Monday, November 30, 2009

Bank wage arrears to be paid by Feb. 2010

The bank employees and officers will get a bonanza from the wage settlement arrived at on Friday between the bank unions and Indian Banks' Association (IBA). The Income Tax Department will also collect some amount as tax deducted at source (TDS) from the near Rs. 10,000 crore of wage arrears that are likely to be distributed in cash sometime in February next year, sources said.


"It will take three months for us to finalize the settlement and implement it. The arrears for two years and three months (since November 2007) are likely to be disbursed in cash at one go," C.H.Venkatachalam, Convenor, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), told. He also said that the annual average per capita increase for public sector bank officers would be Rs. 91,800 and in the case of workmen employees it would be Rs. 56,200.

Just as the Sixth Pay Commission award for government employees had a positive impact on the economy and increased demand, the payment of arrears in cash to bank employees is also likely to give a boost to the growth impulses. This is even as the quantum of arrear payout under the ninth bipartite settlement being substantially lower than the arrear payment under the Sixth Pay Commission award.

Under the settlement, public sector banks have agreed to an aggregate annual wage increase of Rs. 4,816 crore (17.5 percent increase over wage bill of Rs. 27,520 crore as on end-March 2007). This amount of Rs. 4,816 crore pertains to only public sector banks and there will be a similar 17.5 percent wage hike for employees and officers in old generation private banks and a few foreign banks, Venkatachalam said.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

No raise in retirement age of Central govt employees: Cabinet Secretary.

Putting an end to speculation that the retirement age of Central government employees will be raised, the Centre has made it clear that it has no plans to raise the age for superannuation.

"No, there is no such plan. There is no thinking at all. The status quo will continue," Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar said when asked whether there is any move in this regard.

Currently, the retirement age of Central government employees is 60 years.

Chandrasekhar said there have been rumours that it would be raised but it was nothing but a "wishful thinking".
"I tried to find out. But there is no file in (Department of) Expenditure, no file in DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training). There is nothing. It is more of a wishful thinking," he said in an interview.

The Cabinet Secretary also said the government has no plans to bring an uniformity in the retirement age among the state government employees.

"The states will decide their own retirement age," he said.

All states have their own retirement age -- starting from 55 years (Kerala) to 60 years (Uttar Pradesh, Assam etc). The Madhya Pradesh government teachers retire at the age of 62 years.

Source : Zee News.

SBI officers threaten to go on strike

Officers of the country's largest lender, the State Bank of India, Friday threatened to go on strike if the government failed to raise their pension by 10 percent as was done for other banks."We have got a wage hike of 17.5 percent like all other banks (public and old generation private banks), but we haven't got any hike in pension," said S.K. Haldar, general secretary of SBI Officers' Association (Bengal circle).
The Indian Banks' Association -- an association of 118 banks -- and the United Forum of Bank Unions Friday signed a pact on wage hike and pension in Mumbai.The wage hike will come into effect retrospectively from Nov 1, 2007.Haldar said SBI Officers' Association was not a part of the pact."If the government does not hike our pension also, we will go on an indefinite strike," he told.
The association office-bearers will meet in New Delhi Dec 1 to firm up future plans."Initially, we may strike for one-two days, and if nothing happens, go on indefinite strike. This will hit customers but the government is forcing us to take the extreme step," he said.

Source : Expressbuzz.

Read the full story of Bank Wage Negotiation.


Friday, November 27, 2009

UFBU SIGNS MINUTES WITH IBA : Pension Option with 17.5% hike. SBI Leaders walk out.

As predicted in this blog earlier, the bankers are going to get 17.5% wage hike and one more option to join the pension scheme. The minutes of the meeting with these broad understanding has been signed today. The details will be chalked out within 90 days.

AIBEA Version :

"ANNUAL WAGE INCREASE OF RS. 4816 CRORES FROM

1-11-2007


ONE MORE OPTION FOR PENSION ACHIEVED

WE DEDICATE THIS ACHIEVEMENT TO THE MEMORY OF
COM. PRABHAT KAR ON HIS 25TH DEATH ANNIVERSARY DAY

Yes, today, 27-11-2009, is the 25th death anniversary of our great leader and doyen of bank employees trade union movement, Com. Prabhat Kar. On this solemn day and during the centenary year of this father of our movement, we deem it a befitting commemoration and tribute to his life-long pioneering role in shaping up the service conditions of bank employees that the Minutes have been signed with the IBA on our wage revision demand and more importantly, securing another option for more than 3 lacs of employees/officers/retirees to get the benefit of our unique pension scheme.

Salient features:

a) Annual wage increase of Rs. 4816 ( Rs. 2239 crores for officers and Rs. 2576 crores for workmen employees ) w.e.f. 1-11-2007.

b) All the existing employees who are now in PF scheme will be given an option to join the existing pension scheme.

c) All those who have retired after the date of Pension Regulations till date will also be given an option to join the pension scheme.

d) Full settlement on the above to be finalized within 90 days.

Wage revision – what we have achieved:


7th BPS

8th BPS

NOW

Additional annual wage load

12.25 %

13.30 %

17.50 %

Total quantum of annual wage increase (Officers & Workmen)

1497 crores

2200 crores

4816 crores

Annual Average Per Capita Increase

Ø For Workmen employees

Ø For Officers

12,550

24,025

23,300

43,600

56,200

91,800


ONE MORE OPTION TO JOIN PENSION SCHEME

– A UNIQUE ACHIEVEMENT:

In 1993, after bitter struggles and against all odds, AIBEA and AIBOA achieved pension scheme for bank employees. Today, once again, with the leading role of AIBEA and AIBOA, another milestone has been anchored. More than 3 lacs bank employees, officers and retirees will now get another option to join the pension scheme to insulate themselves with this unique social security benefit. It is a very commendable achievement indeed.

Dear comrades, with the signing of this Minutes, the main understandings have been reached. Now the UFBU will be taking steps to expedite the final settlement with revised pay scales, allowances and other improvements and thereafter for implementation of the same and payment of arrears to the employees.

Dear comrades, on this happy occasion, it is necessary to remind ourselves that these achievements were preceded by persistent efforts and protracted negotiations by the leadership of UFBU and backed up by the exemplary unity of the bank employees and officers and their successful participation in the strike actions. It is the result of our unity, militancy and perseverance."


Source : AIBEA (The text is as available with AIBEA website)


SBI Association walked out of the meeting, NPS for new entrants w.e.f 01.04.10.


Representatives of SBI employees unions walked out of the deal saying their interests were not protected. But with the United Federation of Banking Unions, the body that represented nine employees associations, signing the minutes of the meeting, the deal is said to have been clinched. Now SBI employees would have to negotiate with the management to ensure that their interests are protected.


SBI Officers may go in strike.


Wage Increases and Pension Option


Wage increase

Banks (all public sector banks, some old generation private sector banks and a few foreign banks) have agreed to an aggregate annual wage increase of Rs 4,816 crore (or 17.5 per cent increase over the collective establishment cost of Rs 27,520 crore as on March-end 2007 on account of employees), said Mr K. Unnikrishnan, Deputy Chief Executive, IBA.

About seven lakh bank employees, including officers, clerical and award staff, will stand to gain due to the wage revision, said Mr Vishwas Utagi, General Secretary, All Bank of Maharashtra Employees Association.

Further, 2.72 lakh existing employees and 35,000 retired employees will benefit as another option for pension is being extended to non-pension optees.

The total liability on account of existing employees exercising the pension option is Rs 6,000 crore and that due to retired employees is Rs 3,116 crore. The gap in the pension liability will be shared between banks (70 per cent) and employees (30 per cent).

Retired employees

Retired employees (non-pension optees), who were in the service of the bank as on September 29, 1995 and March 26, 1996 and retired thereafter, choosing the pension option will be required to return the bank's contribution to the provident fund with interest thereof received by them at the time of retirement.

Further, they have to contribute to the pension fund their share of 30 per cent of the gap in pension fund.

Existing employees (non-pension optees) can exercise the pension option by contributing to the pension fund their share of 30 per cent of the gap in pension fund.

This contribution will be recovered from the arrears payable on wage revision.

According to the agreement, a defined contributory retirement benefit scheme will be introduced for workmen/ officers joining the services of banks on or after April 1, 2010.

Though SBI employee representatives too were part of the negotiations, they were unhappy with the pension agreement as the pension scheme of other public sector banks is better, said Mr Utagi.

The IBA and the unions will finalise the joint note within three months.

(With inputs from Business Standard and Hindu Business Line.)



Assam assures revised UGC scale, Madhya Pradesh demands Rs 484 cr from UGC

Assam :
Following the assurance of the Assam College Teachers’ Association (ACTA) to suspend its agitation, the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi today told a delegation of the Association that the teachers and employees of the provincialized colleges would get the revised UGC pay scales during the current financial year. Official sources said here that the Chief Minister assured the ACTA delegation that the Government decision on the issue would come into effect from the very date of implementation of the revised pay scales of the state employees.

He also told the delegation that the provincialization rules would be introduced in the 189 provincialized colleges at the earliest. The process for which is now on, he said.

To clear the arrear against the dearness allowances for the two financial years between 1999 and 2001, he said that steps would be taken according to rules. The Chief Minister further told thedelegation that new posts would be created for Commerce and Science streams of the colleges according to the UGC norms.

Later, talking to a delegation of the Assam College Principals’ Council (ACPC) , Gogoi said that the process to constitute the State Knowledge Commission has already started and in the next phase,the Government would go for setting up such commissions for the elementary and secondary levels.

Gogoi urged the authorities of the colleges to take steps on their own to introduce new courses, even if such steps required taking loans from banks. He also assured necessary Government support in this regard.

The existing vacancies in the colleges will be filled up and the services of teachers will also be regularized as per the UGC norms. However,the Government will conduct an academic audit in all these colleges to assess the level of adherence to the UGC rules in running them.

The Chief Minister also assured the ACTA delegation steps to introduce separate pay scales for college principals besides, steps to regularize the non-sanctioned college teachers’ posts, against which, many teachers are rendering their services for a long period.
Source : The Assam Tribune.

Madhya Pradesh :
The state government has demanded Rs 484 crore from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to give UGC pay scale to government college teachers and university teachers of the state. The state government has already issued orders for payment of UGC scale to government college teachers. Orders to this effect for university teachers are yet to be issued.
Higher Education Department of the State Government has sent a demand letter to the UGC. The letter said the state government required Rs 406 crore for giving UGC pay scale to government college teachers and Rs 78 crore for university teachers.
The UGC provides 80 per cent of the expenses for five years for giving UGC pay scale to government college teachers and university teachers. The remaining 20 per cent has to be borne by the state government.
On Wednesday the state government in its reply to the court has expressed its intention to give UGC pay scale to the teachers. After the matter reached the High Court the state government is taking interest on the issue. During the agitation of the teachers Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was told that Rs 1700 crore would be needed for giving UGC pay scale to the teachers. In the demand letter sent to UGC, only Rs 484 crore was demanded.

Source : Central Cronicle.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

IBA, bank union to meet over wage revision on 27th Nov

Update : It is learnt that an MOU is likely to be signed / finalized today on the broad understanding reached so far i.e. 17.5% wage increase, second option for pension, sharing of cost of pension etc.

IBA has confirmed that next round of Wage Revision meeting will be held on 27/11/2009 morning. Prior to meeting with IBA, UFBU will meet on 26/11/2009 evening.


The Indian Banks'
Association (IBA) and United Forum of Bank Unions have agreed to meet on Nov 27 to take the wage bipartite talks forward.
Over 7 lakh public sector bank employees will keenly wait for the outcome of the meeting. Wage revision for them is due from November 2007.

Incidentally, both negotiating parties have agreed on a 17.5% wage hike. They have also in principle agreed to offer monthly pension to 2.66 bank employees, who did not opt for it in 1993. But their last meeting in the final week of September remained inconclusive as they could not arrive at the accounting methodology of pension.

"Issues like accounting for the cost of pension and the cost sharing arrangement between bank management and employees, the proposed introduction of New Pension Scheme (NPS) and variable pay are some issues that need to be resolved," said All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) president Rajen Nagar.

UFBU -- the umbrella organisation for nine leading bank unions -- is not also comfortable with IBA’s proposal to introduce NPS for bankers joining after April 2010.

IBA and UFBU jointly finalise the pay hike plans for public sector bank employees. Talks on the eighth bipartite meeting has been on for quite sometime now. Public sector banks including State Bank of India have 2.44 lakh officers and 4.68 lakh workmen employees who are awaiting a wage revision now.

Source : Economic Times.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Central Excise, Customs official protest in Delhi for better pay

Senior officials of the Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax Department (Delhi unit) staged a mass protest at the Jantar-Mantar here on Sunday, demanding better pay scale and improved working conditions.

The officials also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, on the occasion.

Ravi Malik, General Secretary, All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers (Delhi unit) complained that officers were being paid much below their counterparts in other departments.

Malik criticised the Central Pay Commission for neglecting the department.

” Gross injustice has been done to us by the Pay Commission as higher scales have been granted to other equivalent cadres ignoring us,” he said.

Malik pointed out that superintendents are forced to work without sufficient staff and proper working conditions.

“The equivalent officers belonging to the agencies like the CBI, IB and the Police Department are given higher scales, extra one month salary and special pay alongwith other facilities by the government, while we are being totally ignored despite the fact we perform more hazardous and arduous duties,” he added.

The charter of demands submitted by the officials included promotion of the Superintendents of Central Excise to a post carrying a grade pay of 6600 rupees per month and better working conditions.

It also included demands for making the process of transfer/posting transparent, besides other necessary changes.


Source: ANI

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bipartite Meeting between UFBU and IBA probably on 26th November,

IBA has been informing UFBU that they are working out the revised cost of pension on account of the proposed wage revision so that the sharing of such a cost can be finalised and IBA proposed the sharing on 50:50 basis over and above the 10% of cost of pension.

It will be recalled that in the 7th Bipartite Settlement, the pension cost of 26.5% was shared at 10% + 8.25% from out of wage revision and balance 8. 25% additionally by banks. In 8th Bipartite Settlement, the pension cost of 30.5% was shared at 10% + 9.25% from out of wage revision and balance 11.25% by banks.

IBA has been asked to expedite the working of the estimated cost of pension consequent to wage revision so that the issue can be sorted out between IBA and UFBU. They have assured to expedite the same. Once this exercise is completed, the decks will be cleared for reaching an understanding.

In the meantime, the IBA is proposing to hold the next round of Bipartite Meeting on 26th November, 2009. IBA is also proposing an MOU on the understandings. IBA has informed that they will further confirm the date.

Source : AIBEA

Assam University Teachers demand pay hike, launched agitation.

Teachers at Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University traded class notes for placards and launched an agitation today against non-implementation of the revised pay package recommended by the University Grants Commission.

Hundreds of faculty members of both the universities vented their anger against the alleged reluctance of the Tarun Gogoi government to implement the 6th Revised New Payscale which was approved by the UGC last year for teachers in central and state universities.

The human resource development ministry, while approving the new payscale, had asked the state governments to implement it.

More than 200 teachers of Gauhati University assembled in front of the vice-chancellor’s office at noon today and staged a demonstration.

The teachers, under the banner of Gauhati University Teachers’ Association, demanded that vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi come out from his official chamber and intervene.

Medhi emerged from his office and assured the teachers of his support.

He said implementation of the new payscale would be possible once the state government approved it.

The existing basic pay for a lecturer of the university is Rs 8,000. It is Rs 12,000 for a reader and Rs 16,000 for a professor.

According to the revised payscale, the basic salary is expected at Rs 16,000 for a lecturer, Rs 37,000 for a reader and Rs 39,000 for a professor.

Jogen Chandra Kalita, the general secretary of GUTA, said it was high time teachers got a pay package on a par with central universities.

“The academic qualifications of our teachers are the same as those working in central universities. We are doing the same amount of hard work as our counterparts in the central universities. It is unfortunate that while most of the states, including Bihar, have implemented the new payscale, Assam is still lagging behind. Teachers have also demanded enhancement of the retirement age from 60 to 65 years,” Kalita said.

Teachers of Dibrugarh University also began their strike at noon, displaying placards and banners in front of Jyoti Batchora, the main entrance of the university.

“We have been facing discrimination by the state government when it comes to pay hike. Many of our teachers have now shifted to central universities for better pay packages — this has created a void in the state-run universities,” Jyoti Prasad Saikia, the general secretary of Dibrugarh University Teachers Association, said.

The strike at the two universities comes a day after the Assam College Teachers Association decided to defer their protest programme after the chief minister invited its representatives for talks on November 26.

The association was to begin indefinite class boycott in 189 provincialised colleges across the state.

Their demands included immediate implementation of the revised UGC payscale, release of arrears, implementation of provincialised rules, resolution of problems relating to NET/SLET, creation of new posts and abolition of contractual pay for qualified teachers.

Source : The Telegraph.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

AICTE Pay revison for Polytechnic Teachers : Committee to submit report to rectify anomalies.

On the representation of AIFPTO to rectify the possible anomalies in the Prof. Goverdhan Mehta Committee Report for Polytechnic teachers, including the possible denial of the crucial PB 4, the MHRD has assigned the task to the Committee constituted for the implementation of MHRD recommendations for Engg. College teachers.

The Committee is headed by Dr. Vijay Khole, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai. The other members of the Committee included Dr. D.N. Reddy, Vice Chancellor, JNTU, Hyderabad, Dr. M.N. Bandyopadhyay, Director, NIT, Kurukshetra, Dr. S.K. Mahajan, DTE, Maharashtra, Dr. K.P. Isaac, DTE, Kerala, Prof. B.B. Ahuja, Principal, Govt. Engineering College, Pune & the Vice Chancellor, Jadhavpur University. Dr. A.K. Paliwal, Member Secretary is the Convenor.

The First & Second meetings of the Committee are scheduled for 16th & 23rd November 2009 at Mumbai. The Third meeting would be held before 6th December 2009 at New Delhi by which time the Committee is expected to submit its report.

....Our own source.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gujarat University teachers ask state government to decide pay scale issue in two days


The Gujarat State Federation of University and College Teachers Association that is agitating for over a month over the issue of their pay scales has decided to give an extension of two days to the government to meet their demands.
The association, unhappy with the revised general resolution (GR) of the state government about their pay scale, is protesting against the government failure to decide their pay structure as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.
The teaching community reacted strongly when a GR passed by the state education department on October 6 specified the pay structure of the university and college teachers as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. The teachers’ federation started state-wide protest agitation and organised programmes like presenting ‘blood-sprinkled’ bouquets to officials and sending protest letters signed in blood to the Education Department


The federation postponed their protests before the state education department released the revised GR on November 11. However, later, the federation described the revised GR a ‘deception’ in the name of UGC provisions.
Prof K S Shastri, the president of the federation, said, “The new GR is a deception as it is a copy of the old GR. Almost 80 per cent of the UGC provisions have been ignored in it. Moreover, there is no change in the provision of application of service rules of the state government.”
Following the new GR, the federation had decided to continue with the agitation programmes and gave a final deadline to the Education Department to make the necessary changes.

Source : Indian Express.

Govt order enhanced GP of Rs.4600 to Assistants in CSS and others

In line with the enhanced grade pay of Rs.4600/- granted to certain cadres such as income tax, customs and central excise Inspectors who were drawing pay in the pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10500, Assistants and PA of CSS, Armed Forces Headquarter service, Indian Foreign Service “B” and Railway Secretariat Service and counter part stenographer Services have also now been granted the grade pay of Rs.4600/-

Download page 1 of the order.

Download page 2 of the order.

Friday, November 13, 2009

6500-10500 pre revised scale has been granted 4600 Grade Pay.*** Update on AICTE Pay.

Good news at last. The Ministry of Expenditure has sanctioned Rs 4600 Grade pay to the scales which were 6500-10500. This order is effected with 01.01.2006 and all arrears are to be recalculated and paid immediately. This was long outstanding issue and several departments in the revenue have called strike against it.

View the Notification

"In case of all such Government servants in the pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10500 who were earlier granted grade pay of Rs.4200 and who had opted to have their pay fixed under CCS(RP) Rules, 2008, action as prescribed in this Department’s O.M. of even number dated 30th August, 2008 will be taken. In case a Government servant desires to revise his earlier option for coming over to the revised pay structure, he may be permitted to do so without any reference to this Department.

6. On account of pay fixation in the revised pay structure of grade pay of Rs.4600 in the pay band PB-2, arrears of pay will be recalculated and difference of arrears in respect of the entire amount will be paid immediately. The manner of drawal of arrears ahs already been indicated in this Departments/s O.M. of even number dated 30.8.2008."..........selected part from the Order issued on 13.11.2009

Good News On AICTE Pay for Polytechnic faculty.

On the request of AIFPTO, Honble HRD Minister Sri.Kapil Sibal sent a note to AICTE to consider the demands of AIFPTO for inclusion of PB-4 and re submit the proposal to MHRD.

It can be safely assumed that
polytechnic faculty will get PB-IV at par with their engineering college counterparts.

.....Our own source.

Vidyalaya Vikas Nidhi charged by Kendriya Vidyalayas can be reimbursed.

Govt issued fresh clarification that Vidyalaya Vikas Nidhi charged by
Kendriya Vidyalayas will also form part of para l(e) of the DOP&T OM
No.120111312008-Estt. (Allowance) dated 2" September, 2008 and
can be claimed for reimbursement under the scheme of Children
Education Allowance subject to the annual ceiling of Rs. 12000 per child.
Where Vidyala Vikas Nidhi has not been admitted for reimbursement in
past cases, the same may now be considered for reimbursement, subject to
the other conditions.
This Department has also been receiving references seeking clarification
whether Children Education Allowance can be claimed in respect of any
two children by Government Servants who have more than two children.
It is clarified that Children Education Allowance is admissible for the two
eldest surviving children only, except when the number of children
exceeds two due to second child birth resulting in multiple births.

View the clarification.

All India Bank Strike on 16-12-09. Not for wage revision but against merger of Associated Bank with SBI.

All India Bank Employees` Association (AIBEA) and All India Bank Officers` Association (AIBOA) have served a notice of strike informing that their members propose to go on strike on Dec. 16, 2009 with the following demands.

- Stop proposals of consolidation in public sector banks.
- Do not close down State Bank of Indore and other associate banks.
- Do not allow SBI acquire / merge any associate bank.
- Do not infringe collective bargaining and trade union rights.
- Do not violate I.D.Act and advice by Dy. C.L.C., Ministry of Labour.

In the event of the proposed strike materializing on December 16, 2009, normal services rendered to the customers may have to be curtailed.


"All our units and members are aware that secretly and surreptitiously the managements of SBI and State Bank of Indore got a resolution adopted in the Board meeting on 19.6.2009 for closure of State Bank of Indore & merging it with SBI. This provocative move was answered by an All India Strike on 22.6.2009 by our units in State Bank of Indore.

Further, a joint call for All India Strike on 6.7.2009 was given by AIBEA � AIBOA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF & INBOC to protest against the unwarranted proposal.

Consequently, a conciliation meeting was held by the Dy. Chief Labour Commissioner, Ministry of Labour, Government of India, at Delhi on 3.7.2009. The management of SBI & State Bank of Indore participated in the meeting.

The strike was deferred by the unions on the basis of the advice given by the Dy. CLC, the commitment by the management and the minutes signed by the parties as under :

Excerpts of Minutes dt. 3.7.2009 before Dy. Chief Labour Commissioner

1. The management was further advised not to pursue RBI and Government on the issue of merger in the meantime.

2. Management is also advised not to take any action that may vitiate the cordial relations.

3. Representatives of SBI and State Bank of Indore agreed to invite the Union/Association for discussion on the issue of merger to find an acceptable solution.

4. Unions/Associations have agreed to defer the strike of 6th July.

But recently on 31.10.2009, the management of State Bank of Indore, over looking the minutes signed before the Dy. CLC and their commitment given during the conciliation meeting has approved a scheme for Acquisition of the Bank by SBI. In the proposed scheme, all anti-employee/union provisions have been incorporated which will leave the service conditions of the employees at the mercy of the SBI management.

Further, it is observed that the government and SBI management are attempting to utilize Section 35 of the SBI Act to acquire any public sector bank in their agenda of consolidation. RBI, on the other hand, is proposing to get banking sector exempted from the provisions of Competition Act, 2002 to facilitate amalgamation of banks.

Comrades, a serious situation is developing before us. The SBI management does not care for legal provisions and their own commitment before the Labour Ministry officials. They do not care for the advice of the Labour Ministry. The Government is also trying to bless these moves as it is their own agenda too.

Hence, it is necessary for us to raise a movement against these attempts. It is necessary that we protest and fight. Hence, AIBEA and AIBOA have decided to undertake the following agitational programmes :

23.11.2009 : Demonstrations before Branches of Associate Banks by all bank employees.

25.11.2009 : a) Joint Dharna before Head Offices of all Associate Banks i.e. in Indore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Patiala, Jaipur & Thiruvananthapuram.

b) Dharna in State Capitals in other States.

3.12.2009 : Morcha to Parliament.

10.12.2009 : Badge Wearing

16.12.2009 : ALL INDIA STRIKE BY AIBEA & AIBOA IN ALL BANKS.

Note : Co-operatives & RRBs are exempted from this strike.

DEMANDS

Do not violate advice of Labour Ministry
Do not go back on commitments before Dy. CLC.
DO NOT CLOSE DOWN STATE BANK OF INDORE
DO NOT CLOSE DOWN ANY ASSOCIATE BANK
Stop proposals of consolidation of Public Sector Banks.

Comrades, we call upon all our units and members to appreciate the gravity of the situation and respond effectively and make the agitational programme and strike action a total success."

(Quoted text is as per the appeal of AIBEA)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gujarat Teachers' salaries according to UGC scales now

Following protests by college teachers, the state government on Wednesday finally announced the revised Sixth Pay Commission pay scales for 15,000 teachers, but have not gone the whole hog in implementing it in letter and spirit as per the UGC recommendations.

This has left a bitter taste among college teachers who have threatened to launch an agitation till all the UGC recommendations are met. They are convening a meeting today to chalk out their future course of action.

The new GR was released by state Education Minister Ramanlal Vora in Gandhinagar on Wednesday. The teachers were initially happy on receiving the news that the government had implemented the new scales as per the UGC recommendations. However, on receiving the GR, they were stupefied to find that the government had conveniently ignored many key recommendations.

Earlier, the Gujarat government had decided to apply the Sixth Pay Commission scales, meant for government officials, to college and university teachers. But as this would not have made much difference in their pay scales, the teachers began agitating saying most states had already implemented UGC scales, and there was no reason why Gujarat government, whose financial condition is better, could not do it.

A senior state official said, "Nearly 10,000 teachers, mainly lecturers, will benefit from the new UGC scales. It will mean a rise of between Rs 5,000 and 7,000 for an entry-level lecturer. It means approximately 20 per cent increase in lecturers' salaries compared to what they were to get on the basis of 6th Pay Commission recommendations." However assistant professors and professors will not gain much.

"The new scales will mean an additional annual burden of Rs 436.42 crore, 80 per cent of which will be funded by the UGC, and 20 per cent by the state government," said Vora, adding, "State government money with retrospective effect, from January 1, 2006, will be deposited in the general provident fund. They will get the UGC amount in cash as and when it is disbursed." While implementing UGC scales, the government decided not to be guided by UGC for emoluments.

The agitating teachers have however called the decision of the state Cabinet a fraud, as it does away with 80 percent of the UGC's recommendations, claimed K S Shastri, president of Gujarat Teachers' Association.

Saurabh Choksi, President of Gujarat University College Principals' Association: "This GR will bridge the salary gap between junior and senior principals. The government has done a great job by taking us into confidence while preparing the GR."

Harshad Patel of University Education Forum: "As the government has accepted the UGC's recommendations, there is no reason for us to continue with the agitation. The teaching staff will benefit from the GR which has implemented Scale to Scale' salary structure."

Gujarat University Officers' Association: "The government while accepting UGC's recommendation for teachers' pay scale has ignored the officers including registrar, examination controller and other senior staff. As we are less in number, we can't launch agitation in a major way like teachers."

(Inputs from Times of India)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New PSU bank staff to get NPS (New Pension Scheme)

All persons who join public sector banks on or after April 1, 2010 would come under the government’s new pension system (NPS).

Public sector banks are set to hire 30,000-40,000 employees in the next two years, with about 35 per cent of the total staff set to retire by 2011.

“All new recruits would come under the NPS, the move would also give a push to the new system,” a senior finance ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.

Despite several incentives that were announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Union Budget, there have been few takers for the NPS.

Trade unions have opposed the move to bring new employees under the NPS. “We are trying to find a solution,” CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association, told Hindustan Times. “We are holding talks with the government and the bank managements… to ensure that their rights are fully protected.”

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill needs to be reintroduced in Parliament, as it had lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha before the general elections.

The government had made it mandatory for all central government employees who joined on or after January 1, 2004 to be brought under the NPS. Several public sector undertakings have also switched to the NPS for their employees.

Government officials say the bill is likely to be taken up in the forthcoming Parliament session, and that even though financial sector reforms are critical,the government would go ahead with them only when there is consensus among all coalition partners.

Source:Hindustan Times

Tamil nadu extends Pay Commission benefit to TNEB staff end engineers, hefty pay hike for them.

The Government on Monday announced revision in pay and allowances ranging from Rs 1400 to Rs 19510 per month across various cadres in TNEB from Mazdoors to chief engineers. The revision will take effect from December 1, 2007 ( it is due from December 1, 2006) and a formal wage accord for four years will be signed with the unions soon.

The State Minister for Electricity board, Arcot N Veerasamy said the revision will benefit about 76,000 employees and officers, 84,000 pensioners and 10,000 contract workers. While the board will have to shell out Rs 1200 crore towards arrears payment, the revision will entail an annual additional expenditure of Rs 625 crore.

A revised work norm will also be implemented along with the revision in wages and allowances, the Minister said.
Despite the EB suffering a loss of Rs 7000 crore and struggling to cope with the power shortage, it has been forced to go in for a wage revision. It is expected to be bailed out by the State Government by stepping up the subsidy or providing other financial accommodation.

While there are 18 trade unions in TNEB, a majority of the workmen are represented by the unions affiliated to LPF, the DMK’s TU wing, CITU, AITUC and an independent federation.

Though the two left parties ( CPI and CPM) are in the opposition camp and fought the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with AIADMK, even the leftist unions are pleasantly surprised by the liberal wage revision in TNEB. More surprising is the good deal given to pensioners.

Sources in CITU said while the contract workers were expecting their daily wage to be fixed at Rs 250, it has been raised by Rs 50 to Rs 120 per day. The sources also wanted the Government to give a fair deal to about 3500 part time staff by extending them the salary being paid to noon meal staff. The EB had issued an order to this effect in 1997 but not implemented so far.

Political circles viewed the wage revision in TNEB in the context of the ruling DMK’s game plan to retain the vote bank of Government employees and the working class at the time of assembly election due in May 2011.

Source : Hindustan Times.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bank Wage Revision : Are the Unions leaders in backfoot ?

Still there is no news about the next date of talks with IBA as it appears IBA wants to wear out these retired union leaders who are not in touch with the mood of the general employees and officers. IBA is trying that by delaying the next around of talks to the maximum extent possible they will frustrate these leaders who will be forced to sign on dotted lines. Union leaders are not at a bargaining advantage at this stage, as they have failed to get an honourable settlement at appropriate time due to their own politics.
The best time to get a reasonable settlement was around November 2007, when the new settlement had become due. At that time communists shared power with the government (most of bank unions are affiliated with communist parties) and elections were around the corner. Central Government employees were able to extract the maximum by hitting at the right time.
It is surprising that Bankers are frequently asked by Communists to go on strike on issues which are their personal agendas and not wage settlement or improvement in working conditions of the employees. They ask Bank union leaders to go on strike on petty issues which are related purely to their politics. However, we have never heard any communist leader either on TV or newspaper, wherein they come openly to support an honourable settlement for bank employees or ask for All India strike in favour of bank employees.
Do you remember when did the last time any communist leader (like Somnath Chatterjee, Karat Parkash , SitaRam Yechury) has given any statement in favour of bank employees or taken up this cause with Finance Minister or Prime Minister or spoken about the same in Parliament? Do you remember any contribution of communist leaders for better pay for bank employees when they shared power for over four years with Congress Government? Did they ever made any strong (we are not even aware of weak) speech in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha in favour of pay parity of bank employees with Central Government employees? Answer to all these are in negative. However, all these MPs ensued that their salaries and perks are increased manifold.
However, sensing the mood of the bankers, unions are now desperately trying to face save themselves and issue statements as if negotiations are going on with IBA. Therefore, they meet among themselves issue statements giving impressions to gullible bankers as if matters are under strong discussions with IBA. It is heard that a meeting of the UFBU was held on 4/11/2009, at Chennai. Com P S Pillai (President, BEFI) presided over the meeting. The following decisions were taken by UFBU:The meeting took note of the negative approach of the Government in relation to the revised scheme of compassionate ground appointment / financial compensation to the family of the employees dying in harness and felt that the scheme as discussed and finalized between UFBU and IBA should be got expedited.In respect of condition of the IBA that the entire cost of pension arising out of the wage revision to be adjusted from the proposed wage revision and that in the next settlement again another actuarial valuation should be carried out and the gap should be funded by employees sharing the same, after detailed discussions, the UFBU while rejecting the above conditions, expressed its view that the additional pension cost can be adjusted by sharing a portion of the same as was done in the 7th and 8th bipartite wage revision.In respect of IBA’s condition that a new contributory pension scheme should be accepted by the unions from 1-4-2010 as a pre-condition for extending one more option for pension scheme, the UFBU felt that a mutually acceptable solution should be worked out to resolve the same as unilateral imposition of such conditions are not acceptable.In respect of IBA’s suggestion for introduction of the concept of fixed pay and variable pay for bank employees / officers, UFBU decided not to accept the proposal.Based on the above, the meeting decided to pursue the issues with the IBA during the next round of talks to be held shortly and to expedite the conclusions as early as possible.
No union leader has the courage to respond to the numerous queries of the bankers who are anxiously waiting for honourable settlement.

(These analysis is made by a bank employee, debates are welcome in this issue. Publisher of this blog is neither in favour nor against of the opinion)

Jammu and Kashmir Govt promises pay release to SRTC but no hike unless it becomes profit making.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said he was ready to release the pending salaries of SRTC employees but the Sixth Pay Commission benefits would accrue to them only if the Corporation is made a profit-earning one.
“I am ready to release the pending salaries of employees of SRTC. As for the Sixth Pay Commission, they (employees) can only get benefits if the Corporation is made profit earning. How can we give them the Sixth Pay Commission benefits, when Corporation is a loss-registering one,” Omar said, while replying to a query during a press conference in Jammu.

Reacting to the Chief Minister’s statement, SRTC employees said if government was managing the “huge loss-registering Power Development Corporation, why cant it manage SRTC”. Talking to Rising Kashmir, chairman SRTC Workers' Association, Shakeel Ahmad Kuchay said they welcome CM's statement but why does the government forget that they run dozens of loss-registering PSUs.
“We are not a lone corporation running on loss. I also want to make it clear that we are not a PSU. We come under the Central Act 1950. The PSUs are governed by the Industries Act and we don’t fall in that category,” Kuchay said. “Why does the government forget that it was managing the salaries of scores of PDC employees. The PDC manages mere Rs 600 crore revenue a year, against its total requirement of Rs 2100 crore.”
Kuchay said the government should make it clear whether it considers SRTC a PSU or anything else. “Government should bring an ordinance in the assembly to amend that we don’t come under the Central RTC Act 1950. Why is government mum on this important point,” he asked.
The chairman of SRTC Workers' Union said if India was managing RTCs in its 26 States, why such disparity with SRTC. “Delhi Transport Corporation was provided financial support of Rs 1224 crore and Himachal Transport Corporation Rs 160 crore. We were provided just Rs 13 crore, of which Rs 5.5 crore were taken back on the pretext of Motor Vehicle Tax,” Kuchay said.
On whether they were ready for the golden handshake as offered by the government, Kuchay said they would accept the offer only if it is given on the pattern of the employees of All India Transport Federation.
Kuchay said all SRTC employees, who are presently camping near Jammu railway station, will go for the Secretariat gherao on Thursday. “We came to Jammu by foot. We won’t go back unless the issue is resolved. We played all cards to build pressure on the government and even burnt the books of our children, but the government acted as mute spectator,” he said. “We have put our everything on stake and can’t go back to Srinagar empty hands.”

Source : Rising Kashmir

Friday, November 6, 2009

PSEB employees hold protest against anomalies in wage panel report

PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC), Punjab, and Technical Service Union (TSU) staged a protest against the “anomalies” in the report submitted by wage formulation committee of the electricity board.

The board employees raised slogans against the PSEB on Thursday, criticising the higher officials for having curtailed all financial benefits of lower-rank staff.

Federation spokesperson Roshan Lal said the matter had already been taken up at zonal conventions across the state and now the unions would stage statewide protests against the board’s policies.

The federation and union leaders condemned the attitude of the officials in the wage formulation committee of the PSEB adding that the rate of increment had gone down with people on the higher ranks, especially bureaucrats, benefiting the most from the presentation made in the report.

The employees who were earlier getting two increments on time-bound promotion scale in nine years would now get only one increment, which was unjust, said the leaders.

They also said under the five bands, in which the PSEB employees had been divided, top rank officials benefitted the most with employees falling in the lowest band being altogether ignored in terms of financial gains.


Source : Punjabnewsline.

Bank Wage Hike : Details of UFBU meeting in Chennai on 04.11.2009.

A meeting of the UFBU was held today (04-11-09) in Chennai. Com P S Pillai (President, BEFI) presided over the meeting.

1. The meeting took note of the negative approach of the Government in relation to the revised scheme of compassionate ground appointment/financial compensation to the family of the employees dying in harness and felt that the scheme as discussed and finalized between UFBU and IBA should be got expedited.

2. As regards the condition of the IBA that the entire cost of pension arising out of the wage revision to be adjusted from the proposed wage revision and that in the next settlement again another actuarial valuation should be carried out and the gap should be funded by employees sharing the same, after detailed discussions, the UFBU while rejecting the above conditions, expressed its view that the additional pension cost can be adjusted by sharing a portion of the same as was done in the 7th and 8th bipartite wage revision.

3. Regarding IBA’s condition that a new contributory pension scheme should be accepted by the unions from 1-4-2010 as a pre-condition for extending one more option for pension scheme, the UFBU felt that a mutually acceptable solution should be worked out to resolve the same as unilateral imposition of such conditions are not acceptable.

4. Regarding IBA’s suggestion for introduction of the concept of fixed pay and variable pay for bank employees/officers, UFBU decided not to accept the proposal.

Based on the above, the meeting decided to pursue the issues with the IBA during the next round of talks to be held shortly and to expedite the conclusions as early as possible.

Comrades, we are aware that speculations and rumours are being circulated here and there which are only adding to the anxieties of the membership. Hence UFBU appeals to all units and members not to fall a prey for such propaganda and close up the ranks at this crucial juncture when all attempts are being made by the UFBU to expedite the settlement.

(Published exactly as per AIBEA version)

Source : AIBEA

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