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From the pages of the past - Initial History of AIRRBEA with landmark events

History of AIRRBEA in a nutshell for the newcomer friends who have joined the RRBs recently

RRBs started their journey on 02-10-1975 with staff members drawn from respective Sponsor Banks.

Recruitment in RRBs, 5 in number, established on 02-10-1975 started in 1976.

Dada Mukherjee (Com Dilip Kumar Mukherjee) joined in GGB (Gour Gramin Bank) in West Bengal as Branch Manager in April,1976. Now the name of amalgamated bank is Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank.

In mid 1977, Dada Mukherjee and some other officers (BMs) from various parts of the country were sent to the Training Centre of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Pune, Maharashtra. College of Agricultural Banking (CAB–RBI), initial Training Centre for RRB officers at Pune was not only the birth place but also the growth center for AIRRBEA.

Later on, BIRD (NABARD) at Lucknow also became the breeding centre of the units affiliated to AIRRBEA. The trainees took the major responsibility for the formation of Association and increase the membership of AIRRBEA under the leadership of Com D K Mukherjee and some others who joined the RRBs.

Difficult side to form Association at the initial years in the RRBs:

1) No scope to know each other in different RRBs of different states excepting on Training at RBI Training Centre, Pune.

2) Very small service area – 1 or 2 districts. Very little scope to go outside the service area of the respective RRB.

3) All new comers – fresh from college/university having no TU background.

4) No idea about T.U. or Banking Sector caused lack of collective thinking.

5) No Service Rules, even no confirmation of the service up to 1980 in RRBs for their staff.

6) Fear amongst employees/officers for RRB management to form any Association of RRB staff.

Positive side:

1) Young persons joining RRB from the same district/State had courage to face management attacks.

2) With zero level of service/financial benefits in comparison to bank employees created atmosphere to fight injustice.

3) Some Officers joined RRB mainly in Eastern & N.E. Region after their experience in State Govt. jobs at the age group of 35 – 40 years. So, they had some knowledge of service conditions, right of employees etc. which were denied to RRB staff.

T.U. Guidance & other positive features:

1) Com Ashis Sen’s guidance from the very beginning as President, AIRRBEA. He was friend, philosopher & guide to the then leaders in RRBs.

2) Com D.K. Mukherjee had his experience of T.U. in LIC & State Govt. (1958-March, 1976). His continuous contact, communication and mobility helped formation and growth of associations in RRBs.

3) Left Front Govt. in WB/Kerala/Tripura etc. helped growth of TUs.

4) Due to Com Ashis Sen, easy rapport with RBI/NABARD officials/management was possible.

5) A sincere & mobile core group formed in some States helped much to move forward.

6) AIRRBEA being the first and only apex organization for all cadres from 1978 to 1982 had the opportunity to approach all cadres of staff. Major players in Banking Industry as TU had strong apathy to RRB staff issues. AIBEA formed TU in RRB in 1983 & AIBOC formed in 1986 – NOBW though came in 1982 was a minor player in Banking Industry. BEFI was born in 1982.

Then came State Level Coordinating Body at management side under the Chairmanship of Lead Bank where all the staff matters at the State Level were discussed. At the National level, a Committee for RRB & staff matters under the Chairmanship of Deputy Governor, RBI was formed. Rural Planning and Credit Department (RPCD), RBI used to look after the RRB matters up to 1984.

So unless State Level or National Level body was formed, there was none to bargain at these levels.

AIRRBEA formed both National & State Level committees along with RRB level bodies since inception.

Some historic events at the initial stage of AIRRBEA:

First Meeting of 39 officers in August 1977, at Pune at College of Agricultural Banking (RBI) towards formation of the AIRRBEA.

First Apex Organization (Adhoc body) formed at Pune with:

i. Com Gopinath – President

ii. Com D K Mukherjee – General Secretary

First registered unit of composite Association in RRB in the country:

i. Mallabhum GB

ii. Puri GB

Foundation Conference of the AIRRBEA– Bhubaneswar, Orissa – 27th &28th May 1978

First Central Committee elected of the AIRRBEA with:

i. President – Com Ashis Sen – elected in his absence (Com Ashis Sen was G.S., All India Reserve Bank Employees Association)

ii. Vice President – Com D.K. Mukherjee

iii. Gen. Secy. – Com Basant Mishra (did not function as GS after issuing Circular no 1 which was prepared by Com D K Mukherjee)

  • Com D K Mukherjee had to function in place of Com Basant Mishra.

  • First meeting of Central Committee was held on – 29-05-1978 at Puri sea beach

  • Historic decision to hold the First Conference at Cannanore, Kerala was taken in the C.C.Meeting held at Nagpur, Maharashtra (R.B.I.E.A office) – 24-08-1979

First time constitution of AIRRBEA was drafted in (1978) by:

i. Com Amal Chakroborty (UCO Bank) – he was leader of the UCBEA

ii. Com DK Mukherjee (Gaur GB)

iii. Com Ganesh Mishra (Puri GB)

First Presidium in the foundation conference at Bhubaneswar, Orissa – 27th & 28th May, 1978 comprised of:

i. Com Amal Chakroborty (UCO)

ii. Com DK Mukherjee (Gaur GB)

iii. Com Ganesh Mishra (Puri GB)

First conference of AIRRBEA – Cannanore, Kerala – 1st & 2nd March, 1980 elected:

i. Com Ashis Sen as President (continued from 1978 to 26th January, 2003 i.e. Bishnupur WB Conference)

ii. Com DK Mukherjee – as General Secretary (continued till death on 31-03-2013 as Secretary General from 2010)

  • First Charter of demand of the AIRRBEA prepared by – Com Ashis Sen and Com Ajit Ghosh (1980)

  • First Constitution Amendment (Draft) by – Com Ajit Ghosh (1980)

  • First General Council Meeting – Patna, 18-01-1981

  • First strike observed by the AIRRBEA – 27th June, 1980

  • First Dharna organized by the AIRRBEA at New Delhi – 02-10-1980

  • First memorandum for Hon’ble P.M was prepared by – Com Ashis Sen and Com Sayeed Khan

  • First Deputation to Prime Minister, GOI at New Delhi – 02-10-1980

  • First Deputation to Hon’ble Finance Minister, GOI & Hon’ble Labour Minister, G.O.I – 03-10-1980

  • First series of our agitational programmers – 15-05-1980 to 02-10-1980

  • First case filed by AIRRBEA in Supreme Court praying - “equal pay for equal job”– 03-02-1984 (filed in 1983 through G S Kaushik an officer of Gurgaon Gramin Bank along with AIRRBEA)

  • Second Dharna at New Delhi – 27-03-1981

First series of Achievements –

  • Right for Recognition of T.U. (27-12-1980)

  • Right for bonus (15-10-1980)

  • Officiating allowance (22-12-1980)

  • Confirmation of staff (09-12-1980)

  • Remote place allowance (5-11-1980) etc.

Important Supreme Court directions:

Representative capacity of the AIRRBEA upheld by the Supreme Court first in 1984 (17-09-1984), then again in 1996 (12-04-1996) and again on 31-01-2001.

  • 1st Supreme Court direction – 01-09-1987 – direction to GOI to set up the NIT (National Industrial Tribunal) under the Chairmanship of Chief Justice (retired) of a High Court.

  • NIT Award on 30-04-1990 – directing Parity of wage Structure - Historic victory of the AIRRBEA under active participation of Com PSM Rao, Com S Venkateshwar Reddy, presently Secretary General, AIRRBEA and other leaders of State Federations etc.

  • 2nd Supreme Court direction – 12-04-1995 – to allow arrear & other benefits.

  • 3rd Supreme Court direction – 31-01-2001 – allowing parity – 6th -7th Bipartite.

  • 4th Supreme Court direction – 07-03-2002 – finally rejected plea of profit/loss while granting parity.

Important GOI orders:

  • Pay parity for RRB Staff established – 30-04-1990 – through the Award of the NIT.

  • First Government order on Pay parity and equation of posts – 22-02-1991 – as per NIT Award

  • First NABARD’s order on details of Pay parity 20-03-1993 – based on RC Gupta Committee report

  • First order for regularization of part-time messengers – 08-10-1984

  • Second order for regularization of part-time messengers – 04-10-1988

  • Comprehensive order on regularization of part-time messengers – 22-02-1991 & 20-03-1993

  • First Service Rule introduced in RRB for all categories of staff – 13th May, 1980

  • Service Rules after amendment notified by GOI – 15-09-2000

  • Latest Service Rules as notified by GOI – 25-06-2010

  • First Promotion Rule in RRB notified by GOI – 28-09-1988

  • Second promotion rule notified by GOI – 29-07-1998

  • Latest and existing promotion rule notified by GOI – 13-07-2010

Pay Parity Struggle:

  • Mahalik Committee appointed by GOI – November, 1996 - to delink RRB staff from Wage structure of Banking Industry.

  • Mahalik Committee Report – May, 1997 - to delink RRB staff from Wage structure of Banking Industry.

  • Karnataka High Court order on 11-11-1998 – rejecting Mahalik Committee and to uphold Parity.

  • Kerala High Court W.P. no. OP no.1871/1997 (SMGB) – to uphold parity at 6th Bipartite filed by our SMGB units under leadership of Com C Rajeevan and Com KG Madanan.

  • Kerala High Court Division Bench order on – 25-11-1998 - to uphold parity at 6th Bipartite – great victory of the AIRRBEA under the aegis of our Kerala State Federation then.

Pension Parity Struggle:

Pension Parity case of AIRRBEA (with computer Increment) before Karnataka High court – WP No. 20034 of 2003 filed by out Karnataka State Federation under leadership of Com Ganapathi Hegde and Com H Nagbhusan Rao.

  • NABARD’s Transfer Petition for all Pension cases in different High Courts to Supreme Court TP No.211 of 2009.

  • Supreme Court rejected the NABARD’s Petition on 26-08-2010 and sent back the cases to respective High Courts.

  • Pension Case in Karnataka High Court order on – 22-03-2011 (D.B order – 31-01-2014) – great legal victory under of our Karnataka State Federation.

  • Pension Case Rajasthan High Court order on – 15-09-2011.

  • Pension Case Rajasthan High Court Division Bench order on – 23-08-2012

  • GOI filed SLP before the Hon’ble Supreme Court no.39288 of 2012 against the above DB order dated 23-08-2012 of the Rajasthan High court.

  • Hon’ble Supreme Court of India allowed Pension Parity to RRB staff in terms of the NIT award. Karnataka high court single bench judgement dated 22.03.2011 and the divisional bench judgement dated 31.01.2014 were considered for the final judgment of pension issue on - 25.04.2018. This was historic day for the AIRRBEA as also the RRB Staff across the country.

Amalgamation of RRBs :

  • First Phase started in September 2005 – Sponsor Bank wise within a State – as per Prof V S Vyas Committee Report of 2004.

  • Second phase (partly) – October 2012 – Across the Sponsor Banks within the State, but not yet delinked from Sponsor Banks.

  • Third phase - June 2018 - Remaining RRBs across the Sponsor Banks within the State with motto of one RRB per state.

Changes in organisation structure:

  • AIRRBEA formed two separate wings from its 11th Conference held at Sikar, Rajasthan on 20-22nd February, 2010 – NFRRBO (National Federation of RRB Officers) and NFRRBE (National Federation of RRB Employees)

  • AIRRBEA is now (after Sikar Conference) co-ordinating body of NFRRBO and NFRRBE and as per Constitution, Secretary General, AIRRBEA is ex-officio Chairman of both NFRRBO and NFRRBE.

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