Friday, January 6, 2017

100 % DA Neutralization to pre 2002 Retirees Judgment of the Division Bench of Hon’ble High Court of Kolkata.- Letter to IBA by CBPRO

We  reproduce below the letter written by Joint Conveners CBPRO to IBA.
Quote                                    
                                                                    Dated: 27.12.2016
The Chairman,
Indian Banks’ Association
Mumbai.
Dear Sir,
Sub: 100 % DA Neutralization to pre 2002 Retirees Judgment of the Division Bench of Hon’ble High Court of Kolkata.
 Though Bank Trade Unions were fighting for pension as a third benefit in addition to PF, they had to settle at the insistence of the Government for Pension only as a second benefit in lieu of Provident Fund as obtaining under Central Government Employees’ Pension Rules on which RBI Employees’ Pension Scheme is modeled. In fact, the DA though payable at quarterly average for Serving Employees in Banks it is payable at half yearly average to Bank Pensioners merely because it is so payable to Central Government and RBI Pensioners. It is therefore evident that RBI is following Central Government Pension and Banks are following RBI Pension scheme modeled on Central Government Pension Scheme. Banks’ 6th Bipartite Settlement dated 29th October, 1993 specifically provided for payment of DA to Pensioners as applicable to RBI Pensioners from time to time. It was so paid till and including the 8th Bipartite when RBI switched from tapering DA to 100% DA neutralization to all those who retired on or after 1/11/2002. In view of the above settlement, Banks also extended 100% DA neutralization like RBI to all those Pensioners who retired on or after 1/11/2002. However accepting this distinction of Pensioners on the basis of retirement date as unreasonable, inequitable and not in accordance with the Central Government Pension Rules, RBI extended 100% DA neutralization to all those who retired before 1/11/2002. Having thus far implemented the 6th Bipartite Settlement dated 29th October, 1993, Banks discontinued implementation of the settlement all of a sudden. The matter was agitated in various Courts by Various for a of Pensioners. United Bank of India Retirees’ Welfare Association litigated before the
 Hon’ble High Court of Kolkata where they won the writ and writ appeal. Their review petition to modify the clerical/typographical errors were also allowed and consequently United Bank of India has been directed to pay 100% DA neutralization to the Pensioners who retired before 1/11/2002 in terms of the above Bipartite Settlement. We only wish and hope the Poor Retirees in their ripe age cannot be and should not be asked to wait endlessly every time till an issue is settled by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in spite of their winning the cases at the High Court.
 As this government is known for its care for the weak and powerless, the Bank Retirees only have expectations and have been hoping for an end to endless litigations in service matters and the Government will be more inclined to be employee-friendly. Moreover the Hon’ble Prime Minister is also highly appreciative of the contributions made by the Retirees during the demonetization exercise in reducing the work pressure of the Banks’ workforce. He has also exhorted Senior Citizens should not be put to hardships by the Government and their Agencies by indulging in unnecessary litigations.
 Your good-self may appreciate that DA is only a protection against inflation and it does not give any additional real wages to the Pensioners. The delaying approach has caused many Pensioners leave this world without ever having this full protection against inflation by 100% DA neutralization. Pre Nov, 2002 Pensioners are a dwindling lot who are going to fade away completely in a few years from now. With the fast disappearance of this group, the Pension expenditure will only come down on account of these pensioners. In other words, the additional outlay on account of those who retired before November 2002will decline year after year soon reaching NIL in a few years. 
 Though the Retirees are more likely to win the litigation in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the IBA would do well to bestow the benefit of 100% DA neutralization on its own and this gesture will not go unnoticed and will not go unreciprocated by the Retirees. 
 As Joint Conveners of CBPRO, an umbrella organisation comprising almost all the organisations of retirees in the Banking industry we once again appeal to you to honour the judgment of the Division Bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Kolkata in respect of DA petition filed by United Bank of India Retirees’ Welfare Association and put an end to the sufferings of the very very aged Retirees who are virtually counting their days. Your most urgent action in this regard will be highly appreciated and justice delivered to them even at this advanced age.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
A.Ramesh Babu                K.V.Acharya
           Joint Conveners CBPRO
Unquote
Source: AIBPARC Website 



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Kolkata High Court, Division Bench Judgement on 100 Percent Dearness Allowance- Review Petition

Circular issued by AIBRF on the above subject is reproduced below
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Ref:2016/606                                            Date:12.12.2016
The Office Bearers/Central Committee Members/ State Body
Chiefs
Dear Comrades,
Re: Kolkata High Court, Division Bench Judgement on 100 Percent Dearness Allowance- Review Petition

We request you to refer our circular No. 2016/601 dated
08.12.2016 advising that our affiliate and petitioner in the case, United Bank of India Retirees’ Welfare Association had moved review petition in the division bench with the request it to make some corrections/typographical errors in the judgement delivered on 26th September, 2016 in the matter of 100 percent Dearness Allowance to pre-November,2002 retirees. As advised earlier the judgement was in favour of the retirees.
2. Now we are pleased to inform you that the corrections sought by the petitioner(us) have been accepted by the bench and passed the necessary order in this regard on 05.12.2016. With these modifications, the judgement on the subject has become free from any ambiguity and strengthen hands of the retirees in its implementation. Copy of the order passed by the court on 05.12.2016 is enclosed for your ready reference.
3. Your attention is drawn on the following modifications
(a) In Para 3 of the judgement, the word Pension Regulations has been replaced with the clause 6th of the Bipartite Settlement dated 29th October, 2016. It means that clause 6 where in it is written that DA formula for pensioners will be at par with RBI formula should be implemented and DA should be paid accordingly to those retired before November 2002 irrespective of whatever written in Pension Regulations. This is very important and welcome modification.
(b) In paragraph No18, new sentence has been added giving
specific direction to the bank to comply with Regulation No
37 and pay DA to pre-2002 retirees at par with those enjoyed by the post 2002 retirees.
4. We hope now IBA/ Bank managements will take the judgement in proper sprit and implement it without any further
delay. We are taking up the matter with IBA/ Government for

Its immediate implementation.
5. We hope Unions will also take up the issue with IBA/
Government for implementation of the judgement. We seek their support in this regard. This has been the demand of UFBU and its constituents. We hope Unions will show unity and solidarity with the retirees by writing suitable letter to IBA/ Govt. in this regard.
6. We shall also raise the issue in the forthcoming meeting with RLC.
7. We congratulate Comrade Debesh Bhattacharya, General
Secretary, United Bank of India Retirees’ Welfare Association and  his team for this successful fight.
With Warm Greetings
Yours Sincerely,
( S.C.JAIN )
GENERAL SECRETARY.

Unquote

Click here to view original judgement by Kolkata HC
Click here to view modified order by Kolkata HC

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Filing of Case with Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner(Central), Mumbai 0n 05.12.2016 as industrial dispute in 100 percent DA matter, by AIBRF

Copy of cir Ref: 2016/601 dated:08.12.2016 issued by All India Bank Retirees Federation (AIBRF) to its  Office Bearers/ Central Committee Members/ State Body Chiefs on 100% DA issue, is reproduced here under for information:
Quote
Dear Comrade,
                                                      Re: Filing of Case with Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner(Central), Mumbai 0n 05.12.2016   as industrial dispute in 100  percent DA matter                                                   We wish to advise you that as per the decision taken in Nagpur Central Committee Meeting, We have since filed the case as industrial dispute in the matter of 100 percent Dearness Allowance with the Deputy Labour Commissioner (Central) Mumbai on 05.12.2016. The notices have been served to the Indian Bank Association and unions who are parties to the settlement.

 2. As per the advice of the advocate handling the matter, broadly the following points have been raised in our petition

(a)Dearness Allowance formula was improved for employees with effect from 01.05.2005 under the wage settlement(8th settlement) signed, However, there is no specific provision in the settlement for improved DA allowance payable to pensioners. While issuing instructions to member banks, IBA took decision at the administrative level to exclude those retired prior to November 2002 from the benefit of improved formula. Whether such administrative instruction of IBA in the absence of specific provision in the settlement is legally tenable.

 (b) Depriving the pensioners who retired prior to November 2002 from the improved formula of DA that too without any specific provision in the settlement is discriminative and violative to the provisions of the constitution. We hope CLC will convene the meeting for conciliation proceedings in the matter shortly. We shall keep you informed the developments in the matter from time to time.

United Bank case In 100 percent Dearness Allowance decided by Division Bench of Kolkata High Court.
 We may also inform you that in coordination with AIBRF , United Bank of India Retired employees Welfare Association has since filed caveat in the Supreme Court with the prayer to hear retiree stand before admitting any SLP filed by the bank management. Further as per the legal advice received , the United Bank of India Retired employees; welfare association had filed review petition in the Division bench of Kolkata High Court for making some correction in the judgement which inadvertently crept in with the prayer to make the required modification to remove any ambiguity in the judgement. We understand the review petition was argued two days back and closed and the decision is expected shortly.
We are keeping close watch in the matter and shall take further appropriate action required to protect interest of the retirees in coordination with the affiliate and as per the legal advice received.
Yours Sincerely,
 ( S.C.JAIN )
GENERAL SECRETARY
Unquote
Source:AIBRF website 

 
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Friday, December 9, 2016

Long pending issues of Bank Pensioners and Retirees.

We reproduce below the full text of the letter of CBPRO dated 30.11.2016 addressed to CEO of IBA
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To
The Chief Executive Officer,
Indian Banks’ Association,
World Trade Centre 6th Floor,
Centre 1 Building,
World Trade Centre Complex,
Cuff Parade, Mumbai 400005
Respected Sir,
Sub: Long Pending Issues of Bank Pensioners and Retirees
We understand that the Managing Committee of IBA in its meeting held on 29.7.2016 to consider the issues pertaining to Retirees resolved that in the absence of specific mandate from Member Banks to IBA to discuss the issues on their behalf betreated as withdrawn. The absence of mandate from the Member Banks to discuss these issues was cited as reason for nottaking any further action on those issues.
In this connection we would like to invite your kind attention to Charter of Demands submitted to IBA by the organisations of  serving officers and employees in October 2012 contain a separate chapter on Superannuation Benefits including Pension. You will appreciate that IBA had then forwarded a copy of the said Charter of Demands to all the Member Banks and sought requisite mandate to discuss the Charter of Demands. Accordingly all the Member Banks had given mandate to IBA authorising it to discuss Charter of Demands including Superannuation Benefits. Under such circumstances the reason given by IBA for not taking any further action is unfounded and factually incorrect. We request you to examine the issue in right perspective.It is also pertinent to mention that the Pension issues of Bank Employees and Officers are governed by Bank Employees Pension Regulations 1995. A perusal of Pension Regulations would reveal that there is no provision to secure mandate from Bank Managements as a pre condition to consider any improvement. Even on this count, the ground for not taking any further action by IBA is violative of Pension Regulations.
The very fact that IBA had signed a Record Note at the time of signing Xth Bipartite/Joint Note on 25.05.2015 on all the pending issues of Retirees including improvement in Family Pension, 100% DA neutralisation to pre 2002 Retirees and updation of Pension etc stands a mute testimony to the legitimate demands of Retirees in this regard. The said record note need to be
respected by IBA by settling the issues contained therein at the earliest. 
 The very fact that IBA has collected from Member Banks the data relating to (i) 100% DA for pre 2002 Retirees (ii) Improvement in Family Pension (iii) Pension Updation and (iv) One more Pension option to leftover Retirees/Resignees vindicates the desirability of a positive consideration of our demands.
It is also reiterated that at the time of signing of Record Note IBA has given a solemn assurance about resolving the issues amicably. It is disheartening that despite such a commitment, IBA has been changing its stance to avoid a meaningful discussion to resolve the issues giving lame excuses irrelevantly. We have been repeatedly requesting you to hold negotiations with the Coordination of Bank Pensioners’ and Retirees Organisations (CBPRO) which comprehensively represent the Bank
Pensioners and Retirees. We once again request you to honour the commitment by initiating meaningful discussion for resolving the issues relating to Bank Pensioners and Retirees.
As regards the contention of IBA that Pension Scheme of Banks is a Funded Scheme and additional liability if any towards pension is to be allocated from the profits of the Banks is misleading. We wish to invite to your kind attention to Pension Regulation 5(3) which provides that the Banks shall be a contributor to the fund and shall ensure that the sufficient sums are placed in it to enable the trustees to make due payments to beneficiaries under these Regulations. Regulation 11 further provides that Bank shall cause an investigation to be made by an actuary into the financial condition of the fund every financial year on the 31st day of March and make such additional contributions to the fund as may be required to secure payment of the benefits under these Regulations. It is thus clear that the Pension Regulations do not provide for allocation ofadditional funds from the profits of the Banks. Hence inadequacy or otherwise of profit cannot be cited as a ground for declining the legitimate demands of Bank Pensioners and Retirees. Various Judicial pronouncements including by Hon’ble
Supreme Court also substantiate our contentions. It is reiterated that the Pension is considered as deferred wages and hence the Bank Pension Scheme being a DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION SCHEME cannot by any stretch of imagination be sought to be distorted by the Managing Committee of IBA.
It is also clarified that the contributions to the Pension Funds are covered under Pension Regulations which are subordinate legislations and hence it is mandatory on the part of Banks to adequately provide for Pension Fund. It is a paradox that the Regulatory Provisions dictated by RBI for Non Performing Assets (NPA) are made by the Banks without any application of mind irrespective of profitability of the Banks. It is submitted that Regulatory Provisions of RBI cannot be treated superior to Legislative Provisions. You are therefore requested to consider the issues relating to Bank Pensioners and Retirees holistically in this perspective.
We once again reiterated that the Pension Regulation 35(1) provides that Basic Pension and additional Pension, wherever  applicable shall be updated. You will appreciate that this provision providing for Pension updation was implemented in true spirit at the time of introduction of Pension Scheme in the Banks by effecting updation in respect of those employees who superannuated between 1.1.1986 and 31.10.1987. The present demand is relating to updation of Basic Pension and hence is to restore the practice of updation.
In view of the foregoing facts we request you to hold talks with us on all the pending issues concerning the Bank Pensioners and Retirees and resolve the same immediately.
Thanking you,
A.Ramesh Babu       K.V.Acharya
            Joint Conveners
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Extension for joining - IBA mediclaim scheme for the retirees for the year 2016-17


One more opportunity is being offered to the following categories of the retirees to join the IBA Mediclaim Retirees scheme.
1. Bank employees who have retired in 2015-16. (Between 1st Oct 2015-30th Sep 2016) and were covered under expiring employee's policy.
2. Retiree's who were covered under expiring retirees policy, but could not renew by remitting the premium in time.

The insurance premium and period will be with the following modalities as below:
1. Retirees would be covered from 16th Dec 2016 to 31st Oct 2017. Retiree has to pay the FULL premium as mentioned below

Premium for joining the scheme is as under
Option I: Normal Renewal on As Is Basis (Without Domiciliary cover)
For Retired Officers (Sum Insured of Rs. 4,00,000)       : Rs. 13,935 Plus Service Tax @15% = Rs. 16,025/-
For Retired Award Staff (Sum Insured of Rs. 3,00,000) :  Rs. 10,452 Plus Service Tax @15% = Rs. 12,020/-
Option II: With Domiciliary Expenses Benefits Option ( 59 diseases as per Employees Policy).
For Retired Officers - Domiciliary Cover of Rs. 40,000 with overall Sum Insured of Rs. 4,00,000.
For Retired Award staff - Domiciliary Cover of Rs. 30,000 with overall Sum Insured of Rs. 3,00,000.
For Retired Officers         : Rs. 17,400 Plus Service Tax @15% = Rs. 20,010/-
For Retired Award Staff   :  Rs. 13,000 Plus Service Tax @15% = Rs. 14,950/-

Dena Bank and Bank of India has already issued circular in this regard.