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Should the salaries of Bank Employees be reduced?

Salaries of bank employee have common subject of discussion in present days. There are two major reasons for this controversy. First, their wages are much higher than those of employees of similar rank and cadre of other offices. Secondly, there is increased inefficiency in the bank. They go out frequently to have tea causing great inconvenience to the public. They indulge in idle gossip as the public waits at the counters. The result is that even an ordinary, routine transaction which should be completed within minutes, takes a much longer time, leading to frequent altercations between the waiting constituents and the bank employees. They waste time during the banking hours and the claim overtime to complete the work. This further raises eye-brows and invites criticism.

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For all these reasons, the view is often expressed that the emoluments of bank employees should be reduced. However, such reduction is not solution at all. Instead of solving the problem, such reduction would further aggravate it. Reduction in salaries gives rise to much heart-burning and dissatisfaction. It is always bad from the administrative point of view. It will result in frustration and increased inefficiency. A satisfied employee work more sincerely and efficiently, than a dissatisfied one. Moreover, in the present democratic set up such as a measure is simply impossible, Bank employees have powerful unions and any reduction in their salaries would immediately result in strikes, bringing transactions to an abrupt halt and causing great hardship to the people at large.

Further, when we express such view we should also remember that the salaries are automatically reduce with the escalation in the cost of living. Inflation is rapidly mounting, the cost of living is constantly increasing, and the rupee is losing its purchasing power. This means that emoluments of bank employees have been reducing to this extent. In real terms, they are now getting much less than they used to get, say a year ago. Therefore, a plea for a raise in their wages would be more just and reasonable. Under the circumstance, the question of reducing their emoluments does not arise at all. Moreover, works in the banks need far greater concentration and care than is usually the case in other offices. Even a slight error on the part of bank employee, causes serious problem and dislocation. It has to be detected and correct painstakingly even though it may require long hours to do so. Hence it would be wrong to compare their emoluments with those of their counterparts in other offices.

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In short, the work in banks is very onerous and any higher emoluments which they might be getting are fully justified. Reduction in their salaries is neither feasible nor justified.

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