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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bank staff plan to strike work on Jan 20-21

Upset over the offer of a mere 5 per cent increase in salary and delay in wage settlement, employee unions of public sector banks have decided to strike work for two days next month.

They have been demanding about 30 per cent increase in wages; in the last revision in 2007, the hike was around 17 per cent.

“At a meeting with all nine major bank staff unions here today, we have decided to call for strike on January 20-21, 2014,” A. K. Ramesh Babu, President, Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), told Business Line.

Given the increasing per employee productivity in banks, the offered hike was too “less” and “humiliating”, he said. So far, some five rounds of negotiations have been held between bank employee unions and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

The wages were last revised in 2007 and the term of revision expired in 2012. “It is almost one year since the expiry of the previous settlement and we want speedy resolution,” he added.

According to Pradip Biswas, General-Secretary, BEFI, another cause of concern for the unions was the “deviation” from the age-old practice of wage settlement.

“For the first time, they are proposing that employees up to scale III level will only be included in the general wage settlement, but this is just aimed at creating divisions without transparency,” he said.

Effectively, this proposal means that the wage hikes of officers above senior branch manager category will be linked to performance and could vary from person to person.

In 2007, employee wages, on an average, accounted for 20 per cent of banks’ total costs. This will now come down to 16 per cent, which means a reduction in salaries if inflation is factored in, he added.

Source: thehindubusinessline


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