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Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank Officers and Employees Associations Biennial Conference Resolve Key Demands

Among the notable attendees were C. Rajeevan, President of the All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association (AIRRBEA), and S. Venkateswar Reddy, Secretary General of AIRRBEA. Their presence highlighted the conference’s importance and underscored a wide range of issues, including the formation of NRBI and the extensive vacancies in RRBs.

The 8th biennial conference of the Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank Officers’ Association and Employees Association convened on June 22-23, 2024 in the conference hall of Murshidabad Zilla Parishad at Berhampur. Nearly 500 delegates and observers from 12 districts of West Bengal attended the event, signalling strong participation and solidarity among the bank’s workforce.

The opening session was inaugurated by Prof. Partha Pratim Biswas of Jadavpur University, who delivered a compelling speech highlighting the challenges faced by the working class in India. Prof. Biswas criticised the government’s policies, which he argued are exacerbating social inequalities, political intolerance, and communal divisions. His speech set a serious tone for the conference, underscoring the critical issues at hand.

Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank

Among the notable attendees were C. Rajeevan, President of the All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association (AIRRBEA), and S. Venkateswar Reddy, Secretary General of AIRRBEA. Their presence highlighted the conference’s importance and underscored a wide range of issues, including the formation of NRBI and the extensive vacancies in RRBs.

Joydeb Dasgupta, Secretary, Banking Employees Federation (West Bengal), also addressed the conference. He flagged the concern about the increasing number of outsourced employees in the banking sector, urging existing employees to support their outsourced colleagues. Dasgupta’s call for solidarity resonated strongly with the attendees, highlighting the need for a united front in addressing labour issues.

The conference was presided over by a presidium consisting of Kanad Chakraborty, Tamoghna Chatterjee, and Debprasad Mukherjee. The delegate sessions for both the Officers Association and the Employees Association were held separately, allowing for focused discussions on their respective issues.

Several resolutions were unanimously adopted at the conference, reflecting the collective demands of the delegates. Among the major demands were:

1. Formation of a National Rural Bank of India (NRBI), delinking RRBs from sponsor banks.

2. Proper manpower planning and immediate filling of 3,000 vacant posts.

3. Complete parity between RRBs and National Commercial Banks, and inclusion of RRBs in wage revision negotiations by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

4. Revision of the promotion policy to match that of National Commercial Banks.

5. Regularisation of daily wage workers.

6. Amendments to service and leave rules.

7. Scrapping of the New Pension Scheme in favour of a defined pension for retired RRB employees.

8. Implementation of a five-day banking week for all bank employees.

These demands highlight the unions’ commitment to improving working conditions and securing fair treatment for all employees.

Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank was formed in 2007 and operates in 12 districts of West Bengal with 587 branches and 11 regional offices.

The conference concluded with a colourful rally involving around 300 delegates, who marched through the city of Berhampur. The rally was described as a grand success by Debprasad Mukherjee, President of the reception committee, underscoring the strong unity and determination of the bank’s workforce.

New leadership was elected during the conference. Prasenjit Mitra, Tarun Chakraborty, and Apratim Biswas were elected as President, General Secretary, and Treasurer, respectively, for the Officers Association. Meanwhile, Suren Koley, Debasish Mondal, and Sona Chatterjee were elected to the same positions for the Employees Association. The election of new leaders was seen as a step towards rejuvenating the unions and strengthening their capacity to advocate for workers’ rights.

The conference highlighted the pressing issues faced by bank employees and also showcased the collective resolve to achieve significant reforms. As Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank Officers’ Association and Employees Association continue to advocate for their demands, the support and solidarity displayed at the conference will be crucial in driving forward their agenda for change.

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