It is now almost two weeks since the scheduled meeting between IBA and UFBU to discuss 10th BPS issues, was postponed. It seems none of the parties are keen to fix even the next date for discussions. I am sure young bankers must be feeling restless as for largeof them it may be first experience for BPS. At the time of their joining, they must have come to know that next settlement is due from November, 2012 and since then must be dreaming for new from New Year of 2013 itself. Reality in PS Banks is far from dreams. It is now more than 4 months since the next Settlement has become due, but even one serious meeting on negotiations appears to be a distant dream.
Undoubtedly, UFBU leaders will try to put the blame on IBA for this delay. I too will agree to some extent that IBA should be more responsible for holding and concluding the negotiations in a time bound manner. However, if UFBU leaders do not complete theirbefore reaching the meeting, they will have to squarely share the blame for the delay. Therefore, UFBU must make use of this time gap and prepare all the ground level details to confront IBA in the first meeting itself.
There will be number of stumbling blocks in the negotiation process. One major problem, which is likely to be a stumbling block is the mistrust between junior employees and senior / retired bankers as I have seen in feedback column on an earlier article. Undoubtedly it is a delicate matter and needs to be handled properly so that both the blocks do not feel that their interest is being jeopardized by other block. I give below some suggestions on which UFBU leaders can work.
(a) UFBU leaders, who are mostly senior bankers, must appreciate the aspirations of young bankers who have long innings to play in their respective banks. UFBU leaders may be left with small periods, but they must watch the interests of those who are future of the banks. Thus, the top priority should be given to the interests of young bankers so that attrition rate is reduced and the next generation bankers have smooth innings inindustry.
(b) Retired bankers needs to realise that their major demand for 2nd option for Pension option has been resolved during last BPS itself. Now only a small section of resignees etc needs to be included. Another major demand of retired bankers which is still pending is 100% neutralization of DA for pre 01/11/2002 retired bankers. For both these issues, we have number of Court decisions favouring retired bankers (We have been uploading such Court decisions at this). Thus, young bankers needs to realise and be sensitized that both of these demands of retired bankers are genuine and have to be met by IBA sooner or later, and thus they need not cribb on these as retired bankers are on sound legal ground. UFBU should confront IBA with legal decisions rather than begging on these issues. If IBA is adamant, UFBU should tell IBA that they are joining hands with affected retired bankers for a legal to these issues. Agreeing / Disagreeing on these demands should not affect the negotiations for wage revision for serving employees at all. IBA needs to be impressed upon that these issues are not under negotiation but legally binding. UFBU should refuse to sign on any document wherein they are debarred to go to Court on behalf of retired bankers who are denied 2nd Pension option / 100% DA neutralisation / updation of pension. Moreover, retired bankers too have to realise and sensitized that BPS is mainly meant to settle wage revision of the serving bankers and issues relating to retired bankers will always remain on list of discussions. If IBA agrees, there can be side by side discussions by a separate Committee on issues relating to retired bankers. Keeping in view the past experience and IBA's attitude towards senior citizens, the retired bankers needs to be united (UFBU must join hands with retired bankers in Courts for settlement of these issues) and fight these issues legally - including updation of pension.
I am sure many on both sides may not agree with my above views, but there is certainly need for building a trust between both the blocks. Readers can write their views in the feedback columns below, but I would request all our readers not to indulge in mudslinging as it does not serve any purpose. Concrete suggestions can only remove mistrust and resolution of the clash of interest. I hope UFBU will realise the need for tackling these issues and soon start negotiations on a strong and sound footing.