Bank unions defer strike on Wednesday as IBA raises offer by 1.5% | Business Standard News

Bank unions defer strike on Wednesday as IBA raises offer by 1.5% | Business Standard News


The wage negotiation in
banking industry follows a traditional ‘snake and ladder’ pattern. The unions
submit a charter of demands incorporating skye-high demands. IBA comes out with
an offer practically offering zero-rise in take home salaries. Then both sides
continue ‘negotiations’ for a sufficiently long period to ensure substantial
payment of arrears (beneficial for union leadership in terms of ‘levy’
chargeable) and skipping two or three accounting years (beneficial for banks,
as during this period they can make ‘provisions’ and use interest-free funds in
their business in some form). At some politically convenient point of time, a
settlement’ gets announced.

It is high time, wage
revision across industries and sectors(public and private) is accepted as a
part of Human Resource Management of individual organisations and done in a
scientific and pragmatic way factoring in:

Market- related minimum wages depending on
skill requirement.

The present day need to include incentive
and disincentive in remuneration package and ‘adjusting’ these at much shorter
periodicity than 5 years.

Implementing wage revision as soon as
possible after the expiry of each wage settlement.

Freedom to individual banks to pay more to
attract talent for specialised jobs.

Some relationship between the minimum and
maximum remuneration in the  same
organisation. To start with CEO and a couple of top level employees may be kept
in an ‘exempted’ category.

The fear of impact of a strike on economy
should not be allowed to be used as a weapon by unions. Similarly, employer
should not use public indictment of withholding of work, when they face
practical problems when employees strike work as a cover for denying what is
genuinely due to the staff.

This being the first wage revision after
discontinuing defined benefit pension schemes, the load for providing for
retired life should be factored in, in the wage structure.

G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram


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