Employees of public sector banks (PSBs) are poised for a substantial pay raise and a reduced workweek, according to sources close to the negotiations.
The 12th bipartite settlement talks between bank unions and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) are nearing completion, and a consensus is emerging on a 15%-20% salary hike and the implementation of a five-day work week.
This represents a significant departure from previous negotiations, as the IBA’s initial offer of 15% marks the first time that talks have begun with a double-digit wage increase.
The final decision on the exact percentage hike is expected to be finalized in a forthcoming meeting between the IBA and bank unions.
The proposed salary hike and workweek reduction will also apply to regional rural banks, according to sources in the finance ministry. This decision aligns with efforts to harmonize working conditions and benefits across the banking sector.
The implementation of a five-day work week will necessitate adjustments to branch operations, including extended working hours on weekdays to compensate for lost weekend hours.
Additionally, customers may experience some inconvenience with check deposits, as branch closures will limit in-person transactions. However, sources believe that these disruptions are outweighed by the potential benefits of a five-day work week, including increased employee productivity, improved work-life balance, and cost savings for banks in terms of fuel and electricity consumption.
The proposed changes to PSB employee compensation and working conditions are in line with broader trends toward improved work-life balance and increased employee satisfaction.
With employees at insurance companies, state governments, and the central government already enjoying a five-day work week, extending this benefit to PSB employees is seen as a positive step.