The nearly two-year-old stand-off between bank managements and bank employee unions over revision of wage agreement will, if all goes well, come to an end in a fortnight, sources indicate.
The deferment of the continuous four-day national strike, scheduled to begin on January 21, is considered a positive indication that the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) are heading for an agreement, sources say.Informal assurance
The strike, which would have resulted in an effective shutdown of the banking industry for a week, was put on hold on an informal assurance from the IBA that it would marginally improve its last offer of 12.5 per cent increase in bank employees’ salaries.
Both sides have made compromises on many of the other demands, such as medical benefits. The wage increase rate is the only stumbling block before an agreement now.
Rajiv Rishi, Chairman of the IBA negotiating team, who is also the CMD of Central Bank of India, had told the UFBU that the next round of negotiations would be held in the first week of February. A union official told that they expected the talks to be held mostly on February 3.IBA meeting
The IBA has called a meeting of its managing committee for January 31. The meeting, which will be attended by the CMDs of most banks, is expected to give the IBA the go-ahead for improving the offer of wage rise from the latest offer of 12.5 per cent.
However, the unions are not expecting a big jump in the offer.
The IBA, the bank managements, the Centre and bank employee unions are all not for continuing the wage negotiations that have been going on for more than a year and ahalf.
The unions, which met on Monday evening, however, decided that if the negotiations did not reach their logical end in the first week of February, they would go in for a long continuous national strike.