It is heartening to note that talks for 10th BPS have began. Only yesterday, I have written an article as to the loss suffered by bankers on account of Two day strike, and the continued loss of interest they have to suffer for any delays in settlement of the wage revision. The reports indicate that the First Meeting has been held on 22nd February, 2013, and the same was only a preliminary round and thus nobody had much expectations from this meeting.
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I am happy that the process has been initiated and UFBU has issued the brief about the same by the evening. A brief of the meeting reports indicates as follows:-
(a) IBA team was represented by Shri K R Kamath, CMD, PNB and UFBU was represented by leaders of 9 constituent unions
(b) Both of them agreed that negotiations should be expedited and concluded in a time bound manner;
(c) Now the Negotiating Committee will be headed by Mr T M Bhasin, CMD Indian Bank, who is also Vice Chairman of IBA
(d) UFBU also asked IBA to simultaneously resolve the pending issues of
(i) compassionate appointment scheme,
(ii) coverage of remaining employees / officers under pension option scheme;
(iii) improvement in Family Pension,
(iv) Updation of Pension etc.
(e) Next round of talks will be held on 4th March, 2013.
I congratulate UFBU leaders for starting the process of negotiations and for their demand that it should be done expeditiously and in time bound manner.
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However, I would like to caution UFBU that looking at the past experience, IBA will be hard nut to crack and all the Union leaders needs to be united and in the next meeting, insist on a deadline by which the process of negotiations and final settlement will be completed. In my article dated 21st February, 2013, I have proposed the six months time i.e. 31st August, 2013, should be the outer limit for completion of process or else bankers will lose heavily as after that election process is likely to start. Although, I have always been against strikes, but now is the time for UFBU to hit hard and clinch an honorable settlement for the bankers, and if necessary give a call for strike only on the issue of wage revision.
UFBU must prepare the Agenda points for next meeting and send the same to IBA and host the same on their websites, so that IBA comes ready to discuss such points. Declaring the Agenda in advance will bring transparency in the process and will not let IBA delay the process of discussions on flimsy grounds. There is a need to do lot of ground work by UFBU. I am sure we have a lot of talent in banking industry, who if entrusted can do this task much better than the employees of any other sector.
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