If mgmt changes retirement policy, we’ll protest: NRB trade unionA trade union at the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank, has warned to picket the Governor’s Office and district offices of the NRB beginning Monday if the management makes an attempt to arbitrarily introduce a provision that will enable employees to work even after they complete 30 years of service.
A trade union at the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank, has warned to picket the Governor’s Office and district offices of the NRB beginning Monday if the management makes an attempt to arbitrarily introduce a provision that will enable employees to work even after they complete 30 years of service.
The warning was issued by the Nepal Financial Institutions Employees Association (NFIEA), a trade union close to the Nepali Congress, the largest political party in the country. The members of the trade union had visited the NRB Governor’s Office on Sunday to show strength and warn not to make any change to the employees’ bylaw that would affect the central bank’s existing compulsory retirement policy.
“After we held the demonstration, the governor proposed to form a committee comprising management officials and representatives of trade unions to resolve the issue regarding the retirement policy,” NFIEA General Secretary Rajiv Regmi said. “We have demanded that the committee be formed immediately. Otherwise, we will picket the Governor’s Office and district offices of the NRB for an hour from 10 am to 11 am beginning Monday.”
Regmi informed that NFIEA’s move has received support from other trade unions at the NRB.
There are three trade unions at the central bank: Nepal Rastra Bank Employees Association, which is close to the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), National Employees Organisation, which is close to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the NFIEA.
“Our only demand is that the employees’ bylaw should not be amended without consulting trade unions,” Regmi said.
The NRB’s board of directors has been making attempts to remove a provision in the bylaw that will pave the way for the central bank staff to continue working after 30 years in service.
At present, NRB staff must retire after 30 years of service or after reaching the age of 58, whichever comes first.
If the advice of the NRB board is heeded, all employees at the central bank will be able to work till they reach 58, regardless of when they joined the institution.
This implies people, who joined the NRB at the age of, say, 20, can serve the institution till the time they reach 58, taking up the number of years in service to 38, as against the current provision of 30.
This change in retirement policy, many at NRB say, will allow “older and especially unproductive staff” to continue working for the central bank, thereby reducing intake of “younger, smarter and techno-savvy” people. This will also bar competent young employees from climbing the rungs of career ladder at a desired pace, as most of the senior posts would be occupied by older employees.
Worse, the change in policy will encourage state-owned and state-run financial institutions like Rastriya Banijya Bank, Nepal Bank Limited and Agricultural Development Bank, which are already overstaffed, to follow suit.
This is because the three institutions follow in the NRB’s footsteps to frame policies for employees. “We don’t support any move that does not justify the cause of prolonging the tenure of staff at the NRB,” Regmi said.
The NRB currently has a workforce of around 1,125 people. Of these people, 385 are retiring in the next three years. Majority of these employees are retiring because they have completed 30 years of service.
And many employees retiring on the basis of number of years of service do not have proper educational qualification or have educational qualifications other than those stipulated by the NRB, central bank officials said.
The NRB board, these officials claimed, is pushing to change the provision in the employees’ bylaw to serve the interest of employees who are retiring.