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Sunday, July 26, 2020

How the 11th BPS MOU conducted in MOST UNDEMOCRATIC MANNER: Indian National Bank Employees Federation

Indian National Bank Employees' Federation on 23.07.2020 issued one circular number INDEF/GS/SSS/2020/40 dated 23rd July 2020. In this circular they have mentioned the how the proceeding and develompents has taken place in the Bi-partite meeting held between IBA and Bank Unions/Associations. We have reproduced the content of the circular for our readers. From the content of the circular, it is very much clear that UFBU has not bothered to take all its constituents in confidence before signing the MOU. It is already evident that till date UFBU has failed on every front inclusding 5 days Banking, Merger of Special Allowance with Basic even after High Court order. Final settlement/ Joint Note will be signed by 19th October 2020.

Indian National Bank Employees’ Federation

(A Banking Wing of INTUC)

INBEF/GS/SSS/2020/​40​ 23rd July 2020
Mr. Sanjeev Bandlish
Reg: Proceedings and Developments in the Bipartite Talks held on 22nd July 2020.
With reference to above we would like to draw your attention to two of our letters dtd. 03.06.2020 and 18.07.2020 wherein we have been constantly demanding that before having talks with IBA’s negotiating committee there should be a full fledged discussion amongst the constituents of UFBU to work out the strategies to arrive at respectable wage settlement. Earlier there was a practice that when any constituent of UFBU writes a letter to the convenor, the same was being forwarded to all other constituents for inviting comments and thereafter the matter was being taken up for discussion in UFBU forthcoming meeting and if any urgent matter or issue was there, then the convenor used to call urgent meeting of UFBU. However, this practice has not been followed in the context of both of our letters.
Since IBA called virtual meeting on 22nd July 2020, you arranged a virtual meeting amongst UFBU constituents on 21st July 2020 and the said meeting began at 10.00 P M. As the audio was very poor, no fruitful discussion could take place. Mr.Nagarajan, GS AIBOA left the meeting halfway. In the said meeting undersigned had particularly asked how much loading percentage over and above 2% of IBA’s offer would be acceptable to UFBU, but unfortunately nothing was clarified and it was just told that we would be demanding for above 2% loading. Due to the poor connectivity and unclear audio meeting was winded up at 12.45 AM without any conclusion.  
Next day Mr.Venkatachalam AIBEA, Mr.Sanjeev Bandlish, Convenor, and undersigned GS INBEF were present physically at the meeting venue and Mr.Premkumar Makkar GS INBOC from SBI Delhi LHO, Mr.Nagar President AIBEA, Mr.Soumya Dutta GS AIBOC, Mr.Basu GS BEFI from Kolkata LHO, Mr.Upendrakumar GS, NOBW, Mr.Sunilkumar President AIBOC from Patna LHO, AIBOC, Mr.Nagarajan GS AIBOA, Mr.Bala President NCBE from Chennai LHO and Mr.Tikekar GS NOBO from Pune LHO were present virtually in the meeting with IBA which began from 11.30 A M onwards.
Mr.Rajkiran Rai, Chairman Negotiation Committee IBA confirmed that 15% of wage bill as on 31.03.2017 is agreeable. As regards loading factor, IBA began with 2% offer. On pension up-dation IBA said it is open to discuss the same on Adhoc basis. On Family Pension revision IBA said it would recommend the same to Government and would try to resolve the same. On five days week, IBA stated that Government has already rejected the same. After threadbare discussions for more than 2 hours, IBA increased their initial offer from 2% to 2.25% and around 3.00 P M meeting was adjourned and agreed to assemble again at 3.45 P M.  
Thereafter Mr.Venkatachalam AIBEA, Mr.Sanjeev Bandlish, Convenor, and the undersigned GS INBEF went to SBI Employees federation office to discuss the issues, but you both did not raise the topic and after some time you both informed me that you will be meeting Chairman Negotiation Committee Mr.Rajkiran Rai. Meeting resumed at around 5.30 P M and IBA offered 2.40% of loading and you both offered 2.70% which IBA denied, again you came down to 2.60% but finally IBA offered 2.50% loading which you both agreed. Before agreeing to the IBA’s offer of 2.5% as per procedure you should have adjourned the meeting with a reason to discuss the matter within the constituents of UFBU. But it was not done so and entire process was carried on in an undemocratic manner without taking views of the constituents on the increased offer. Thereafter, you both started signing the memorandum in presence of Mr.Rajneesh Kumar Chairman IBA. The memorandum was then placed before me to sign and I signed unwillingly because if I would have not done so, then a scene would have been created before the IBA Chairman. The then Convenor of UFBU Mr.M V Murli and Mr.Venkatachalam were aware that during the X Bi-partite settlement eleventh hour changes were made as regards to loading and Special Pay was introduced which was protested by INBEF and accordingly letter was given to IBA.
We have seen this in the matter of introducing 7.75% of Special Allowance which is not being considered for calculation of terminal benefits. Disparity in providing One more Pension option to PF optees, both existing as well as retired one were compelled to contribute more to avail the pension option. Retirees were forced to bear 156% of their PF Balance received at the time of retirement but they were given pension from a future date i.e. 27.11.2009 irrespective of the date of their retirement. It also created a distortion in as much as that an employee retired on 30.11.2007 had contributed 2.8 times of the revised pay as on 01.11.2007 but the employee retired on 31.10.2007 was forced to refund 1.56 times of his PF accumulation. This overnight decision was a U turn because of AIBOA’s punitive stand while signing the Joint Note dated 27.04.2010 which was and is against the PF Optees’ and a wrong message was sent amongst the bank employees and officers.
This is not the first time that such type of eleventh-hour changes is made in the wage settlement drafts. Shifting of base Index from 1616 to 1684 while deciding the wages which was also challenged judicially. All the earlier three settlements were challenged. Thus, introducing last minute changes without taking constituents into confidence and not discussing with them shows the attitude of thrusting upon the decisions on minority organisations and dragging them is totally undemocratic approach being followed by majority organisations.
In fact, under the prevailing scenario of Pandemic there was a public sympathy wave for bank employees who have rendered relentless banking services and kept the wheels of the basic banking needs of common man moving, but unfortunately, we failed to capitalise the Public Sympathy in achieving better settlement. This was the right time we should have shown our unity and put pressure to bag maximum of our demands including better loading factor, 5 days week, up-dation of pension, revision of family pension (which is not included in MOU but verbally informed by IBA Chairman that it is agreed in principle to improve family pension to uniform 30% for all and without any ceiling).
All these events of 22nd July 2020 and circumstances points out clearly that being in UFBU, the voices of all constituents are not heard and not given due recognition. There is lack of transparency within UFBU functioning. Majority organisations try to enforce the pressure on minority organisations to compel and concur with their stand. Earlier when UFBU was not there at least the minority organisations had freedom to put forth their views straight before IBA separately and the same were even being discussed before arriving at consensus. The present style of functioning of UFBU is forcing us to place our displeasure on record. Before it is too late UFBU should review its style and functioning so that unitedly we can bag our justifiable demands for the benefits of bank employees and officers.
With regards,
Subhash S Sawant
General Secretary-INBEF

Cc to : General Secretaries.
1) All India Bank Employees’ Association ( AIBEA).
2) National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE).
3) Bank Employees' Federation of India (BEFI).
4) Indian National Bank Employees' Federation (INBEF).
5) National Organization of Bank Workers (NOBW).
6) All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC).
7) All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA).
8) Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC).
9) National Organization of Bank Officers (NOBO).

References:Indian National Bank Employees’ Federation's circular no. INBEF/GS/SSS/2020/​40​ dated 23rd July 2020

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