Government Reply on Bank Strike called for two days on the 30th and 31st of January, 2023
In response to a query asked in the Parliament on 13th February 2023, the Minister of State for Finance Dr. Bhagwat Karad revealed that the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had declared a two-day strike to take place on 30th and 31st January of the same year. The demands of the bank employees included the implementation of a five-day working week, updating the pension of former retirees, resolving the remaining issues, providing sufficient recruitment in all cadres to offer excellent customer service, abolishing the New Pension Scheme and reinstating the Old Pension Scheme, and initiating negotiations concerning the wage Charter of Demands. The Indian Bank Association (IBA) has stated that after a conciliation meeting with UFBU at the office of the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) in Mumbai, the strike has been postponed.
The full text of the reply is given below for your ready reference
United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had called for two days strike on 30th and 31st of January, 2023. The demands of bank employees were:
(i) Introduction of 5 banking days a week.
(ii) Updation of Pension for past retirees.
(iii) Resolution of residual issues.
(iv) Adequate recruitment in all cadres to ensure better customer service.
(v) Scrap New Pension Scheme and restore Old Pension Scheme.
(vi) Immediate commencement of negotiations on Charter of Demands for wage.
IBA has informed that on receipt of the strike notice, a conciliation meeting of UFBU with IBA was held at the office of Dy. Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC), Mumbai and after detailed deliberations, the strike was deferred.
Based on the consensus arrived at between the IBA representing management of the banks and unions/associations representing bank employees, demands of bank unions which have been met by the Government since 2014 till now include inter-alia:
(i) Improvement in family pension to 30% without any cap.
(ii) Declaring the second and fourth Saturdays of every month as public holiday.
(iii) Enhancement of rate of employers’ contribution under the National Pension System from 10% of pay plus dearness allowance to 14% thereof.
(iv) Introduction of Performance linked Incentive, Paternity Leave, Location Allowance
(for non CCA center’s) and annual encashment of Privilege Leave.
(v) Introduction of medical health insurance scheme in place of existing hospitalization scheme.
(vi) Revision in definition of dependent’s family members.
(vii) No objection of Government to various Bipartite Settlements & Joint Notes, which include inter-alia, payment of arrears, revised salary, allowances to serving officers and revised pension and arrears to existing pension optees who have retired during the relevant Bi-partite periods.
As regards bank unions demand for immediate commencement of wage negotiations on Charter of Demands, Government has advised all Public Sector Banks (PSBs) vide letter dated 20.1.2023, that they may initiate the negotiation process for next wage revision.
PSBs have informed that the loss on account of bank strikes is not quantifiable. However, Government advises banks to take appropriate steps to maintain banking operations during the strike and avoid inconvenience to the general public, including adequate loading of cash in ATMs, ensuring operation of clearing houses, internet banking and core banking solution, etc.
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