Acute officer shortage at public banks, says union

February 1st, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 1 (IANS) There is a shortage of about 100,000 officers in public sector banks across the country, an official of a leading bank officers’ organisation said here Sunday.”The position will become more acute in the next two years as 30 percent of serving officers will retire,” All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) general secretary G.D. Nadaf told reporters.

“On top of that, banks are going for massive expansions. What we need is a long-range planning for hiring staff. But that is not there,” he said.

According to him, though public sector banks had gone in for recruitments during the past one year, but it wasn’t enough.

State-owned banks together have a total officer strength of around 300,000.

Nadaf, also the general secretary of the All India State Bank Officers Federation, said the country’s largest bank had about 58,000 officers at its 11,111 branches, and 14,000 officers’ posts were lying vacant.

“The lack of adequate staff strength has hampered our customer services, though our record now is far better than in the past,” he said.

The AIBOC office-bearer was hopeful that the bipartite negotiations with the Indian Bank Association (IBA) on industry-level wage settlements would bear success by March, and that the feedback from the officers’ negotiating body, the United Forum of Bank Unions, would come by Feb 11.

“If we feel things are on the right track, and we can get things done by some more hammering, then it’s okay. Otherwise, there may be a need to go for a strike, even an indefinite one, in March”.

Nadaf said the public had lost faith in the non-government banks during the recession, and demanded these be nationalised. “In State Bank of India alone, we have mobilised an additional Rs.10 billion in deposits. Other public sector banks are also garnering more deposits.”

Maintaining that bank officers were being made to toil for unduly long hours due to excessive workload, Nadaf said AIBOC has written to the IBA demanding fixed working hours.

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