New Pension Scheme fuels SBI strike

Written by fe Bureau | Chandigarh | Updated: Nov 19 2010, 15:24pm hrs
The employees of State Bank of India will go on strike for two days on November 25 and 26 in protest against the new pension scheme and demanding redressal of wage related issue.

The SBI employees from states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir would observe strike on November 25 and 26 on a joint call given by SBI Officers Association and SBI Staff Association. The employees are opposing the National Pension Scheme (NPS) introduced in SBI, adding that they want pension at the rate of 50% of the last drawn pay, without any ceiling.

MK Virmani, general secretary and DK Sharma, president SBI Officers Association, told FE that during last wage revision by 17.50%, a decision had been taken by the SBI Management to disburse Rs 289 crore among officers and employees of SBI. However, after almost six months of signing of the agreement on April 27, this fund earmarked for disbursal was still lying with the Bank.

Sanjeev Bandlish and HBS Batra, general secretary and president of SBI Staff Association, Chandigarh circle, told FE that SBI officers and employees are going on strike to paralyse banking operations demanding improvement in pension scheme and non fulfillment of their other demands. In other banks, pension is paid at 50% of last salary drawn but in SBI it is only 40% of basic pay.

Also, under new pension scheme 10% of basic pay and DA are deposited in pension fund but quantum of pension had not yet been decided. Thousands of employees from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir would observe the strike. On all India basis around 2.5 lakh staffers of SBI, including 80,000 officers will go on a two day strike from November 25.

The employees are also opposed to closure of virtual module by shifting of administrative units and violation of principle of natural justice in disciplinary cases.

An indefinite strike may be held during December if SBI management fails to move and agree on payment of undisrributed portion of 17.5% wage cost to employees, pension at the rate of 50% of last salary drawn without any ceiling, updation of pension as that of the central government employees and other related issues disclosed office bearers of the SBI Officers Association and SBI Staff Association.