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UFBU Needs to Learn Lessons from Modi



Rajesh Goyal 

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I am sure the above headline will not go well with the left dominated unions in Modi is a big No No for most of the political parties, particularly left parties.  However, one need not consider anybody as untouchable, specially when you can learn few good points in him.  The following is the brief advise to UFBU leaders based on the Modi's performance so far  :-

(a) Learn the Art of Time Management :  UFBU leaders are notoriously known for the wasting of their time.   Although they will spend lakhs of rupees on fastest modes of travel, yet they will waste huge amount of time in unnecessary and irrelevant talks and discussions.  They will rarely focus on the subject for which they have travelled.   Now here is PM of India who sleeps around mid-night but wakes up by 5.00 AM.  Today (14th June 2014), it is less than a month when results were declared and it is merely 18 days since he was sworn in, but he has created ripples among the Heads of States in neibouring countries.   Countries like US, China, Japan are trying their best to get his attention.  New cabinet has taken over, moral code of conduct for ministers is in place and bureaucracy is having sleepless nights.  All this happens because Modi knows the art of time management, which specially retired people like me have to learn.  Frankly speaking I can not claim myself to be most proficient time manager, yet I feel I never slacked too much.   Even after retirement, I have adopted easy going schedule but I try to write something and update students or banker.  However, the working of UFBU clearly indicates they are the least proficient in time management.   IBA and UFBU took three months for holding negotiating meeting on 13th June 2014 (Previous meeting was held in the middle of March, 2014).   Outcome of the meeting is that as asked by IBA three months earlier, UFBU conveyed that its' demand is of 25% increase and IBA increased the offer to 11% from 10%,   Question is whether to exchange these two statements, there was need to wait for 3 months and why it was necessary to fly / travel all the UFBU leaders and IBA officials at one place to announce this.   This could have been easily exchanged through email at least 2 1/2 months back and without any cost I am sure all must have had a good Tea Party / Lunch .

The worst part is that even after the meeting was over on the afternoon of 13th June and almost 10 lakh bankers are breath takingly waiting for the circular of UFBU, these leaders are sleeping and I have yet to see the circular till the afternoon of 14th June i.e. after 24 hours of the meeting.   I know in earlier settlements they used to take even few days to issue such circular as there was no pressure from social websites. Times have changed, and now cadre excepts that full fledged details to be released within few hours and not after few days.   Some of the newspapers have covered the story in today's newspapers, but no circular from UFBU leaders.   Are they so busy that they can not draft a letter of one page giving what actually transpired in the meeting?  God save the Aam Banker from such retired and slow bankers.   UFBU needs to learn their lesson fast.

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(b) Learn the Art of Out of Box Thinking :   In number of my earlier articles I have written clearly that UFBU leaders have to think of something out of box so that they can impress upon IBA and GoI to agree to come to the negotiating table with open mind (not a mere increase of 1/2% or 1%).    Modi did absolutely same thing when he called all SAARC leaders to his sworn-in ceremony.   Worst critics and his enemies have appreciated Modi's move.    Had he tried to call these leaders later on, there would have been huge uproars by critics.  Whether this move will bring long term benefits will be known only in the future, but Modi has certainly won the hearts of Sri Lanka's President, Bhutan Kings friendship, Bangladesh's goodwill and sent a message to Pakistan that Modi at first stage is looking for peace.   UFBU must open back room channels and find out what Government wants to do with PS Banks.  In the interest of the bankers, it should shun its stand on bank reforms and merger of banks.   Let them have free and frank discussions on pros and cons of such moves and get a good wage revision in lieu of such reforms.    In case UFBU adopts adamant attitude, GoI is unlikely to give high wage revision and will continue to press for bank reforms and with hardly any opposition, Modi Government will be able to implement bank reforms.   Thus, bankers will be loser from both sides.  Are all bank reforms so bad?   There is a need to throw out the mentality that whatever reforms Govt will bring are against the bankers.

(c) Bring Transparency in the Unions :   Modi government has also started the process of bring transparency in the system.   We have to wait for few months before finding out as to finally how much he will succeed, but there is massive resentment among the bank cadres against the retired leaders.    In politics, there is no age bar, yet Modi has blocked all the old netas with over 75 years of age, because he knew that public in reality wants such leaders to retire.   Modi understands the mind of the people.   UFBU leaders too needs to understand the mind of the general banker.   There should be bar that nobody will serve in the union after the age of 60 years but there can be two to three co-opted retired members who will advise the main union (serving members)  on the matters relating to the retired bankers.   Such leaders should have say only in matters relating to retired bankers.   To avoid the acrimony among serving staff and retired staff, let it be decided that in each BPS what will be the ratio of cost burden among serving employees and retired bankers, for example it can be 75:25 between serving and retired bankers  or any other ratio which is acceptable and is workable.   This will end the fight between serving and retired bankers as to who takes more advantage.

I am not sure if any of UFBU will even consider taking my advise, but as on few occasions I have been asked to give my practical suggestions, I am trying to put across the suggestions for consideration of my serving and retired colleagues.    Remember, the above article is without my personal liking or disliking of Modi on various issues.


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