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Bank employees’ unions call for restoration of old pension scheme

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Bank employees’ unions have called for the restoration of the old for employees who joined after 2007 as part of their charter of demands for the 12th bipartite settlement for revision of wages and service conditions that will be in effect for five years from November 1.

The move comes after some of the non-Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states decided to restore the old pension scheme, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab the latest one to approve the restoration of the scheme for state government employees.

In the charter submitted to the Indian Banks’ Association – the industry body for commercial in the country – the unions said the 11th bipartite settlement ends on October 31, and hence there was a need to revise wages and other service conditions with a fresh settlement.

The unions said high inflation was eroding the real wages for employees.

“…while there is a scheme for compensation against periodical price rise through payment of DA (dearness allowance), the unprecedented price spiral in recent years in light of the uncontrollable inflation is seriously eroding the real wage and wages are far lagging behind the actual price rise,” the note said, adding that compensation has to match up to this rise, which is the reason the unions have asked for an increase in wages and improvement in the DA formula.

The unions said the total business of rose from Rs 1.36 trillion as on March 31, 2017, to Rs 1.78 trillion as of March 31, 2022, though the number of workmen fell during that period from 469,997 in 2017 to 391,612 in 2022.

“…the total business volume of public sector has gone up by 30 per cent, there is a reduction of 20 per cent in the workmen staff in the banks,” the note said, while adding that there was an increase of 20 per cent in the business per employee in the last five years.

The unions have also reiterated their demand for five working days per week.

Among other demands, the unions have asked that the wage revision be applicable for CSB Bank and DBS India, which had merged with the old generation private sector bank Lakshmi Vilas Bank in 2020.

Employees’ demands

  • Immediate introduction of 5-day work week

  • Improvement in pension for all existing pensioners

  • Merger of special allowance with basic pay

  • Provision for housing accommodation/improvement in HRA

  • Introduction of leave bank system

  • Improvements in medical insurance scheme for employees/retirees

  • Outsourced employees/contract labour to be regularised as permanent employees of the bank

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