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NRB staff launch protest

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 26, 2017-

Employees of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank, have launched a protest after the board of directors allegedly amended the compulsory retirement policy, paving the way for staff to work even after they complete 30 years of service.

To express dissatisfaction, members of the two trade unions at the NRB on Monday picketed the Governor’s Office from 11 am to 1 pm and shut down many branch offices from 11 am till 12 noon.

On Tuesday, the trade unions will shut down all branches of the NRB from 10 to 11 am and picket the Governor’s Office, according to Rajiv Regmi, general secretary of the Nepal Financial Institutions Employees Association (NFIEA), a trade union close to the Nepali Congress.

There are three trade unions at the central bank: Nepal Rastra Bank Employees Association (NRBEA), which is close to the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), National Employees Organisation (NEO), which is close to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the NFIEA.

The NFIEA and the NRBEA have denounced the NRB board’s alleged decision to amend the compulsory retirement policy, while the NEO has backed the move.

“The latest change will prevent career development at NRB because older staff, who should retire, will be able to work for a longer period,” said Regmi.

At present, NRB staff must retire after 30 years in service or after reaching the age of 58, whichever comes first. “But the latest change made by the NRB board will allow all employees to work till 58, regardless of when they joined the institution,” said Regmi.

The Post could not independently verify whether the NRB board has approved changes made to the retirement policy.

“We have not been officially informed about the change but very reliable sources told us this morning that the change has been approved by the board,” said Regmi.

If the change has been made, then 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 alreadyoverstaffed, to follow suit.

This is because the three institutions follow in the NRB’s footsteps to frame policies for employees.

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, officials claimed, has changed the provision in the employees’ bylaw to serve the interest of employees who are retiring.

“We want the NRB to currently focus on delivering effective services in the newly-formed provinces, instead of prolonging tenure of employees who should retire,” said Regmi, adding, “Province 6, for instance, does not even have a branch of the NRB, while there are provinces with two branch offices each.”

Employees demand apology

KATHMANDU: Trade unions of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) have demanded apology from Deputy Governor Chinta Mani Siwakoti for using a derogatory term during a meeting with employees on Monday.

Members of trade unions of the NRB had visited Siwakoti to officially inform him about the protest programmes.

During the meeting, some of the employees had not put on their office uniform, according to Rajiv Regmi, general secretary of the Nepal Financial Institutions Employees Association.

“He [Siwakoti] said employees should not visit the deputy governor wearing clothes like bus conductors, which was insulting,” said Regmi, adding, “We will not sit for talks with the management unless he apologies.” (PR)

Published: 26-09-2017 09:57

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