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After 20 Months UFBU Still  Struggling To Come to Consensus Among Themselves


Rajesh Goyal 

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UFBU and IBA had a meeting on 13th June, 2014, i.e. now over a month back.  Wherein IBA very generously agreed to offer 11% hike instead of earlier offer of 10%.  In the circular after the said meeting, UFBU has declared as under :-

“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”.

While analyzing the above referred circular of 13th June, we at have predicated the following :-

 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.

Except that UFBU was able to go for a photoshow session with FM in this period,  there is no progress and six weeks are going to be completed by next week.  Thus, our prediction has come true and UFBU has not been able to decide about the next course of action.   Interestingly, I have now come across a circular dated 16th July, 2014, which I am reproducing below for the benefit of our readers :-

What Does Circular Reads

Summary / Remarks by

The representatives of Constituent Unions of UFBU met on 15th July 2014 at Mumbai, subsequent to the submission of Memorandum to the Hon’ble Minister of Finance on 27th June 2014, to discuss and decide on the strategies to be adopted for early conclusion of wage settlement.

No comments as it is only giving background

The meeting observed a minute’s silence as a mark of tribute and paid homage to  Shri Ajay Sehgal, Chief Manager of Punjab National Bank, who committed suicide by jumping in front of a train due to the humiliation and constant harassment by his senior officials.  The meeting also passed a unanimous resolution condemning the humiliation and harassment meted out to Shri Ajay Sehgal that resulted in his untimely death and irreparable loss to his family members.

Does not relate to wage revision.  It appears there was no other resolution (except condemning the humiliation and loss to the family members) passed or action taken to avoid such incidents in future.  It seems it was only one more episode of bank officer committing suicide


Thereafter, it deliberated at length on the future course of action and strategies to be adopted for expeditious wage settlement.    The meeting expressed its unhappiness on the silence of IBA despite a lapse of more than a month since last meeting on wage negotiations and noted with concern the lackadaisical attitude of IBA in not conducting the meetings on wage negotiations regularly.

UFBU expressed unhappiness on the silence of IBA

The representatives of constituent unions extensively discussed on all the major issues concerning wage revision such as wage components, method of arriving at the cost and other issues such as Five-day banking, regulated working hours for officers, Health Insurance, improvements in pension/family pension schemes, etc. and unanimously decided to approach IBA with a consensus view on all the issues.

UFBU discussed all the issues but no details are shared with members.   They say they will approach IBA with a consensus view on all the issues.

It is surprising that UFBU is now talking of arriving at a consensus after delay of 20 months.  What they have been doing for over  1 ˝ years among themselves?  They have yet to arrive at a consensus as to what is to be demanded from IBA.  Great Progress. 

Subsequent to the meeting with Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Government of India by the delegation of UFBU on 27th June 2014, keeping in view the pre-occupation of the Government on account of parliament session, submission of budget and requirement of reasonable and sufficient time to examine our issues, the representatives of constituent unions felt that UFBU shall approach the Government once again for its intervention in the matter for early wage settlement.

It appears UFBU team is now pretending that it was so novice that it was not aware that new Government will be busy in budget, Parliament session etc., and now it wants to give another opportunity to Government.   Great strategy to further delay the matters

The meeting also deliberated upon the reforms in the banking industry, more particularly arising out of recommendations of P. J. Nayak Committee, such as reduction in Government share holding, merger of banks, etc. and decided to consolidate views and express concerns to the Government and decide further course of action thereafter

A stereo type opposition to PJ Nayak Committee.  Government has already announced that at present government shareholding will not be diluted beyond 51%, I am not sure what else they deliberated upon and why the same is not shared with members (Is this too confidential??).

The meeting unanimously decided as under:

                         (i) To send a communication to IBA for conduct of Meeting on wage negotiations immediately without any further delay and also for conduct of such meetings at frequent intervals;

                         (ii) To approach Government once again seeking intervention of Hon’ble Minister of Finance towards expeditious wage settlement;

Soft options of sending a letter to IBA and again beg to government for another round of photo session with FM. 

Comrades, the impediments in wage negotiations are known but nothing can stop us from achieving a respectable wage revision.   Let us march ahead with full determination and commitment to reach our goal.  Let us be in readiness always for further agitation programmes, if need be, including strike actions. 

No comments, as I have been reading this type of slogans at the end of each circular for last 30 years.































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Thus, in nut shell we can say the meeting expressed unhappiness for the delay, and decided to request for another meeting with FM and shot a letter to IBA wherein it did not fit it even necessary to mention about meeting with FM.  They will now try to come to a consensus for approaching IBA with that view.


Now you read the three liner letter sent to IBA i.e. after 18 months of delay:-

The Chief Executive,

Indian Banks' Association,

World Trade Centre Complex, 

Centre 1, 6th Floor, Cuffe Parade, 


 Dear Sir,


 The meeting between the Negotiating Committee of IBA and the representatives of UFBU was last held on 13th June 2014 and was inconclusive on account of contradictory views in the matter of percentage increase in wages. Despite the assurances of IBA during the conciliation meeting held on 13th January 2014 that further meetings shall be held at regular intervals, say fortnightly, to settle an early wage revision, the holding of wage negotiation meeting with us is being unduly delayed.

      2. The above issue was seriously considered in the UFBU Meeting held yesterday, i.e., 15th July 2014, in Mumbai and the UFBU expressed its unhappiness over the undue delay in the wage negotiations. We, therefore, request for conduct of wage negotiation meeting at the earliest and also to ensure conduct of such meetings at frequent and specified intervals for early conclusion of wage revision settlement.

     3. Please acknowledge receipt of this communication and advise us the developments in this regard. 

   With best regards,  

 Yours sincerely,           


 (M.V. MURALI)               



Inspite of our regular exposes and hue and cry at social media, it seems they have not even budged an inch.    Now I leave it to the wisdom of readers to draw their own conclusions about the worthiness and capabilities of leaders of UFBU for negotiation with IBA and GoI as a group of bankers feel that we are too critical of union leaders.   Good luck to the silent spectators.


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