UFBU pact with IBA – impact on Pension Updation for RBI retirees.

27 May

After the signing of 10th bipartite settlement, a bipartite record note about the issues of the retirees in banks has surfaced. Important points made by IBA in the Note and our comments in the matter are:

IBA OUR COMMENTS
1. Demand of retirees can be examined only as a welfare measure, as contractual relationship does not exist between banks and retirees; Pension scheme in the banks was introduced after discussion with the serving employees’ associations only. The relationship between retirees and the banks has been accepted and recognized by IBA when it agreed to negotiate with the Unions about introduction of Pension as a service condition and term of employment of existing employees by creating new contractual obligations of parties in terms of bipartite settlements under the provision of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Any contractual obligation and terms of contract cannot be disowned on the pretext of renaming the service condition as welfare measure. Legally for the payment of pension the relationship between employers and retirees is legal and juristic and so open for discussion for improvements etc. Moreover the provisions of settlements under ID Act have been further solemnized by legislative process of Pension Regulations framed with the prior approval of Union Government and thus brought under the purview of the Parliament of the Country.
2.      The periodic wage revision is meant only for wages and service conditions of serving employees; Periodic wage revisions takes care of service conditions of employees but are not limited to the wages and service conditions of existing employees alone. The settlements involve all items including superannuation benefits viz., Gratuity, Provident Fund, Leave encashment and Pension that all are concerned only for retired employees.The excuse is therefore neither legal and nor justified. This is unethical to shed the already accepted and settled terms solemnly accepted and agreed by the parties to the contract and binding in terms of Contract Act.   Rather the excuse taken comes within the mischief of provision of Section 27 of Contract Act.
3.      Retirement benefits are based on service conditions prevailing at the time of retirement of an employee and these do not change with subsequent settlements; The contention is neither tenable nor justified and is not in harmony with the construction of provision bringing in pension wherein the change in future is provided for by payment of Dearness Relief on Pension which is related to the figures of CPI indeed compiled after the date of settlement. Moreover perhaps in their anxiety to deny the rightful demand of employees IBA has forgotten that the updating pension means merger of DR in basic pension and residual DR to be paid on the current figures. Technically, therefore updation is not a revision but only rationalization and making the pension realistic by merger of DA earlier drawn in Basic Pension.           .
4.      Government pays pension out of budgetary allocation, bank pension is a funded scheme and the bank is expected to ensure that adequate funding is made for payment of pension/family pension with provision for periodic updation of dearness relief payable; This contention is self contradictory and rather fortifies the demand of employees as more justified and logical. The fact that when Pension is paid to Govt. Employees through money owned by Public is updated and entire nation is made to pay the pension of such employees; Bank employees are getting the same only through the funds contributed by them only and is not a burden on public exchequer.   Since the bank employees have their own fund for payment of pension IBA cannot say that it is a burden on public if the pension is updated.
5. There is no provision for updation of pension in banks It is not a fact. Since the Pension Regulations pertaining to Banks are stated to have been based on the Reserve Bank of India Pension Regulations 1990, wherein Regulation 5 provides for payment of Pension as per Regulations and where there no Provision or Regulation exists, recourse is to be taken in terms of Government Pension provisions including liberalized pension/ Family pension scheme followed for government employees. This Regulation 5 therefore binds the bankers to update pension as is done in case of Government employees.

 

Further, the same contractual relationship existed between retirees and banks when in the 9th BPS, 2nd pension option was given to retirees and prior to that when pension option was extended to even 1986 retirees.

These assertions by IBA are not new and expose IBAs  disliking for bank employees. IBA here is not behaving like an Association wedded to ethical functioning of the banks. What if this attitude tomorrow is extended to the customers also; there would remain no relationship between bankers and customers, because all the employees are customers of banks also having all sorts of their accounts opened with them. Denying the terms of employment would be denying the relationship between existing employees also.

The fact remains that an earlier RBI Governor who is reputed for his understanding of all complex issues of banking and economy had updated pension of pre-1997 RBI pensioners. However, the MOF subsequently tried to annul the entire process. Only the intervention of the Courts has restrained RBI/Government. As a result pre-1997 retirees in RBI are drawing pension updated till then. It is also a fact that in RBI Family Pension has been enhanced for the spouses of retired employees by changing the terms as laid down in Regulations by gazette notifications . The provision of family pension accepted by IBA itself recognises the relationship between retirees and the Bankers.

Impact on RBI :

For the time being, in RBI we need not reflect whether regulation 5 of RBI Pension Regulations 1990 gives ample powers to RBI to grant pension updation with every wage revision; because nobody in RBI seems to be inclined to fight it legally. Perhaps, legal advice is no substitute for the required judgment.

For judgement, you need to approach courts with a strong will to fight. The existing Unions in RBI lack sufficient strength to struggle. Their approach is limited to pleadings with the Central Board. Political will to put pressure on the RBI & Government is also unplanned. On 22nd March 2015, the present Governor addressing the group of silent protestors said: ” I wish the same pressure is put on Ministry officials.”

The 10th bipartite settlement concluded on 25th may 2015 has at least removed one roadblock. This settlement has paved the way for the negotiations on the formation of new pay scales in RBI effective 1-11-2012, which have been made a requirement for updating pension and opening of fresh option. To continue pressure on Bank and Government the following points merit  consideration.

  1. Ministry has already granted in-principle approval through the package deal on certain terms and conditions as reported by UFRBOE.
  2. The case is under correspondence/ being negotiated at the highest level. Bank has replied to all the queries raised by the Ministry. Further clarifications have also been provided.
  3. Budgetary provisions already exist.
  4. Funding of updating Pension is no problem as RBI pension fund is self-sustaining; the interest earned therefrom is enough to take care of the Pension payments.
  5. On 18-4-15 UFRBOE has requested governor to grant an audience in respect of pension matters. Now this requires to be followed up vigorously.

We strongly believe we have a just case.  But, if the ministry still chooses to further defer the matter that has already been pending for over more than a decade, silent protests within the boundaries of RBI will become meaningless. Need to extol virtues of governors and management will automatically lapse as  it is self limiting. Media shy approach will have to be shed.  We should be prepared to come out in the streets in the cities. Or, the recourse to legal remedy will be the only alternative left in the event of Ministry’s reluctance to grant updation!

Need of the hour is to intensify campaign in all the forms.

 

 

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8 Responses to “UFBU pact with IBA – impact on Pension Updation for RBI retirees.”

  1. Mundanthottil Janardanan 01/06/2015 at 4:40 am #

    Thank you very much for the detailed message…

    Janardanan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. premsunderdas 01/06/2015 at 8:11 am #

    when central govt. employees can get pension updation, why not bank employees

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ajinder Singh 01/06/2015 at 11:39 am #

    serious efforts are being made by sh. wadawan

    Like

  4. rajkumarnegi 01/06/2015 at 7:14 pm #

    I.B.A is a team of jockers, have no respect for the bank retirees. the day is not for away when due to I.B.A the banks will start losses and also will loose the reputation among the public. the respect of the retirees will be effected.
    Rajkumarnegi

    Like

  5. Mukund P Ganatra 09/06/2015 at 6:13 pm #

    Is there any chance for legal action? Because too much time is wasted .An also our hope on Modi’s Government failed .Modi’s government employee enjoining pension updation facilities why for us denied ?

    Like

  6. kkrishnareddy 30/06/2015 at 9:05 pm #

    IBA and UFBU collectlvely think that they have successfully buried bank retirees rightful and cherished demands by using the weapon of RECORD NOTE in 10th BPS.But they have forgotten the fact that the same weapon may one day drag them to their own ditch.

    Like

    • PBS 06/07/2015 at 6:39 pm #

      The Judgement of Supreme Court is law of the land.But record note contradicts Supreme Court Judgements.So aContempt petition may be filed against Parties to the Record Note for violation of Supreme Court judgements.How two parties can enter into an agreement to deny the rights of a Third party.

      Like

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