Following a pact between public sector bank (PSB) employees and officers with the management, all branches in the country will remained closed on all second and fourth Saturdays from July.
T M Bhasin, chairman of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), said the Reserve Bank of India had approved the proposal and a notification would be issued on the change, under the Negotiable Instruments Act.
It will take three to four weeks for the process to get complete. PSB branches will work fulltime on the first and third Saturday of each month, said Bhasin, also chairman and managing director of Indian Bank.
Bankers said with a robust system of alternate banking channels like ATMs, points of sale and internet banking, customer services would not suffer.
IBA has also signed a wage settlement pact with the United Forum of Bank Unions and a few others, for a 15 per cent increase in salary and allowances to about a million employees. The wage revision is with effect from November 1, 2012, and is valid for five years. PSBs are expected to begin to pay the arrears from this month, Bhasin said.
The banks and their employee and officer unions had signed a framework agreement on February 23 for a 15 per cent wage rise, with an understanding to finalise the details in 90 days. The scale pay of officers has been revised from Rs 14,500–52,000 to Rs 23,700–85,000. Officers will get a special allowance ranging from 7.75-11 per cent of basic pay, along with applicable dearness allowance.
The scale pay of workmen (non-subordinate) has been revised from Rs 7,200–19,300 to Rs 11,765–31,540. That of subordinate staff has been revised from Rs 5,850–11,350 to Rs 9,560–18,545. The special allowance for workmen will be 7.75 per cent of basic pay, plus dearness allowance.
An important feature of the settlement is a medical insurance scheme being introduced for families of employees.
The 15 per cent wage revision would cost PSBs Rs 4,725 crore as incremental salary and allowances in a year. Banks have been making provision for the wage revision from November 2012. When expenses for the superannuation benefits like pension are combined, total extra expenditure will be Rs 8,300 crore a year, estimates IBA.