AIBOC and Other Union Leaders Need to Respond to Mr Saha's Queries
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Today (24th January, 2014), I have come across a letter (dated 23/01/2014) written by Mr Dilip Saha, General Secretary of PNB unit of AIBOC to the General Secretary of AIBOC at national level. Before I give my comments, I would like to quote the letter in full so that our readers who have NOT come across this letter also know the details of the same :-
" The General Secretary
All India Bank Officers’ Confederation
New Delhi 110001
Re: Progress on wage Revision talks - anxious queries, comments & feed back from our members.
We congratulate you for coming out with a Circular on 22.01.2014 on steps taken on wage revision to assuage the feeling of the officers in general and the young direct recruit officers in particular.
Departing from the nomenclature of all previous settlements where the ‘wage load’ was offered by IBA, this time the offer is based on Pay Slip component which has created huge misunderstanding amongst officers’ community. We are now living in the era of technology explosion and every bit is lapped up by the tech savvy officers and as per their understanding of the issue rumors are spread. Not responding or not giving clarification only adds to the confusion resulting into negatives being spread.
We understand the nuances of the art of negotiation and also understand that a running commentary can’t be played out to the public on every bit of negotiation process.
However, we have already published the ‘Charter of Demand’ where Grade Pay
concept, Differential on Promotion, HRA as
Pay commission, higher CCA and a hoard of other
benefits including higher FPP, PQP etc. has been demanded. Since all these form
Pay Slip component, even an improved percentage hike in pay slip
present offer may not be enough to achieve the desired goal which
has given an
We have already impressed upon our members that the merger of DA at 4440 points has been achieved by negotiating team is in line with earlier settlements and decent.
We have also informed our members that the decision to defer the strike of 20th & 21st January 2014 in view of increased offer of 9.5% in Pay Slip component with assurance of further talks on 27th January 2014 is a logical step.
However, an interesting piece of information has been in circulation about the “Deferment of Strike for 20th & 21st January, 2014”. It is said that while the formal decision to defer the strike was conveyed only after the meeting of 17th January 2014, the IBA had, in fact, drafted the letter dated 17th January, 2014 addressed to all Banks communicating deferment of strike, as early as on 14th January, 2014 (after the meeting with CLC), which is evident from the relevant link on the IBA Website that shows the PDF file was created on 14th January 2014 itself. If whatever is made out to be in this matter is to be believed, it shows the confidence of IBA in persuading UFBU to defer Strike by offering a 9.5% increase. This has created a lot of confusion & anxiety amongst members. The website which has posted this information, has, in fact, called the whole issue as having been “fixed”. Further, one news website has quoted leader of one of the constituent of UFBU saying "We are satisfied with the IBA offer made at today's meeting.
So we have deferred the strike,”
In this back ground, it is, therefore required that AIBOC should immediately clarify on the issue as it relates to credibility of the whole negotiation process.
We reproduce all your circulars and communications to our members and therefore, request you to share more information/ clarification as possible with regard to wage negotiation with affiliates so that efforts made by AIBOC can be highlighted by us to the masses.
Dilip SahaGeneral Secretary "
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At the outset I would like to congratulate Mr Saha for the bold approach taken by him in sharing his thoughts with his constituency of bankers. Although I never had interaction with him, yet the frankness reflected by him in his above letter gives me confidence about the transparent manner of his dealings. I hope our readers too will agree with me and applaud him for his action.
However, the above circular has brought to light few new revelations / reminded some existing issues. Let me share the same with our readers:-
(a) The confusion relating to the definition of "Pay Slip Component" is not merely at the general banker level, but even the General Secretary of the unit of AIBOC is not aware of the same. Thus, either it is a closely guarded secret between IBA and UFBU leaders or IBA is yet to spell the same. In both cases, this is very dangerous as the lack of the basic basis of settlement can be easily tweaked by IBA later on (as it happened in last BPS when resignees, VRS optees were denied 2nd pension option and they have to run to Courts to get justice). Bankers can not believe on IBA, which has time and again ditched bankers in interpretation of various issues. They do not have clean track record in this regard. Mr Saha is absolutely right when he says that the details of the same be made public so that confusion and rumors can be put to rest. Initially I thought that only I am not aware of the same as may be I am a novice, but the above circular gives me a solace that actually it is not known to even union people at the top of the individual banks.
(b) The above letter also indicates that the writings on the social media have great impact and now union leaders have realised that they need to respond to people's discussions or soon they will face wrath of the aam banker. Individual union leaders need to confirm that there was no Match Fixing and the reasons behind preparation of the letter by IBA at least 3 days in advance to actual talks. If necessary, they can even ask IBA as to the reasons for preparing the letter in advance or let IBA issue a press release clarifying their stand. A convincing reply can restore the credibility of the negotiations but failure to do so can become a permanent bloat on them and will never absolve them from the charge of Match Fixing. I hope AIBOC and other unions will give their independent views on the issue.
(c) Mr Saha has rightly reminded all of us about the Charter of Demands placed by various unions. [I give here a link to the Charter of Demands by officer unions which was uploaded by us on 8th November, 2012 and still available at our website : CHARTER OF DEMAND BY OFFICERS' UNIONS - AIBOC, AIBOA, INBOC, NOBO (updated version uploaded on 8/11/2012). I would like the readers to once again download the same and read it. I would like to quote here the demand relating to merger of DA which reads in the Charter of Demands as under :-
"We propose that the average consumer price index for industrial workers for the quarter ending 30th September 2012 which was 4876 (1960=100) (rounded off) be taken for the purpose of merger of Dearness Allowance for construction of Scales".
Readers know it well that UFBU has already caved in to the IBA's offered to merge only upto 4440 index instead of 4876 as demanded in the above referred Charter of Demands. Thus, they have failed to convince IBA merge DA as per their rightful demand.
Moreover, they have demanded neutralization at 125% instead of 100%. Let us wait whether UFBU will be able to put up his case strongly at the next meeting to be held on 27th January, 2014. By accepting merger of DA at lower levels, the neutralization will automatically be below 100%.
Mr Saha has taken the right initiative and we will be waiting whether national level AIBOC leadership replies to the questions raised above or ducks such questions as they have been doing in the past. I hope this time will be exception and they will put to rest various rumors floating in the banking industry.