10th BP SETTLEMENT SIGNED – ONE MORE MILESTONE CROSSED
CIRCULAR NO. 27/104/2015/15
27TH May, 2015
To ALL UNITS AND MEMBERS :
• 10th BP SETTLEMENT SIGNED – ONE MORE MILESTONE CROSSED
Wage Revision – basic task of AIBEA: Ever since AIBEA was born in 1946, in the long 70 years of journey of AIBEA, improving the economic conditions of the bank employees has been a major task. Those were the days when bank employees were treated like virtual slaves with hardly any mentionable service conditions and not to talk of job security, dignity of job, etc. The wages of bank employees were pitiably low and paltry. Hence fighting for better wages was a constant task. Particularly, in those days, managements were not willing to talk to the unions or negotiate our demands.
Ordeals before Tribunals: Hence, for two decades, AIBEA was fighting before the various Tribunals – Sen Tribunal (1949), Divatia Tribunal (1951), Sastry Tribunal (1952), Labour Appellate Tribunal (1954) and Desai Tribunal (1960). Though these Tribunal’s awards codified the wages and service conditions of bank employees, these Awards did not satisfy the aspirations of the bank employees and the demands of AIBEA. Dissatisfaction of bank employees continued and discontentment was widespread.
Bipartism ushered in : Then came the era of bilateralism and bipartite settlements – thanks to the vision of Com. Prabhat Kar and Com Parvana that we should directly talk to the management and settle our demands. When they raised this demand of industry-wise bipartite settlement, eye-brows were raised as to how is it possible in the banking industry, where different banks have different profitability and different paying capacity. But, as a hallmark achievement, AIBEA secured the 1st Bipartite Settlement in 1966, the first-ever to be achieved by any trade union in any sector in our country.
Collective bargaining, the apple of our eye: Besides fighting and improving the wages and service conditions, AIBEA has been fighting against all attempts to bypass this system of collective bargaining and bilateralism. For the last five decades we have preserved this right of collective bargaining and bipartite system of negotiations and not allowed our issues to be decided unilaterally by the managements or being referred to a third party intervener. Inch by inch we have also improved the conditions of the bank employees through direct bilateral negotiations with the bank managements.
10th Bipartite Settlement – yet another answer : Every Bipartite Settlement has got us little more wages but more than that every settlement was an answer to the never-ending attacks on our right to collective bargaining. Hence every Bipartite Settlement was a unique achievement. Every Bipartite Settlement was a different experience. But the attempts to dilute bilateralism was the same. That is why every bipartite settlement is a milestone in our onward march. The 10th Bipartite Settlement was no different. This time also, the Government wanted to foist Khandelwal Committee recommendations to dismantle industry-level bipartite agreement and wanted to introduce bankwise wage revision. They wanted to introduce fixed pay and variable pay system. All these attempts have been foiled and yet again we have succeeded to preserve and continue industry-level collectively bargained bipartite settlement.
One more milestone covered : Wage Revision Settlement is not just a simple mechanism to get some extra increase in wages. It is an important part of our class-oriented struggle to improve the economic condition of the employees against exploitation by the employers and the Government. It is part of the ever-continuing tug of war. That is why this Settlement is an important victory. It has many unique features and achievements and is one of the best Settlements achieved by us so far. With the signing of the 10th Bipartite Settlement, we have crossed one more milestone in our onward march to protect and promote the interests of bank employees under the inspiring banner of AIBEA.
Congratulations to all our units and members on this happy occasion.
Let us dedicate this achievement to the great pioneering leaders from whom we have bequeathed this bipartite system of wage revision.