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Monday, August 12, 2013

Pay Disparity OF Clerks AND Officers IN Banks


It appears that one my earlier proposals on wage revision has rattled and infuriated some of my friends in the Clerical cadre.  Therefore, with a view to dispel their misgivings and present a true picture, I have written this brief article.

A peculiar argument is presented by some of our friends that since the Clerks and the Officers in banks possess the same or equal academic qualifications, both must be paid wages without much difference.  This is contrary to the well established norms of fixing of wages basing on the cadre disparity which is a universal practice, regardless of the industry/field.

Does a lecturer and a professor possessing the same qualification and serving in the same college/institution get equal pay and other benefits?

Does a scientist and a bureaucrat with the same/similar qualification and serving in the same institution get the same pay?

Does a reporter and a sub-editor with the same qualification and working in the same newspaper agency get the same pay?

Answer is a firm ‘No’.   That is the reality.

One must understand these basic things.

  1. One’s educational qualification helps one to choose and take up a profession.  That’s all.
Thus, the academic qualification is just like a passport.

  1. Once a person is employed, following aspects of one’s job profile determine his compensation package.
  1. Position in the organizational hierarchy in which one is currently placed
  2. Nature and Extent of Knowledge (theoretical and practical) required for such position
  3. Varieties of Experience gained that are considered relevant to the present role
  4. Different types of Roles handled in the past (sometimes outside the present organisation too)
  5. Risks and Responsibilities in the new position
  6. Importance attached to the position – within the organization or outside
  7. Overall contribution anticipated from the current role, for the growth, development and progress of the organisation
  8. Prestige and Social Status attached to the Role, Position and Job Profile

Therefore, it does not make any sense to demand equal pay and allowances for Clerks, as compared to the Officers in banks.   The role play, responsibilities, hours of work and risks shouldered by Clerks and Officers are totally different and cannot be compared at all.

Therefore, mere commonality of qualification cannot equate their pay and allowances.

I shall explain further.

  1. Consider the present basic pay of Sub-staff, Clerk and Officers – at the minimum and maximum of their pay scales.
  1. Substaff –                    Rs.5,850 (Min.) to Rs.14,150 (Max.)
  2. Clerks -                        Rs.7,200 (Min.) to Rs.24,900 (Max.)
  3. Officers (in JMGS I) -  Rs.14,500 (Min.) to Rs.25,700 (Max.)
          If these are expressed in the form of ratios –
          Substaff: Clerks:  Officers =  1 : 1.23 : 2.48 (minimum) and  1 : 1.76 :  1.82 (maximum)
  1. As compared to 3rd BPS, the starting Basic Pay of Substaff, Clerks and Officers after 9th BPS has risen to 23.88 times, 21.92 times and 20.71 times respectively.
  2. A senior Clerk working in a metro branch is already getting more than 90% of the salary of a JMGS I officer with 20 years service, 80% of the salary of an MMGS II officer with 15 years service and 75% of the salary of an officer in MMGS III grade with 10 years experience.
  3. Added to it, the clerks in banks work for 36½ hours per week and the officers work for 46 hours per week, on a conservative estimate.
  4. Therefore, even if we pay only pro-rata salaries to the officers for the extra hours worked at 100% of their normal wages, the officers deserve 1.26 times their present salary. If they are paid overtime wages for the extra hours worked, they will get more because for the extra hours worked, they will get overtime wages at 150% to 200% of the ordinary wages (not 100%).  This is based on the hours of work alone.
  5. It means the officers are to be paid not less than 26% increase in their present wages for working extra hours. But, this shall not be confused with the impending wage revision. Wage revision is common for people in every rank and grade.
  6. Award staff are more time conscious rather than task conscious.  In the late afternoons, it is very common to see them leaving the office, saying the time is up.  They do not even finish the job on hand and leave it abruptly, for any of the officers to complete it.
  7. Punctuality in attendance is not known to more than 30% of the award staff.
  8. Availing leave without prior notice is also very common among them.
  9. Clerks are not subjected to frequent transfers like their officer colleagues. If at all they are transferred, they are transferred within a short radius of say 50 KMs only.
  10. I know many clerks who have accumulated more wealth (through legal means) than their officer friends, only because of the transfer factor.
  11. They do not shoulder any risks and they don't want to take even simple, harmless decisions and they avoid responsibilities (e.g. they do not want to receive courier covers; they do not want to answer telephone calls; they do not want to hold even a spare set of premises keys; they do not want to sign counterfoils of the pay-in-slips deposited with transfer/clearing cheques (All these have been listed as their duties in the bipartite settlement itself).
  12. They unnecessarily refer each and every customer/visitor to the Manager/Sub-Manager for trivial matters.
  13. Many of them quarrel with the customers and for their action, the managers are forced to apologise to the customers.
  14. It may be remembered that only because of the irresponsible, nonchalant and arrogant behaviour of many award staff in the past (until 1990s), we are suffering now. We are paying a heavy price today. We bankers earned the jealousy, enmity, hatred, curse and condemnation of each and every section of the society, the media and the government as a consequence.
  15. The present generation bankers are yet to come out of this hostile environment even today.
  16. Even the employees in other organizations (Government departments/PSUs/ Corporate Sector) do not have any sympathy for us (bankers collectively).
  17. In spite of all of these, the settlement of award staff is reached first every time and only basing on their settlement, something extra is added and given to the officers as a separate package.
  18. Therefore, if at all the bank clerks want to fight for higher wages, they should ask their leaders first, instead of comparing themselves with their officer colleagues, without any valid reasons.
  19. They should not nurture any grudge against the officers as if they (the Officers) have deprived them (the Clerks) of their due share.  It is totally untrue and hence unjust.
In the current circumstances, the existing Basic Pay (which is paltry) of bank staff is a huge stumbling block in revising it beyond a point.  Even an increase of 100% in the Basic Pay appears to be a tall order.
For this, the entire blame has to be laid at the doors of our Trade Union leaders who made very serious compromises in the 8th and 9th BPS.
I wait with my fingers crossed.

Date: 09-08-2013                                                                                                    V Subramanian


  1. Thank you sir for portraying the real picture existing in nationalised banks today. After CBS the job profile of the clerks has been shrinked. Whatever new duties coming as part of technology implementation is branded as officer's work. Even if a customer comes with a complaint of not getting cash from ATM he is directed to the officer/manager.

  2. officer are paid well sir.but we being new to banking sector its unfair to blame all the clerks. we gnex are very hard working and all points you mentioned about clerks are no correct at all. we new comers are taking the same risks as you all are. we are told by unions to follow the bipartite circular and perform the duties we are entitled too by the guide line. nowadays we dont back-off or sent or customers to officers every time but in critical cases. we are the one who are approached by customers first.. so no hard feelings about your thoughts on clerk. but this approach would effect the moral of new comers who want to earn n list themselves as effective and hard working for the development of bankong industry.a bank cant be run only with officers. just like a car can be driven without fuel. we are the fuel of the bank.

    1. I congratulate that you identified your importance in this organization as you are the face of it,just ask yourself are the people in general happy with the bank?why not?they dont see officers frequently..So its a long way you are just clearing the debris of the past...your todays work will be seen after few years when people will start feeling good about it...Why it is that an clerk feels it right to be steered by the bipartite and claim to be a hardworking staff within official working hour ie 6&1/2 Hrs and expect his supervisor to work for 24 Hrs taking all responsibilities as he is getting MORE and brand him lazy and holiday planner...........Is it fair?Just remember you may be a car tomorrow...then you will get ur answers loud and clear.

  3. This article is full of baseless allegations & pre-supposed notions against clerical staff. The writer of this article seems to have forgotten that most of scale 1,2,3 officers have been promoted from clerk. How can someone be lazy, arrogant, unpunctual as a clerk & suddenly become hardworking, customer friendly, punctual on becoming an officer? The whole argument here is based on comparing the salary of a senior clerk and a new officer or one who is averse to taking promotion. The author must see the meaning of words 'clerk' and 'officer' in a dictionary. A clerk is basically someone who has to do only data entry whereas an officer which is a supervisory post must take the responsibility of overall management of the branch. But some officers want this job to be done by clerks so that they can spend more time in planning their next holiday or their children's education. See the salary slip of any new clerk and you will see the reality. A newly recruited clerk is among the lowest paid post in the organised sector. People should need to watch their own backward before throwing stone at others.

    1. This kind of discussions I must name it blamegame must be avoided on social media suitable for politicians.I believe these persons are like third class passengers entering into a full packed general class compartment.Once he gets in he starts pushing the door to close it so that others cant get in.Every individual claims himself or herself to be good adjectives like hard working,punctuality,customer friendly.Then why banks pose such a sorry figure in society?why profits are dipping.Sometimes we steer away ourselves from the solutions by blaming either the petrol quality or The Engine power.Its not that only Officers plan their child education or holiday .Every person who is away from family or child need a plan.It may seem coincidence that generally officers fit into the criteria.but practically bank has a limited leave period,so it should not bother the bank,as one can not plan 11 months for 01 month holiday in a year.If you compare a salary slip of new clerk to that of other sector you may find a differnce of 5000 average.then why not compare an new bank officer salary slip to that of newly recruited central govt officer at least as PSU Officer sal slip you can not see then.Atleast a difference of 25000 one can find minimum.So I urge not to compare the sal slips in the organisation.As a clerk if one think officers are well paid then be brave to get promoted or try to be one as they are your role models.Then one can see only few with real potential get the slice of the cake.I must say clerks now a days are given new responsibilities as they are capable of doing that and willing to and definitely they are moving upward in their careeer.few clerk works as per bipartite terms not as per banking scenario so they can continue it till the time they can.Time spares none.If Lehmann Brothers can come down......why should we think that we are in safe heaven so less talk ...........

    2. The author has totally used baseless and arbitrary arguments to justify his flawed logic. His has totally based his arguments on the comparison between a clerk who has reached the top of his scale and a comparatively recently promoted officer. Here, he should have compared with the salary of an officer who has reached the top of his own scale. If this argument is justified, then clerks can also argue that a senior sub-staff draws much more salary than a comparatively new clerk. Such a situation exists in all departments not just in banks. Secondly he has used totally baseless and arbitrary allegations like 'clerks are more time conscious', 'clerks quarrel with customers', 'clerks have accumulated more wealth than officers', 'clerks are less punctual in attendance' etc. All this cooked up allegations are filled with inherent bias that author has against clerks. If clerks work from 10 to 5 than they have struggled to achieve this, which they don't want to give up easily. Officers should also struggle to achieve their genuine demands instead of cursing clerks. If you compare the salary of a new clerk with a that of a PO, its almost half or even less, but the fact is the new clerks are no less intelligent and hardworking than POs and sometimes end up shouldering much more responsibilities than senior clerks and leave late. If anyone deserves a genuine pay hike, than its the newly recruited clerks. POs in banks are paid quite handsomely even if you compare with a Group B officer in government. There is a wave of baseless and biased allegations that some officers are levelling against clerks in various forums like this to justify their stance by using such inherently flawed logic that i mentioned above.

    3. opt for promotion if u r so right...many are not willing take promotions..i know people who has rejected officer promotions...u r logic is flawed..

  4. Dear sir I would like to bring only one point into view. If as said one's educational qualification is the basis for pay and heirarchy then why is it that IBPS is asking for the same qualification for newly appointed clerks and officers. The question is not of equalization of pay it is of the decrease of the huge disparity.

    1. Dear friend even UPSC ask graduates for civil service apart from all other depts but only IAS gets the highest package in the country.but IBPS gives only what you get now. we all know Phd,Mtech,Btech ,Doctors all are graduate only.Today graduation has become a basic qualification.One cant feel very proud of that then one who is graduate in late sixties.today computer is not a qualification its a language only.

    2. dear friend,
      I dont hv time to write a point by point counter argument to ur claims but reg ur point 15, ur non chalant arrogant award staffs of 1990s r todays scale 5 n 6 officers..

      With regards to people who r so desperate abt salary difference sod actually hv guts to resign from clerical cadre , clear PO exam n join the banks..

      Regarding sal difference btwn PO n central Govt employees, pl resign n join dt organisation..

      We al read abt salary structure at time of filling applications to join da banks so lets not crib nw after getting in.

      Remember if money is goal of ur life, dn get on other side of the counter coz only setting up ur own business n strive to excel in it coz da highest salaried person wodnt even figure in top 5000 richest people in da world i guess..

    3. its only your wild guess..the highest salaried person earns 700 crores an year ..and if you add up his investments he has a few billion dollars and was well in top 500...if u think the salary desparity is favouring officer please get promoted..even after this much disparity many are not opting promotions and if its reduced as you said all will stay as clerk and none will become officer

  5. Clerks and officers both are serving bank. There are weak clerks and weak officers too. cadre wise difference of scale persists since long and the gap has not widened but become shorter settlement after settlement.There are exceptionally good performers and exceptionally bad performers in both cadres. So far as late sitting is concerned , clerks usually do not sit late but officers usually sit late under fear of their bosses or due to work pressure or due to flattery culture imbibed in their blood. Any way late sitting is not good . Late working may be needed occasionally but always late working gives wrong results and tells upon adversely on the family life of the staff.Anyway both clerks and officers should respect each other and work with love and devotion in the interest of their bank they serve.And they should jointly fight against injustice and make joint effort for getting respectable wage hike and five days week .

  6. The article clearly depicts that award staff can be reluctant in their jobs and only officers are highly motivated ones due to their high wages... The author needs practically see the young award staff who are very much motivated and highly skilled than the supervisors who are now a days sitting behind the young award staff and getting confused to understand with the speed of award staff. Pls dont degrade the cadre and give clues to get reluctant in their duty to the younger staff as your article portrays that "its okay even if are lazy at work bcoz u r getting lower pay". Leadership quality can hardly be seen in the above article...

    1. I accept youngsters are gud..but if you give parity of salary with officer even they wont opt promotion,..this etc salary for officer is to make u opt promotion...you cant say u want a cmd salary..hierarchy shud be there..if u r so gud who stopped u from becoming officer..y u ppl want officer salary while u dont want to get promoted to officer desig?