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Bank unions have not scaled down demands drastically
Wednesday January 7, 2015 9:34 PM, IANS

The unions in the banking sector have not actually scaled down their initial demands drastically though it may seem so in the light of a 1.5 percent increase in the offer by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), a union leader said Wednesday.

He said the unions and the IBA Wednesday decided to set up small committees to look into the formers' demands like five-day banking, bettering pension benefits and others, he added.

On Jan 6, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) decided to defer their Jan 7 all-India strike after IBA upped its hike offer by 1.5 percent to 12.5 percent.

IBA's earlier offer was 11 percent.

The UFBU had scaled down its wage hike demand to 19.5 percent from 23 percent.

"On the face of it, it may seem that we have scaled down our demand 3.5 percent while IBA increased its offer only by 1.5 percent.

"What is not known is that the negotiating pattern has changed now as compared to last wage revision," C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) told IANS Wednesday.

According to him, talks during last wage revision were based on the total cost to the bank and the overall hike was 17.5 percent.

"Now the talks are based on various wage components in the pay slip. Once the agreement is signed employees would certain see a major difference," he said.

Speaking about Wednesday's talks with IBA, he said the latter had agreed to come up with better offer and also asked the unions to further scale down their demands.

While there may not be further bargaining on that front, the unions and IBA decided on setting up committees to study other demands like five day banking, better pension benefits and others.

According to Venkatachalam, talks will continue in much less tense situation.

The UFBU includes AIBEA, National Confederation of Bank Employees, Bank Employees Federation of India, Indian National Bank Employees Federation, Indian National Bank Officers Congress, National Organisation of Bank Workers, All India Bank Officers Association and National Organisation of Bank Officers.



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