1. Public sector bank workers call off strike after pay deal; 15% wage hike granted

Public sector bank workers call off strike after pay deal; 15% wage hike granted

The Indian Banks' Association, which was represents the lenders, confirmed the wage revision and the holiday agreement in a statement.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: February 23, 2015 10:23 PM
Tech Mahindras, Videocon Group, Raghuram Rajan

A strike would have paralysed some of the country’s largest banks, crippling cash transactions and cheque clearances in an economy where card payments are still unusual. (PTI)

Hundreds of thousands of bank employees, working largely for India’s dominant state-owned lenders, have called off a planned four-day strike after agreeing a 15 percent wage increase, a senior union official said on Monday.

The United Forum of Bank Unions, which says it represents nearly a million bank workers, had called for a strike starting Feb. 25, with demands including higher wages and a five-day work week. Banks in India operate on Saturdays.

A strike would have paralysed some of the country’s largest banks, crippling cash transactions and cheque clearances in an economy where card payments are still unusual. It would have dampened money market and foreign exchange trading volumes, potentially increasing volatility.

The protracted negotiation with unions is also a reminder of the complex task ahead as the government tries to reform India’s network of state-owned banks, which account for more than 70 percent of loans.

Unions reached the wage settlement after 18 rounds of negotiations over more than two years, Vishwas Utagi, a senior union official, said. The new salaries, applicable for more than 700,000 bank workers, will be backdated to November 2012 and valid for five years, he said.

Utagi said the estimated cost for banks as a result of the salary increase will be an annual 47.25 billion rupees ($758.7 million).

As part of the negotiation, the banks and unions also agreed that only two Saturdays a month will be working days.

The Indian Banks’ Association, which was represents the lenders, confirmed the wage revision and the holiday agreement in a statement.

Bank strike called off; unions, IBA agree on 15% wage hike

(PTI) Public sector bank employee unions today withdrew their call for a four-day nationwide strike, with the management agreeing to a 15 per cent hike in wages at an extra burden of Rs 4,725 crore a year and acceding to the demand for holiday on second and fourth Saturdays.

The banks, however, will work full-day on remaining Saturdays instead of the current practice of half-day.

“In today’s talks with Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), wage revision has been settled at 15 per cent with effect from November 2012,” United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Convener M V Murali told PTI.

“The cost of medical, hospitalisation scheme and on other items and the cost of superannuation, namely PF/Gratuity/pension is being separately worked out,” he added.

The wage revision would benefit about 8.5 lakh employees and officers in 45 banks, including old generation private sector banks and a few foreign lenders.

Wage revision in PSU banks is done every five years. The previous revision was agreed upon in 2007.

At a meeting in Mumbai, PSU banks employee unions and bank management IBA agreed on wage hike and entered into an MoU in this regard.

“The IBA is pleased to announce conclusion of the 10th bipartite wage negotiations with bank unions and associations to be effective from November 2012. The agreement reached provides for 15 per cent increase in pay,” IBA Chairman T M Bhasin said in a statement.

Banks have been making provisions for 15 per cent wage hike in their balance sheet since November 2012.

The unions had threatened to go on four-day strike from February 25 demanding a 19 per cent hike in wages.

“The wage revision is effective from November 2012 and new pay scales will be constructed after merging corresponding All India Consumer Price Index, which was 4,440 points as on November 2011 and works out to be 60.5 per cent, with DA and adding a load factor of 2 per cent on basic pay,” AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

Both the parties have agreed that within 90 days they will finalise other issues and a bipartite settlement will be signed, he added.

Following a formal agreement, he said, RBI would be informed about changes in working hours on Saturdays.

After RBI’s notification, changes in banking hours on Saturdays would come into force, so the new system would take some time, he said.

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  1. B
    babu r
    Feb 24, 2015 at 9:44 am
    Ridiculous claims by union leaders. Central govt employees can have better pay structure and their pension revised after every pay commission report. Only when bank employees' pay revision become due so much struggle. A nurse at central service is given better pay scale than a senior manager of public sector bank. What an anomaly? get rid of these bi-pare settlements and bank employees are to be included under the purview of central pay commission to better their lives.
    1. A
      Feb 24, 2015 at 12:41 am
      BANKS had made provisions of 15% since 2012. Yet IBA and govt took more than 2 years to agree to legit demands. They highlight the cost of pay hike which is around 4725 crores !! Do you realise that operating Profit of PSBs is 1,27,000(approx) crores on march 14. If you divide 4725 crores by 8 lakh plus employees it comes to around 59000(apprx) hike after 5 years per employee. you should know more: Around 81 lakh crore is NPA for PSBs. More than 60 lakh crore of it was sanctioned by Govt appointed CMDs and Directors and not by Pay hike demanding staff !!!
      1. A
        Feb 24, 2015 at 12:55 am
        Kingfisher took 7000 crores and did not pay Back !! Yet they offer us 4725 crores and make such Hue and Cry !! @ Rameshwar Pattnayak !!! where do you work man? Please do not take offence but if you take note, PSB branches are open even at odd hours around you. Staff is already overburdened beyond your imagination. ADC( alternate delivery channels) are already available for you. you already get 365 days a year banking if you realise. All major Financial Markets are off on Sat n Sun. Even RBI and Central Govt offices. How is it wrong to have 2days after back breaking work? Do you know Banker's are even made to work on Holidays very often?
        1. M
          Feb 24, 2015 at 9:30 pm
          I agree Babu R. We are all citizens of the same country paying the same amount of taxes then why the step fatherly treatment to the PSU banks. I think bringing the PSU under the purview of the CPC is a brilliant suggestion Kudos Babu R
          1. M
            Feb 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm
            When you visit a state/central govt. office you have to make at least ten trips before your work is done yet they have good pay packages. However in the case of banks your work is complete in a matter of few minutes or maybe in an hour. You decide the level of efficiency and who deserves better pay packages
            1. g
              g .m
              Feb 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm
              R u surabhi vyas...
              1. J
                Feb 25, 2015 at 5:04 pm
                most unfortunate thing is happened to bank employees. when entire world is went into bankruptucy only because of banks india escaped from such a crisis. indian banking sector is working honestly and sincerely in reaching the needy people of india. may this is the consideration for what bank employees is giving to this nation. many of the bank employees are nowadays struggling alot to reach irrational targets of deposits, advances and also npas. they are sacrificing their personal life for being a bank employee. anyways total unjustice has been done to the banking.
                1. R
                  Rameswar Pattanayak
                  Feb 23, 2015 at 8:42 pm
                  2 more Bank Holidays every month? Why not to adopt 2 shift Bank working from 8AM to 8PM every day 7 days a week through out a year which is the need of the day? Employees may be compensated with staggering and/or combined offs.
                  1. R
                    Rameswar Pattanayak
                    Mar 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm
                    Please tell me, what information you want from me/ I am unable to understand your english.
                    1. K
                      Feb 24, 2015 at 2:58 pm
                      Yes. I am a retired banker. I fully endorse your views Mr.Babu.
                      1. L
                        Feb 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm
                        It is really agonising.state/central govt. clerks or other jobs which do not demand high qualification are getting better pay packet.
                        1. M
                          Mohinder Paul
                          Feb 24, 2015 at 11:45 am
                          I am not a bank employee but worked full 5 years in a private bank as an IT engineer and saw where the public sector banks lack in terms of expenses and savings. I can discuss this with the planning officer or management if given a chance to describe. I will charge for this service but sure that after revising loop s that I will tell, banks will raise their profit in just one year or two if it is not possible for me to visit each and every bank in one year. But still I will say that you will easily and happily provide your staff what they are deserving as their compensation in terms of ry. Fo more details get in touch with me
                          1. Pannvalan Pannvalan
                            Apr 5, 2015 at 6:31 am
                            You do not really seem to know the conditions prevailing in public sector banks with regard to HRD, policies formulation and decision making, collusion of so many forces in sanctioning big ticket advances without obtaining 100% tangible ets and the burgeoning NPAs to the most threatening level. All these are clearly beyond the realm and scope of staff up to AGMs.
                            1. P
                              Feb 23, 2015 at 11:12 pm
                              What kind of terrorism is this?
                              1. A
                                Feb 24, 2015 at 10:20 am
                                In these days of mobile banking etc the banks employees are not worth the raise.
                                1. rohit kashyap
                                  Feb 24, 2015 at 10:51 am
                                  do you think that our rigid outdated govt will ever allow that ?
                                  1. S
                                    s vyas
                                    Feb 24, 2015 at 9:06 pm
                                    By putting a worthless statement like this you surely have proven you worthlessness. You ask any one of your near and dear who is working in PSB than u will understand the real contribution of PSB in nation building.
                                    1. T
                                      t p
                                      Feb 23, 2015 at 8:31 pm
                                      15% hike for emplo citizens ! What about unemployment youth?
                                      1. V
                                        Feb 24, 2015 at 10:35 am
                                        why not stagger the holidays. Some employees will work on 1& 3rd saay others will work on 2& 4th saay, 5th saay if it is there then shall be a working day. To be discussed in public.
                                        1. V
                                          vv rathnam
                                          Feb 23, 2015 at 11:46 pm
                                          Bank's NPA's are due to interference of Govt/CMD/ MD/ Board in sanction of loans but not due to staff . Further all those who are responsible for sanctions will go free as the sanctions are by board. Employees will face the music as there is no proper follow up / recovery.
                                          1. V
                                            vv rathnam
                                            Feb 23, 2015 at 11:23 pm
                                            When state govt. are giving 43% pay revision including for retired, nobody rises their voice. Why this hue and cry about bank employees revision.
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