The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation on Friday said it hoped the negotiation with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) on September 24 would result in the wage revision acceptable to the employees, failing which United Forum of Bank Unions would be forced to take some strong steps.
Addressing the members here, Confederation President Y. Sudarshan regretted the managements treat employees as ‘liability’ when it comes to wage revision while for the rest of operations, including spread of various government schemes, they are treated as assets. The vast human resource of banks, which has helped the industry to come to the present level and is prepared to the take modernisation forward, should be treated as capital asset and salaries as long-term investment, he demanded.
Officers and employees do not take pleasure in resorting to strikes and inconvenience the public, Mr. Sudarshan clarified. It is the attitude of the managements that has been forcing them to resort to strikes. Not a single wage revision in the past two decades has come without strike whereas government employees and legislators get salaries revised at regular intervals, he regretted. The 9th bipartite agreement expired in October 2012 and since then employees have eagerly been awaiting the next revision amidst several negotiations and a couple of strikes, he said.
Initially, the IBA had offered 5 per cent hike, Mr. Sudarshan said and termed it a piece of biscuit thrown at dogs. During the recently concluded negotiations, the IBA came up to offering 11 per cent hike whereas the Confederation has stuck to its demand of 25 per cent hike. The Unions and employees are no more prepared to wait, Mr. Sudarshan added.
He said public sector banks have been continuing their contribution towards strengthening the economy even as they were the ones responsible for the nation withstanding the economic slowdown in 2011. They have been the ones ensuring government’s programmes reach the targeted class, including the latest Jan Dhan Yojana. The Confederation is also opposed to merger of PSU banks, attempts for which are reportedly being made by the central government, he said.
Confederation Advisor M. Harshavardhan and others were present. (Eom)