Employees of public sector banks have threatened to go on two-day nation-wide strike from May 30 against “a meagre” 2 per cent hike offered by the management body, Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). During the negotiations held on May 5, IBA made two unacceptable propositions including an offer of 2 per cent hike in the wage bill cost as on March 31, 2017, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) said in a statement. Besides, it adamantly maintained that the negotiations on officers demands would be restricted up to Scale III only, AIBEA General Secretary C H Vekatachalam told PTI.
In the last wage revision, IBA provided an increment of 15 per cent. UFBU is an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW). AIBOC joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta also questioned the rationale of this meagre hike at a time when inflation is uncontrolled.
“When prices go up unabated, can wages be depressed. Is it fair to deny reasonable wage increase?,” Gupta said. NOBW vice president Ashwani Rana said unions also demanded that all scales or grades of officers should be included in the wage revision as has been the practice since 1979. Unions also demanded that as advised by the government, the IBA should complete the process without further delay, Rana said.
Vekatachalam said the government is also aware that despite their repeated letters, there is no progress in the negotiations and no offer was made to the Unions till the meeting held on May 5, 2018. This shows that the government is also not serious about early wage settlement in the banks, he said. “It is unfortunate that when the government wants and expects bank employees and officers to extend all co-operation to implement all the schemes of the government through the banks, when it comes to the legitimate demands for a reasonable and fair increase in wages, the government is not paying serious attention,” he said.