Report Of the General Secretary
REPORT OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY PLACED BEFORE THE XVII GENERAL BODY MEETING HELD AT BANGALORE ON 31ST MAY 2015
On behalf of the Office Bearers and Central Committee members of the Association, I have great pleasure in welcoming all of you to this XVII General Body Meeting of our beloved Organisation. On this occasion, I am presenting the report on the events and activities of the Association for the period from October 2013 i.e., after the XVI Conference, held in Bangalore, till this day.
During the period under review many a number of eminent personalities of the Nation as well as from around the world have left this world for heavenly abode. Among such people, the world has lost scientists, artists, statesmen, jawans, BSF men. Besides there are victims of natural calamity, terror attacks, many cases of nirbhayas and a considerable number of our own colleagues, who could not see their dreams fulfilled in regard to updation of pension, DA neutralisation, improvement in family pension, uniform hospitalisation scheme and such other deserving and due benefits. The recent devastating earth quake occurred in Khatmandu has destroyed not only the lives & property but has also destroyed the entire nation taking the death toll beyond 10,000. The survived have become homeless, while losing their kith & kin, in majority of the cases. This earth quake did not even spare the north eastern part of our country, especially Bihar, Odisha, UP and other surrounding areas, causing loss of life and property and the people are still undergoing aftermath sufferings. India had promptly deployed its armed force and Air force for the rescue of the suffering people there, besides assisting by all other means of necessity. As a mark of respect and in their memory we dip our banner and salute them. I call upon all delegates/participants to observe two minutes silence to pay homage.
AFFILIATION TO ALL INDIA APEX BODY.
As per the mandate given by the XVI General Body, our Association stands affiliated to All India Bank Retirees’ Federation, which is the largest all India body of retirees in the country, consisting of about 45 organisations under its umbrella with 1.45 lakh membership. Certain important documents attached to this report bear a testimony to its (AIBRF) concern for the Bank retirees/pensioners.
We are also pleased to inform this august assembly, that three major units of retirees’ associations from Kerala, Kolkata and Pune are affiliated to our Association. This has enabled our organisation to spread its wings further to grow stronger and vibrant.
FORMATION OF STATE COMMITTEES.
The first ever State committee was formed by Andhra Pradesh (the then undivided state) on 22nd December 2013 and its State office is operating from Hyderabad. S.B.E.U. A.P. state Committee has been kind enough to accommodate our A.P. State Committee, in their premises itself. We thank SBEU and the State Secretary, A.P. State Committee for all the support and assistance extended to us in the entire country in general and AP state, in particular. We look forward to similar support from other State committees of SBEU also.
Next, it was the turn of Tamil Nadu where another State committee of the Association was constituted. The foundation conference of the Tamil Nadu State committee was held on 3/11/2014 at Chennai. Our Vice President Com. K.Umesh Nayak, who has taken the lead/initiative has been guiding the committee since then.
In both the cases, the State Committees are run by composite team consisting of former officer comrades and workmen comrades successfully. Further, the State Federations of AIBRF in AP & TN as well as Karnataka have been extending all the support to our Organisation continuously.
It is our fond hope and desire to have State committees in the remaining States also to step up our activities there.
OUR BELOVED BANK.
Our Bank had the reputation of having earned a good name among both the nationalised and private sector banks (inclusive of foreign banks), in areas like customer service, better housekeeping, Priority Sector Advances etc. It was a pioneer in the service of the small man, which helped us, to be known as “small man’s big bank”.
No one can forget the contribution and sacrifice of the founders viz. Sri T M A Pai, Sri.T Upendra Pai and Sri. V S Kudva and others in transforming it from Pigmy to Giant. Like the river Ganges which is joined by many smaller rivers and finally joined the Bay of Bengal, the following small banks were taken over by Syndicate Bank when it was in private sector.
Nagarkars’ bank ltd. Mangalore, Bank Of Mangalore Ltd ,
People’s Bank ltd ,Thirthahalli, Citizens Bank Ltd, Robertsonpet,
Hindu Bank Karur Ltd, Karur, Pollachi town Bank Ltd, pollachi,
Kotagiri Bank Ltd , Kotagiri Ammapet Sengunder Bank ltd
Salem Kerala service Bank Ltd Trivandrum, Catholic Bank Ltd ,Udupi ,
Pie Money Bank Ltd ,Mangalore, Southern India Apex Bank Ltd.
We proud to say that the retirees have played a pivotal role in fulfilling the mission of the founding fathers of the Bank. Amongst 14 nationalised banks, the ranking of our Bank was 7. This was possible on account of our greater commitment and dedication..
It was a rude shock for all of us to learn, that the top most functionary of the Bank was put behind the bar, on being caught, red handed while accepting/demanding a huge bribe from the corporates. The CMD of the Bank, coming from some other Bank, created a history of sorts, for wrong reasons. For more than 10 months, the Bank was without a CMD, and it is only recently that the new MD/CEO, Shri. Arun Srivastava has taken charge. While we welcome him whole heartedly, we also wish him all success in his efforts to put the Bank on the right track. The absence of M.D. for a long period was a very convenient alibi for the top management to defer taking important decisions on matters including those of retirees. It is our considered opinion that the management has become top heavy and those in the bank are feeling frustrated, in the absence of adequate support/ motivation. It will be no surprise if a large number of employees opt out of the Bank shortly, owing to sheer desperation.
Of late, it has become a trend that CMD’s on joining this Bank, change the colour/design for the sign boards, walls etc, once in every 2-3 years, at a huge cost. If frequent change of colour/design of the sign board can bring more business, there is no need for G.O.I. to appoint CMDs at all. They can as well prescribe colours, from the corridors of the finance ministry itself. When we demand reasonable benefits for the retirees, the management always pleads lack of funds. But it is not so, when it comes to changing the colour/design of the name board and holding board meetings in resorts/recreation centres like Wonderla etc, where rave parties were hosted, at the cost of the Bank and its employees.
Of late, it is not uncommon that this management has been harassing the pensioners by calling for explanation on certain past transactions, even after a lapse of ten years of their retirement, presumably to safe guard a few influential people, who are either already retired or are still working in the Bank.
The golden rule(?), the present management functionaries have been following for long, has been to keep stoic silence on the matters of concern to the retirees, despite several letters/reminders written to them from time to time. We invariably get a feeling, as to whether our management forms a part of the civilised society. There is no explanation for the deep slumber they are in. They have never felt the need for looking into the issues of the retirees, who have toiled for taking this great institution to greater heights. The management functionaries, holding crucial positions, show Nelson’s eye to retirees’ issues deliberately for the reasons best known to them, forgetting the fact that they will also retire one day.
The latest trend has been to pamper the organisation of the retirees promoted by the recognised body of the officers in the Bank, by acceding to their un ethical demands, even by misleading the board of directors. We fail to understand the quid pro quo here. We have registered our strongest protest on various occasions, by making use of the available forums. Our national organisation, AIBRF, has already brought these aberrations/violations to the notice of the Department of Financial services, Govt. of India and requested the competent authority to ensure that the Bank will unfailingly go by the spirit of the recommendations made by the Parliamentary committee in this regard.
GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL COMMITTEE MEETING.
With the first ever GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL CELL meeting held on 12.10.2012, a beginning was made for bilateral discussion to redress the grievances of the retirees; but the management chose to remain silent on various issues raised by us. Time and again, this indifferent attitude of the Management was brought to the notice of successive CMD’s , but it was of no avail, since each one retired even before any logical conclusion could be reached. A few issues were settled only when the affected individuals took legal steps against the management. Hence, we are left with no other alternative than to advise the aggrieved retirees, to toe the same line. The management philosophy has been to resort to delaying tactics, even for acceding to the legitimate demands, under the pretext of finding out the position in other Banks. Our management has never taken credit for being the pioneer in doing anything good and thereby set an example to other Banks.
In all fairness, we expected the management to settle at least those issues which were discussed in the first ever GRC meeting. Our repeated reminders/personal representation has only fallen on deaf ears. Instead, the management thought it fit to mislead the Board members, to get a resolution passed to the effect that only the Association of the retirees having majority will be called for the discussion, which is in violation of Government guidelines. Nobody knows the yard stick adopted by the management in deciding the majority character of the organisation. We also understand that the management has invited the rival organisation of the retirees for discussion; but, till this date, no one knows the outcome.
Our Organisation still continues to be a recognised association by the management. Yet, it was decided to have discussion with the newly formed Retirees’ and Pensioners’ Association, under the pretext that it is found to be a majority organisation. However, no proper verification of membership is done by the management, despite that we complied with all the requirements as sought by the management. By doing this, the Management has neither followed the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee, nor the distorted version of the same, adopted by them. This clearly goes to show that the present management of the bank has succumbed to unethical pressure brought on it by a splinter group of people having nexus with certain executives of the bank, to deny justice to the oldest body of retirees. However, we take it as a challenge and our efforts will be to reach our goal.
AIBRF OFFICE BEARERS MEETING AT MUMBAI AND CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEETING AT HYDERABAD.
As per the mandate given by the XVI General body meeting of our Association held at Bangalore on 6th October 2013, we completed the formalities thereafter and took affiliation to AIBRF. Since then, President and General Secretary along with other eligible number of office bearers are required to attend the meetings of AIBRF. Accordingly, President and General Secretary participated in Office Bearers meeting held at Mumbai on 27th and 28th July 2014. Subsequently, we participated in the Central Committee meeting of AIBRF held at Hyderabad on 2nd and 3rd November 2014. On behalf of our Organisation, our President raised certain important issues concerning the retirees/pensioners of our Bank and requested the Apex Body to take it up with the competent authority. To ensure a uniform procedure to be followed by all the bank managements, the matter has been taken up at the concerned Ministry level and we are looking forward to see comprehensive guidelines from the concerned ministry, for strict compliance by all banks. Further, we wish to inform you that the All India General Body Meeting of AIBRF is scheduled to be held at Thrissur for 3 days during the last week of November 2015.We expect a very focussed deliberation on all issues of concern to the retirees and emergence of crucial decisions.
FUNDS MANAGEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION.
With the formation of State Committees and seeking affiliation to AIBRF, there has been greater pressure on our resources. We are required to pay annually subscription at Rs. 15/per member to our Apex Body in addition to the subscription payable to the State Bodies, by each State Committee. As such, it has become very difficult to manage within the available recourses. It is high time that we apply our mind on the ways and means of augmenting our funds. We naturally bank upon the wisdom of our members on this vital issue. Hence, members are requested to have a serious deliberation on this.
Added to this, expenditure under various heads are bound to increase, as our organisation is growing and more and more activities are being undertaken.
DHARNAS AND AGITATIONS.
The harsh realities facing the retirees in Banks and the discriminatory treatment meted out to us have made it inevitable for us to resort to action programmes like Dharnas & Demonstrations, to draw the attention of the concerned authorities in the Govt. It was a massive show of strength comprising senior citizens, drawn from all corners of the country. The focus was on the long pending demands of the retirees. It is needless to say that dharnas and agitations have become a part of our struggle for betterment of living conditions. The senior citizens/retirees cannot be an exception to it. A first of its kind was demonstrated at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 7th March 2014, under the banner of AIBRF, our parent body.
A massive gathering was witnessed under the scorching sun at Jantar Mantar, with its participants, all above 60 years of age and even up to 90 years and beyond. This was a grand show of enthusiasm/commitment, on the part of senior citizens/retirees. From our Association, the entire Central Committee participated in the said Dharna. We took this opportunity to hold our first ever Central Committee meeting at Delhi, followed by a meeting of retirees of our Bank from the Delhi region .The response was very much encouraging.
Further on 28.11.2014, we held a massive Dharna in front of our bank’s Corporate Office, Bangalore, when the Board meeting was in progress. Earlier, we had also met Directors of our Bank and submitted a memorandum along with other documents pertaining to our un-resolved issues. The entire retirees’ fraternity, from all the Banks, expressed solidarity, by lending their support on this occasion. For the first time in the history of the Bank, the retirees had to come on the street, to give vent to their anger against the management. In the absence of the CMD we could not ensure taking it to its logical end.
At a later date on 13.12.2014 we also participated in the demonstration organised by Vijay Bank Retirees’ Association in front of their Head Office, to press for the resolution of their long pending demands. It was a grand show of solidarity by the Bank retirees. In spite of the age factor, more than 300 retirees including a large number of women retirees, participated in the demonstration to draw the attention of the management to their problems. While we condemn the adamant stance of the Vijaya Bank management, which preferred to file FIRs against the leaders of the Vijaya Bank Retirees Association, it is only childish that the CMD of the bank, went to the extent of instigating the serving employees against the retirees .
AIBRF and Karnataka Federation have fully supported our Action Programme. AIBRF has also taken up the matter at government and IBA level seeking a proper direction to the managements of both Syndicate Bank and Vijaya Bank for resolving the just and legitimate grievances of the retirees.
ACCOUNTS OF THE ASSOCIATION
The accounts of the association for the financial year 2014 and 2015 as on 31st March respectively has been audited by M/s V Sekhar & Co. and statement of audited accounts of these periods are submitted here along with this report. I request this august body to accept and adopt the audited accounts of the Association. It is also requested that M/s V Sekhar & Co. be allowed to be appointed as our auditor for the ensuing period also.
X BPS SETTLEMENT/WAGE REVISION
You are all aware that the X BPS has been signed on 25/05/2015, 90 days after signing the MOU on 23.02.2015, agreeing to hike the wages by 15% on pay slip. The UFBU had also placed the demands of retirees/ pensioners simultaneously during the ongoing bilateral negotiations. Many issues of the retirees/pensioners were discussed, but conclusions are still to be reached.
It would have been a historic settlement, as the same would have been a first of its kind in the history of retirees’ movement. There is no reason for us to lose heart. Intense efforts have gone into it. We are confident that our efforts will not go waste. It will certainly bring us nearer to the era of bilateralism and we will not rest till we achieve this. We are enclosing a few circulars issued by AIBRF, in this regard. Members may please go through the same to know the efforts put in by our Apex Body.
- The writ appeal filed by the Management, in respect of the Gratuity case, is still lying in the Supreme Court, for finality. The writ appeal is partially heard and adjourned at the instance of the Management. It is expected to come before a new bench, after the summer vacation.
- We were able to mobilise the Resignees, for challenging the stand of the Management, in denying them pension. In all, 40 resignees have come together to file writ petition in Karnataka High Court. The petitions have been admitted and notices have been served to the respondents. The writ petitions are expected to come up for hearing shortly.
Any developments in this regard will be kept informed to the petitioners from time to time.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEMBERS.
It has been our endeavour to communicate with our members without any loss of time and money. Hence, many a times, we had requested our members to inform their mail Ids/ mobile Numbers. As on date, hardly 1000 members have informed their mail ID’s and we request many more to create their mail ID and keep us informed. Hope, the members will co-operate in a big way in this regard.
A considerable number of our circulars and other messages of importance, especially related to retirees’ issues are being posted through our website. Further, improvement will certainly lead to reduction in cost of communication in the days to come. We once again urge upon you to make use of this facility more and more.
At the outset, I wish to express my gratitude to all the members of the Association for having given me an opportunity to serve as the General Secretary continuously for the last 8 years. With the co-operation of all our members , today, we are a big force to be reckoned with and a major affiliate of AIBRF. I am confident that we will emerge stronger and vibrant at all India level with its membership crossing 7000 mark by the time we hold our XVIII General Body meeting. The new team of office bearers and committee members elected in this conference will certainly take care to achieve this goal.
I could discharge my duties to the best of my ability because of proper guidance by our President who always shares a major volume of work load of the Organisation. He has been very prompt in responding to the various mails received on a day to day basis. But for his special attention on day to day functioning, I am afraid, I would not have been able to discharge my duties effectively and satisfactorily. His contribution to our Organisation deserves high appreciation. I take this opportunity to thank him profusely.
Further, I have also been guided by our Vice Presidents, Organising Secretary, Secretary and all other office bears and Central Committee members to whom I shall remain thankful.
I thank our Treasurer, Com. Ajay Kumar for taking care of funds management and maintain of accounts meticulously.
I also thank our Sheshadripuram, Bangalore branch for their excellent service to our Association.
I thank all those who have been guiding, assisting me directly and indirectly in my day to day functioning.
Special thanks to the team which regularly took care of routine work of the office of the Association voluntarily with great enthusiasm.
Further, I sincerely thank Com. U. Vasudev Shenoy & his family who have been showing a special affinity to our organisation with all kinds of support, time & again. Shri. Vaman Murthy deserves a special mention for all the pains he took in making use of computer applications in our day to day work. I thank him also profusely.
I also thank our Auditor Sri V Shekar who has been guiding in maintain the Association accounts in the right system.
I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank a few of the important cadre of Syndicate Bank Employees Union who have been supporting our organisation and assisting in mobilising membership in their jurisdiction.
I also thank our well wisher and a representative of SBEU who has been assisting us at HO level in certain matters related to the retirees’ issues for redressal.
Last but not the least, I thank every member of the Association for their stead fast loyalty and commitment.
(U Abdul Jaleel)
ALL INDIA SYNDICATE BANK RETIREES’ ASSOCIATION LONG LIVE
ALL INDIA BANK RETIREES’FEDERATION LONG LIVE
ALL INDIA BANK RETIREES FEDERATION KARNATAKA LONG LIVE
BANK RETIREES UNITY LONG LIVE