Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wage talks: ‘Conditional mandate’ to IBA irks State Bank officers’ Federation

Wage talks: ‘Conditional mandate’ to IBA irks State Bank officers’ Federation Goes against the spirit of bilateralism followed thus far, says officers’ body

Thiruvananthapuram, May 8:  A ‘conditional mandate’ given to Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for the ongoing 11th bipartite negotiations has irked the All India State Bank Officers’ Federation (AISBOF).

“We are given to understand that the bank has given a conditional mandate authorising the IBA to negotiate in respect of officers in Scale I to III only,” Y Sudarshan, General-Secretary of the federation wrote to the Chairman of State Bank of India.

Revised mandate

“We request you to kindly send a revised mandate authorising IBA to negotiate with us on behalf of all scales, which has been the practice hitherto, based on Pillai Committee recommendations,” Sudarshan said.

The bipartite negotiations began on May 2. The conditional mandate, he said, goes against the spirit of bilateralism that has been followed thus far at the industry level.

It would hurt the sentiments not only at the bank level but also at the industry level since the AISBOF has often set the agenda for the peers. It claims to represent the interests of nearly a lakh officers.

Sudarshan recalled that the federation has been pursuing issues related to officers of all scales. It has supported all progressive initiatives of the bank, right from computerisation and business process re-engineering to merger of associate banks.

He hoped that the conditional mandate would not be stretched to the levels of hurting the sentiments of all concerned, leading to potential industrial-relations issues.

Better deal sought

Such a decision does not augur well for strengthening officers’ confidence in the bank and earning their trust. Dividing them on the basis of ‘scales’ tantamounts to ‘divide and rule’ policy that is not in the interest of either party.

Sudarshan also flagged pending issues on which the management has failed to respond despite many reminders. This included a plea for a better deal for officers of associate banks that merged into SBI as also of existing officers of SBI.

The officers have helped with the successful implementation of demonetisation but till today they have not been compensated for late-sitting or for working on holidays.

Staff strength is steadily going down increasing the work pressure, which has disturbed the work-life balance. Many of the entitlements and perks revised once in three years have not been enhanced even after four/five years, he said.

The AISBOF leader said that members would be forced to go on an agitation if these issues are not sorted out soon.

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