IBA Offers 1.50% More Hike and UFBU Jumps to Withdraw strike announced for 7th January, 2015
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Our whole banking fraternity has been waiting today (6th January, 2015) for some major progress in the 10th BPS, which is now overdue by more than 26 months. Bank Officers and Employees have shown their lot of anger, anguish for not taking up the issue of wage revision seriously in last 2 years by UFBU with an eye for higher levy out of the arrears (I just saw one comment by Ricky on FaceBook which read “Levy Lene Aa Jayenge Bheek Mangey).
After election of Modi Govt UFBU has been driven to wall, and failed to think of any strategy. Seeing the anger of bankmen, they declare a strike for 7th January, 2015, followed by another strike spanning over 4 days (20th to 24th January, 2015, which will be followed by two holidays on account of Sunday and Republic Day).
Bank staff had been demanding for this type of strike for now over one year but UFBU leaders did not pay any heed and in recent months have lost all their credibility and most of the bank staff consider them to be a burden and big liability.
In accordance with agreement before CLC in meeting on 5th January, UFBU and IBA met on 6th January 2015 (i.e. on the eve of strike day), with a background that IBA was offering 11% increase on pay slip component, whereas UFBU had come down to 23% (from original demand of 35%). After hectic negotiations, which spanned over at least 3 hours, it is reported that IBA improved the offer to 12.5%. The nutshell of the days proceedings can be summed up as follows:-
(a) In the reports coming from UFBU circles, it is reported that they agreed to withdraw their proposed one day strike on 7th January, 2015 However Negotiation continue tomorrow. (I have yet to receive / see any circular (at 8.30 PM of 6th January) from UFBU giving details of the meeting today.
(b)IBA’s circular dated 6th January, 2015, a link to which is given herein (http://www.iba.org.in/Documents/strikeNotice6115.pdf ), clearly says “ON BEING SATISFIED WITH FURTHER IMPROVEMENT IN OFFER IN WAGE HIKE BY IBA, THE UFBU HAS DECIDED TO DEFER THE STRIKE SCHEDULED ON 7TH JANUARY, 2015)
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These guarded statements from both sides leave lot of confusion for the Aam Banker. The social media is already curing UFBU for surrender at 12.5%, after raising high hopes in Charter of Demands issued in the last days of October, 2012 (i.e. more than 26 months back). I am sure, most of the bankers have lost track of the same, and may be UFBU has also dumped the same. For curiosity sake, I visited some of old links from our website, which is tracking 10th BPS wage revision since beginning. We are giving below two links from our old pages, which some of you may be interested to see:-
(a) Full Charter of Demands by Workmen Unions - AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW
These lengthy Charter of Demands contain so much that it generated lot of hopes. These demands talked of full DA merger upto September 2012, and on that an increase of 30% to 35% on Basic Pay. There were demands of Grade Pay like central government, improvement of DA neutralization to be more than 100%, HRA more than 20%, 5 days week etc etc. It was a dream shown to bankers by UFBU through their Charter of Demands.
Today, after 26 months, I wonder what was the purpose of all these demands, as till date UFBU and IBA have been fighting not for %age increase in Basic Pay, Grade Pays, HRAs, but ONLY AND ONLY one issue that is the percentage increase on pay slip components (at 11%, the figure was Rs3465 crores only).
If UFBU has to fight only on percentage of increase on pay slip components, then what was the need for all those glossy Charter of Demands running into hundreds of pages and confusing the Aam Banker. Charter of Demand by UFBU should have been one liner i.e. “WE DEMAND ____PERCENTAGE OF INCREASE ON PAY SLIP COMPONENT”. Can any UFBU leader justify the need for such lengthy Charter of Demands? Can anyone of them can recall what was demanded in these Charter of Demands which have already been thrown in dustbin. All the demands have to be fulfilled within the outer limit of what percentage of hike is agreed by IBA. Thus, it is nothing but befooling the Aam Banker to show increases at so many places in Charter of Demands.
Thus, at present it seems UFBU is inclined to accept 12.5% increase on pay slip components and strike of 7th January is deferred. Fearing bigger backlash from bankers, UFBU has preferred to keep silence on the issue of four day strike from 21th January, 2015, the fate of which will be announced later on.
I will try to give more insights once the details of the UFBU and IBA meeting are available in the shape of circulars / inside information.