Public sector bank employees will get a 15% wage hike and two additional holidays a month as part of an industry-wide wage settlement. This is part of the deal by the employe unions and bank managements, under the the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). Following the agreement, the unions have called off the four-day strike, supposed to start on February 25.
The proposed hike will result in a collective outgo of Rs. 4,725 crore per year for the 45 banks which are part of the bipartite exercise. Almost 8.50 lakh bank employees – all public sector banks, some old generation private sector banks and a few foreign banks – are expected to benefit from it. The revised salary will be implemented retrospectively from November 1, 2012. Under the deal, the banks will remain closed on the second and fourth Saturdays. Other Saturdays will be full working days. Even the private banks may follow suit.
The 15 per cent hike, which excludes superannuation benefits, hospitalisation expenses, leave travel concession, is on the payslip component. In the previous wage settlement, an average wage hike of 17.5 % was given.
The growth of ATMs, internet banking and mobile banking has convinced the bank managements that giving second and fourth Saturdays off every month is feasible. Given the technology at play in banking, two Saturdays off in a month is unlikely to cause inconvenience to bank customers.