UFBU Leaders Needs to Discuss Matters Relating to Retirees With Retired Banker Groups - Retiree Groups Must Visit Venues of UFBU-IBA Meetings and Display Their Demands on Cardboards
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We know the broad fate of the serving bankers has been sealed with the agreement between UFBU and IBA on 23rd February, 2015. Now other matters, including the matters relating to retirees will be discussed and are likely to be finalized in next 90 days.
We have recently uploaded two articles wherein the issues relating to retired bankers have been discussed. A lot of data and previous statements, circulars have been given by us.
Frankly speaking the data displayed and analyses of the same are complex issues and I alone is not the authority on giving the final verdict on such issues. Therefore, in those articles we have requested everybody (union leaders, banks and informed bankers), who have better knowledge and understanding to give us the loopholes in the assessment of the articles written by Mr S Ramachandran and Mr Sudhakar Rao, who we believe have put lot of efforts in collecting the data / evidence. However, such counter arguments must have strong logical and data backing.
Such a feedback will bring more insight about as to how to make best use of such data. Brain storming by more bankers, who have been associated with Balance Sheet work, in past or present, will bring to the forefront more data and interpretations. I am sure such analyses will help in bringing more transparency in the balance sheets of the banks as far as Pension Funds are concerned. We are not asking for any inside information but analysis of what is published by banks as per statutory requirements and / or is available in the public domain.
Coming to the 3 TOP issues relating to retirees. : In the days to come (i.e. within 90 days from 23rd February, 2015) , UFBU and IBA will be discussing the miscellaneous issues relating to serving bankers as well as terminal benefits including pensionary benefits to retired bankers. On the basis of the feedback from retirees, there are three major issues that needs to be seriously taken up by the UFBU in the discussions :-
(1) Second Pension option to left over retirees : This is an issue which has been the creation of IBA after wrong interpretation of the 9th BPS agreement. IBA intentionally subverted the issues and inserted few words which were not part of the original agreement. Thus, a number of group of persons were denied 2nd pension option.
This wrong interpretation forced many senior bankers to file cases in various Courts. Inspite of the favourable verdicts by lower Courts, Banks and IBA preferred to drag the cases to the top most Courts. In number of cases they had to face the wrath of the Courts and release 2nd Pension option. Even MoF had to intervene in some cases so as to give 2nd Pension option to those who were intentionally denied such an option. The worst part played in the whole episode was by UFBU. They never supported the cause of these poor retirees who were left to fend for themselves. They being party to the agreement, never challenged IBA in Court.
Therefore, this is the time when UFBU has to strongly take up the issue with IBA and ensure that 2nd Pension Option is made available to all the left over bankers, whether they are resignees, VRS optees, CRS etc. Courts have already shown the way, and we see no reason to exclude any category. All these people should be entitled to get the pension from the cut off date as per 9th BPS itself.
(2) The Second Issue Relates to 100% DA neutralization to Pre 2002 retirees : This is another issue which has generated lot of hurt burning among the senior most retirees, as they have been denied such DA neutralization wrongly. IBA / Banks have been fighting tooth and nail to deny this rightful demand inspite of Court cases. In the latest judgment of Calcutta High Court, one of the nationalized banks have been bashed for denying this facility to senior bankers. The Court has made a clear case for review of the decision by the bank as the present policy of denying 100% DA neutralization is based on wrong interpretation of the law. (I will be soon uploading a separate article on the judgement of Calcutta High Court)
The above demands are absolutely genuine and has legal sanctity and needs to be implemented without fail. If UFBU sticks to its guns, there is no reason that IBA will not agree for these two demands. Thus, with minimal efforts, UFBU can take credit for getting the above two demands met by IBA. In case IBA refuses to concede any of these demands, UFBU should clearly mention that it reserves it right to go to Court on behalf of the retirees as it perceives that denial of these two demands is illegal.
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(1) Updation of Pension : This demand too is genuine as government employees get this at the time of revision of their salaries every ten year. As shown by Mr S Ramachandran in his article, IBA is on a weak wicket here too as far as legal angle is considered as “updation of pension” words were part of the original agreement and were deleted by IBA. However, IBA is certainly pull out the boggy of increasing NPAs and decreasing profits hitting the capacity of smaller banks to share the burden..
Therefore, UFBU need to be prepared to counter IBA arguments with proper data. We have uploaded certain data as sent by Mr S Ramachandran, but I am of the view that data in itself may not be sufficient as IBA may have certain other counter arguments, which UFBU leaders may not be aware of intricacies, Therefore, UFBU must hire an independent consultant to assess the actual additional burden it will impose on the banks. [In case of updation of pension is agreed, the second demand i.e. 100% DA neutralization will automatically be met ]. We have seen that in the past, IBA, Banks and even RBI has ignored the interests of the bank employees and have not take sufficient steps to protect the pension funds. Amortization of banks contribution in 5 years allowed to banks by RBI, have led to loss of crores of rupees in the shape of interest. Now that amount will also form part of the deficit. Who was supposed to ensure that bank employees are not cheated on their pension fund? Why now banks be allowed to cry of lower profits when in the past five years they have paid hefty dividends to GoI by denying the employees their share to pension funds and taking the refuge of amortization allowed by banks.
UFBU needs to learn from past mistakes and should ensure that once again IBA does not take it for a ride. The bank wise data for any shortfall for updation of pension (as claimed by IBA) should be made public and should be discussed thread bare. There is nothing secret about these. Once these details are out, let IBA discuss the same with Government and plan as to how updation of pension in banks can be introduced.
There can be number of other smaller issues relating to retirees, which can be discussed as per Charter of Demands but above three issues must be dealt with a firm hand as they are the core issues of retirees.
We request all the retirees to give their views on other miscellaneous matters also which they intend that UFBU should negotiate with IBA before 10th BPS takes the final shape.
Finally, I would like to suggest that groups of retirees (howsoever small in number (may be even about 20 ) must reach the venue of the next negotiation talks between IBA and UFBU with playcard displaying their demands. Greater the number, better it will be. Take photographs of such agitations and upload on internet to show that they have put up their demands before UFBU and IBA. The local retiree groups may organize such agitations.