have yet to issue their official circular and the arguments or facts placed before IBA for higher wage increase.   No UFBU leader wants to talk about Charter of Demands submitted in October 2012 (26 months back).   Even after 26 months of delay, IBA wants more time.

Now, Aam Banker may cry or use foul language at social media websites, one thing is clear and has now become past that UFBU has deferred one day strike for mere increase of 1.5% on earlier offer.    No one can this as 7th January is over and there was no strike.   Thus, now Aam Banker and UFBU leaders have to think of what strategy they need to adopt in the next meeting which is likely to take place some time after 18th January, 2015, but before 21st January.

There is a strong feeling among Aam Banker that UFBU is playing a fixed match and their leaders are watching only their own interest and are least bothered for Aam Banker.

Although Aam Banker has already been given a setback by 26 month delay and IBA’s mere offer of 12.5%, I still see a ray of hope if UFBU is forced by its cadre to continue their struggle and not accept anything below 19.5% (that is what is now demanded by UFBU) and go on strike if IBA does not agree to this demand.     If IBA does not offer the same, a majority of the bankers are in a mood to go on 4 day strike beginning 21st January, which has still not been withdrawn officially.   

Therefore, now officers and employees across India working in all the PS Banks needs to gear up (including the young brigade which has been created in last few months) immediately and take up with their local unit leaders and submit their individual letters that if central leadership agrees to lower the wage hike below 19.5%, they will leave the association immediately on conclusion of the BPS.   They should also mention that no further subscription and levy will be payable by them if the agreement is below 19.5%.   Let a clear message be sent to UFBU leaders that enough is enough and Aam Banker is in no mood to compromise further to the truncated current demand of 19.5%.   If IBA does not agree, it will be IBA responsible for 4 days strike.

Let central leadership receive thousands and thousands of such letters from individual bankers on daily basis within next one week.   This needs to be taken up seriously and on war footing by young bankers and ensure that such letters of individual bankers reach the UFBU leaders so that they do not cry foul if later on these bankers decide to leave the association / unions.  

This is last hope I see in the current situation.   Stop crying and act now and ensure that at least you get 19.5% which is the current demand of UFBU.    Ensure that your leaders do not stoop below this level.  I know this deal of 19.5% rise is far less than the expectations of the bankers and you will still be far behind central govt employees, but in the current scenario UFBU can not go beyond 19.5% as they have already reduced demand to this level.

Once this BPS is concluded at 19.5%, and not satisfied with UFBU performance review your membership issues with the associations now being represented by UFBU. 

If young bankers fail to rise to the occasion, I can assure you that your settlement will be around 13.5% or so.   Now it is choice of the Aam Bankers, what exactly they want.   I can only say Good Luck to serving Aam Banker as this settlement is not going to benefit me in any way as I am already retired.  Issues relating to retired personnel are yet to be discussed and are on low priority at the moment.




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