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Stalemate in Negotiations - Great Strategy of UFBU for Delaying Tactics



Rajesh Goyal 

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After a wait of over 36 hours, I have come across the details of the discussions that took place on 13th June, 2014.   In case one wishes to read the circular in continuous mode, you can click here  or else stay here and read the contents alongwith analysis of ABS  in the tabular format as given below :-


After the last round of negotiations held on 14-3-2014, another round of discussions took place with IBA on 13-6-2014 in Mumbai in the background of the new Government taking over at the Centre after the general elections.  The details of the meeting are give below alongwith remarks of



What Does Circular Reads

Summary / Remarks by

UFBU meeting: Prior to the discussions with the IBA, meeting of the UFBU was held. The meeting observed a minutes' silence to pay homage on the death of Dr Shanti Patel, veteran trade union leader of HMS and Port and Dock Workers. The meeting took stock of the developments since our last meeting held in March, 2014. The meeting welcomed the new Government under the Prime Ministership of Shri Narendra Modi and hoped that the basic problems of the people and workers would be addressed by the new Government. The meeting noted that in addition to the pending demands of UFBU for wage revision, there are other challenges too like the recommendations of P J Nayak Committee, talks of dilution of Government's capital in Banks, merger of Banks, etc. The meeting decided to take a delegation of UFBU to the Finance Minister to apprise him of our issues and demands.

I was expecting that in the meeting prior to discussions with IBA, UFBU leaders would have discussed about the strategies to be adopted to counter IBA and how to cut the delays in the finalisation of BPS.    I am shocked that instead of focusing on the wage hike, UFBU leaders  appear to have focused on other issues which they feel to be much more important than honorable wage hike.   They seems to be more worried about recommendations of P J Nayak Committee than wage hike for bankers.

 I wonder if they had to make a strategy for countering Nayak Committee report in a meeting, what stopped them even during election period and after the declaration of elections results to deliberate on such an issue?

 These appear to be  nothing but diverting tactics or at best to settle their political goals.

 They seem to have lost an opportunity to discuss various strategies so as to get the bankers an honorable wage settlement.



Discussions with IBA:


(1)         In the wage revision talks, the IBA was represented by Mr. T M Bhasin, Chairman of the Negotiating Committee along with other members. UFBU was represented by all the Constituent Unions.

Opening up the discussions, Mr. Bhasin explained the present banking scenario where the profits of the Banks have come down as on 31-3-2014 adding to the constraints of the Banks to take up any huge financial burden in the form of wages. After submissions from UFBU, IBA informed that they are willing to improve their offer from earlier 10% to 11% on the cost of Pay Slip components of the wage bill which would amount to Rs.3,465 crores and which would be exclusive of other costs on retirement benefits, LFC, hospitalization expenses, etc. From UFBU, we expressed our inability to accept this offer as the same was quite inadequate.


(2)         Since UFBU refused to accept the IBA's offer of 11% increase, IBA wanted to know the expectation of the UFBU for which it was informed that our minimum expectation is 25% increase in the Pay Slip components cost. IBA expressed their total inability to accept the same as it is beyond the paying capacity of the Banks.

IBA offered an improvement of 1% and agreed to improve their offer from 10% to 11%. 

 UFBU told it is inadequate.  On being asked abouts expectations, it asked for 25% increase on Pay  Slip components instead of 11% offered by IBA

 Thus, now bankers who were expecting / demanding 30% to 50% increase OR  parity with central government pay-scales should realize that maximum demand  by UFBU is 25%.  Forget about all Charter of Demands submitted in October 2012, which had all sorts of high dreams.  Now expect anything above 11% but below 25%. on Pay Slip component. 



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What Does Circular Reads

Summary / Remarks by

As regards other issues discussed with the IBA in the last two rounds of discussions, IBA informed that they are favourably inclined to consider the demand of extending 100% DA for all pensioners and the same is awaiting the approval of the Government. On our demand for improvement in Family Pension, IBA's response was positive but they informed that the cost implication has to be properly worked out and Government's approval is necessary for the same. As regards updation of pension, IBA was apprehensive about the same since it involves substantial financial burden to the Banks. IBA also informed that our demand for extending appointment on compassionate grounds in the Banks on the lines of Government scheme is under the active and positive consideration of the Government and their decision is awaited.

Frankly speaking IBA has not given commitment on any of issues relating to 100% DA for all pensioners and improvement in family pension; and appointments on compassionate grounds.  

 However, as per UFBU version IBA is favourably inclined to consider demand of extending 100% DA for all pensioners.   IBA also seems to have shown positive response to improvement in Family Pension. However,  UFBU still needs to do lot of work as IBA has not committed anything and only shown positive response.   Thus, a ray of hope continues for old retired bankers for 100% DA.

As far as updation of pension is concerned, there seems to be little hope due to financial implications.



With this, the talks ended inconclusively. Thereafter UFBU decided that since IBA has not come up with any adequate increase in their offer, further course of action would be taken shortly after mutual consultations amongst the Constituent Unions and also after meeting the Finance Minister in this regard.

Further developments would be informed to units in due course.

UFBU is unhappy and told that further course of action will be announced after mutual consultations and meeting with FM.




Thus, to conclude we can say there is again a stalemate.  Next meeting for negotiations is not announced as talks appears to have broken down as there is wide gap between what is being demanded by UFBU and what is being offered by IBA.   UFBU is not able to decide what future course of action it needs to take.   Thus, UFBU has merely announced that it will wait for another meeting among  UFBU leaders and a meeting with FM.   I am afraid the meeting with FM too will more focus on stalling Nayak Committee recommendations rather than on wage hike.   It again appears to be great tactics to buy maximum time as FM will be too busy in next few weeks for preparation of budget and then meetings that follow the budget.  UFBU are unlikely to get time from FM (with burden of two portfolios - defence and finance) to discuss this issue before budget.  Thus, the next course of action to be announced may take another SIX weeks.   Another FOUR weeks may be required for preparation of agitation / strike programme  and its notice period.  Thus, Aam Banker should continue to lick his / her wounds for another TEN weeks or so when they can expect any agitation programme to start.


Great Strategy to befool the cadre - the true agenda of UFBU now does not seem to be wage hike but stopping bank reforms.  Art of delaying tactics can be best learnt from UFBU leaders.



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