Bank mgmt, unions likely to agree on 24% salary hike

Written by Kumud Das | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 20 2009, 05:26am hrs
The ninth bipartite wage negotiation between the Indian Banks Association (IBA) and the United Forum of Bank Employees Unions (UFBU) is likely to be finalised with an agreement for a hike between 24-29% for the employees of the public sector banks. The final meeting between the two parties is taking place on January 21 in Mumbai.

IBA, which is representing the government and managements of banks is reported to have agreed raise bank employees wage by 24% while on its part, the UFBU, an umbrella organisation of nine bank employees unions has moderated its demand to 29%.

A source, who is aware of the developments, told FE on condition of anonymity, that Now it seems that both the IBA and UFBU, are likely to reach a consensus figure on what should be the gross hike in the salary of the bank employees.

Earlier the UFBU had demanded a hike not below 50% at any cost, keeping in view the 40% hike for the central government employees during the sixth pay commission.

However, the IBA told the UFBU that it was not possible to consider such a large hike as the hike in wages given to the central government employees was once in a decade, whereas for the bank employees, the wage hike was once in every five year..

The forthcoming meeting will be crucial in another aspect involving the second option of pension for those 2,60,000 bank employees that were deprived of the pension benefits when it was offered for the first time by the bank managements during nineties.

While MV Nair, chairman and managing director of state-owned Union Bank of India (UBI) who is heading the IBA panel during ongoing talks, the UFBU body is headed by its general secretary, CH Venkatachalam.

On the second pension option, the IBA has reportedly agreed it in principle for the 2,60,000 bank employees that were deprived of the pension benefits when it was offered by the government in 1995.

However, it comes with a rider that the employees will have to shell out a sum of 15% from their provident fund (PF), apart from the 50% of the usual share, to avail themselves of such facility.

The UFBU was likely to clear its stand on the issue during the ongoing two-day AIBEA conclave, which would be concluding on Sunday evening.