Monday, June 28, 2010

Union Leaders in Banks in India

Bank officers Association are getting monthly subscription of Rs.100 to Rs.200 from each member every month. In addition they will get levy of Rs.3000/ from each member in lieu of bipartite settlement signed on 27th April 2010. Members are happy or not, that is immaterial.

I think total accumulated fund of Officers Association in various banks will grow to hundreds of crores of rupees. This fund is not only enough to meet the usual traveling and staying expenses incurred by union leaders for various issues but also more than enough to meet even entire salaries of all union leaders.

As a matter of fact union leaders are more often than not, busy in union matters and hence they hardly do any work for the branch or office they are posted. It is pity that even officer community in general is not happy with their performance as union leaders. On the contrary their actual energy is lost in saving bad officers and seldom used for any gain for honest workers or for any relief to those honest officers who have been arbitrarily posted in critical areas or rejected in promotion processes due to ill motive of executives. They have failed in giving relief to officers who have been made scapegoat for fraud and irregular credit committed by corrupt officers.

In such position I am of the opinion that these union leaders should be removed from muster roll of the bank and bank should stop paying salary to these leaders. Instead such leaders should be professionally trained to serve the interest of officers who are associated with the union and they should be paid by their parent Union itself. In this way bank will save crores of rupees which are paid as salaries and perquisites to these non performing officers. Bank can use this saved money in creation of new jobs for hundreds and thousands of young unemployed persons. Besides, removing from bank’s duty, union leaders will have full time to think about their members. Since these leaders do only union activities, it will be right from all angle of consideration that their salary should be paid by union fund only.

In case officers do not agree to this proposal or they apprehend that their interest by outsiders will be jeopardized ,they should solemnly declare and take oath that they would not nominate any retired officer as their union leader in future and make best efforts to replace retired officers serving as union leaders with officers who are in service. Because leaders who are no more in service cannot fight seriously and devotedly for better interest of serving employees, rather they look into avenues to cheat serving employees and give maximum benefit to those who have either retired or resigned or removed from the bank. Latest settlement is the ideal example for such sorry state of affairs prevailing in Bank and pitiable position of officers compared to other employees working in Central Government offices or PSUs.

In addition to this they should be made accountable and punishable for any lapse on union activities and their performance should be judged by a group of hundred officers who are actively working in the bank. Expenses incurred by union leaders should be fully scrutinized by a team of at least ten Chartered Accountants and the certified balance sheet of union fund should be circulated among all members. Officer should also appoint some legal experts in each district or at least in state capitals to stop injustice perpetuated by bank management only because they know judicial proceedings in India is too costly and too much cumbersome and time consuming that one is constrained to bear with injustice.

Leaders will then learn a lesson, understand the importance of their role and at least not repeat the history of committing blunder of signing a agreement of wage revision which has instead of solving problems of their poorly paid members has created so many anomalies and tried its best to divide officers community by accepting various discriminatory rules like recovery from PF optees (leaving pension optees), causing loss to VRS optees, resignees, family pension takers, fitment of officers at the state of Rs23520 in scale III and that in scale IV at the same stage and so on. Not only this, many clerks will get better arrear due to this latest settlement compared to officers in junior or middle management. There is no Stagnation in any increment of Central Government employees in ay cadre as per latest Pay Commission Report, but it continues to deprive senior office of annual increment for none of their fault.

If we talk of other issues, it is worthwhile to mention here that management in collusion with violating even their transfer policies, misusing policy meant for rural posting framed by Government of India, misusing policy for posting in North East region, giving promotion to corrupt and flatter officers taking advantage of Interview marks (which an interviewer can give whimsically to make or mar the career of an officer of his choice) Union leaders is silent spectator of torturous treatment given to good officers who are real performers but who do not have time to flatter executives and provide costly gifts to their bosses.

There are thousands of officers who have been continuously working in villages, officers in Non Metros are transferred frequently form one region to other, one state to other and even one zone to other whereas officers posted in Metros are seldom transferred out of their parent state. There is a policy that upto scale III officers will not be transferred out of region but this policy is violated frequently and union leaders remain silent spectators.

There is a policy that an officer cannot work in a region for ten years continuously, management allows many to continue or adjust them back in the same place after giving a formal break of one month outside the state. Is this not enough to prove that there is reign of injustice under the umbrella of union leaders?

Banks are performing better and better despite man power constraints but the real fruits of this growth are hardly shared with junior officers who work hard day and night for the growth.

Reign of injustice prevailing in banking industry at all levels is due to the fact that union leaders are working in nexus with senior officers managing the affairs of the bank. Union leaders are more or less second side of the same coin which is known as that of management. Union leaders and higher executives in bank management are jointly looting the banking industry (there may be some exceptions)and hence they support each other's misdeeds. They jointly harass and humiliate an officer who opposes irregularities and ill works of bosses.

Munsi Prem Chand told, “Jab rakchak hi bhakchak ban jaye to nash nishchit hai” i.e. when protectors become damagers, destruction is unavoidable. And the perpetuation of reign of injustice is possible only because our legal system is not that much effective and quick as it should be. There is no fear in the mind of evil doers who are sitting at the helm of affairs. They do not fear police, they do not fear court cases because they know very well that they, by dint of money power can manage judges, and they can manage advocates and politicians. They know very well that that court will not be able to deliver justice even in two or three decades. This is why whimsical posting, transfers and promotion are taking place in banking industry without any sign of protest from so called union leaders. This is why IBA got success in committing day light robbery of bank employees Entire team of union leaders were silent spectators when Draupdi (bank employees) was facing chirharan in the hands of Kaurav team lead by Duryodhan( IBA I,e, Management)

As such, we have to first ascertain who are our well wisher and who are stabbing us in the back, who are our friends and who are black sheep. We have to distinguish between flatterer and real worker, we have to give respect to those who are working sincerely for us and we should have courage to condemn those who are beating us from the back. Who will save our life, our career, our pay scale, our status and dignity in the community of workers when our union leaders also talk of management's language, when they threaten of harsh action, when they are also trying to vacate the stay granted by Madras High court on recovery from PF optees?

Danendra Jain

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