Memorandum submitted to Secretary, Department of Posts, by Postal Joint Council of Action (PJCA) on 01.04.2013
The meeting of the Postal Joint Council of Action (PJCA) comprising Secretary General and General Secretaries of the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) and Federation of National Postal Organisations (FNPO) has reviewed the situation prevailing in the Department of Posts, regarding settlement of the following long pending demands of the staff side. The meeting viewed with grave concern the inordinate delay in implementing the assurances given to the staff side both during the discussion on strike charter of demands and also in the JCM Departmental Council meetings, causing large scale resentment among the Postal and RMS employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks and casual, Part time and contingent employees.
As the new Secretary, Department of Posts, has taken over charge only recently, the JCA decided to bring all the important/pending cases once again to the notice of the Secretary, Posts for early settlement, before resorting to agitational programmes. Accordingly we submit the following long pending cases for your immediate intervention and early favorable action.
1.Issues relating to Gramin Dak Sevaks
The Following specific assurances given by Secretary, Department of Posts are yet to be implemented.
(a) Enhancement of Bonus ceiling – In the matter of enhancement of Bonus ceiling to 3500/- of Gramin Dak Sevaks, it was assured that another attempt will be made to get the approval of the Finance Ministry. It was informed that the file has already been submitted to Finance Ministry with the favourable recommendations of the Postal Board and Minster, Communications.
(b) Revision of Cash handling norms
On the issue of withdrawal of upward change in cash handling norms etc, it was assured that the entire issue will be re-examined. A DDG level committee was also constituted. Minster of States for Communications has also assured the staff side that needful will be done in this case.
(c) Ensuring no reduction of TRCA under any circumstances
It was assured by Minster of State for Communications that orders for full protection of TRCA will be issued. But, in the orders issued by the Directorate, protection is given for one year only and thereafter if workload is not increased TRCA will be reduced without any protection. As per the earlier orders protection was given up to the maximum of the lower TRCA even if workload is reduced. As per the new order after one year there will be no protection at all. When workload is reduced due to circumstances beyond the Control of the GDS, reducing the TRCA is quite unjustified and inhuman.
(d) Removal of minimum 50 points conditions for GDS compassionate appointment:
(e) Redeployment of mailman posts in new areas
(f) Review of cash conveyance allowance – Monthly ceiling of Rs. 50/- to be removed.
(g) Introduction of Health Scheme.
(h) Norms for RPLI
(i) Providing norms for cash remittance from BO to AO & Vice Versa
In the minutes dated 12.07.2010 it was informed that the issues of the Health Scheme has been taken up with the nodal Ministries still it is pending.
2.Immediate finalization of Cadre Restructuring:
After the marathon discussion on the problems put forth in the strike charter on 10.01.2012 & 12.01.2012, Secretary, Department of Posts, has assured both orally and also in the minutes, inter alia;
“As recorded in the minutes of the meeting held on 27.12.2011, the proposal is under consideration of a committee under the Chairpersonship of DDG (P). The Staff side expressed their concern about the undue delay in fianalisation of the proposal on which the Secretary Posts, desired finalization of this process by 31st March 2012.It was assured that the timelines would be adhered to”. As regards restructuring of Postal Accounts officials, it was informed that the proposal was cleared by the JS&FA and stands referred to the Secretary (Posts). It was also decided to have a separate Committee under the Chairpersonship of Ms. Sandhya Rani, PMG (BD) Andhra Pradesh Circle to consider Cadre Restructuring of MMS staff. The Committee will submit its report within three months from the date of formation.”
Again in the Minutes of the discussion held with the staff side on 21.052012, it is further assured as follows:
“It was decided to formulate a proposal by 30th June 2012 for further examination in consultation with the nodal Ministries. Regarding cadre restricting of Postal Accounts it was assured that the matter will be pursued further with Postal Accounts wing and Establishment division and the PJCA will be kept appraised of the progress in the regard.”
Again during the JCM, Departmental Council standing Committee meeting held on 18.12.2012 and JCM (DC) Meeting held on 28.12.2012 it was assured as follows:
“It was informed that the report of the committee is under consideration. Proposal will be formulated by the Department. However, one round of talks with JCM members will be held before the proposal is firmed up.”
At one stage, the staff side has made it clear that if the department goes on dragging the cadre restructuring issue indefinitely, the staff side will be forced to non-cooperate with the IT Modernisation project.
It was repeatedly assured that the cadre restructuring will not be linked with the IT Modernisation Project. But still the proposals are not finalized. No meeting of the Cadre Restructuring Committee by the Postal Board was held during the last one year. The undue and unwarranted delay is causing concern and also strong resentment among the employees.
3.Revision of wages of casual labourers and their absorption
In the minutes of the discussion held with the staff side on 10.01.2012 & 123.01.2012, the Secretary (Posts) has assured as follows:
“The Staff side was appraised that a Committee had been constituted under the Chairpersonship of CPMG Assam Circle to look into the issues pertaining to Casual Labourers and it is likely to submit its report shortly. The Staff side expressed its concern over the delay in the decision. Regarding the union’s request for revised minimum wages w.e.f 01.01.2006, the matter will be examined on priority.”
Again in the minutes of the discussion held on 21.05.2012, it was further assured that____
“A Comprehensive proposal on the matter of Casual labourers will be formulated by 30th June 2012.”
In spite of these repeated assurances the payment of pro-rate wages to the law-paid casual labourers w.e.f 01.01.2006 has not taken place causing inordinate delay in payment of minimum wages to those poor employees.
4.Issuing orders on the items finalized by the Postmen Committee and also follow up action on certain items to be referred to work study Unit.
(a) Follow up action on certain in items of the Postmen Committee constituted by the Postal Board, is yet to be completed, i.e; maximum beat length, unscientific resorting to single Postmen beats, Double duty, correction in the definition of the Congested area etc.
(b) In spite of Clear orders issued by the Directorate for filling up of Postmen & MTS Vacancies for the year 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012, in certain circles (Eg. Andhra Pradesh) the examination for promotion to Postmen and MTS is not yet completed.
5. Abnormal delay in notifying HSG-I Rectt. Rules
The finalization of revised HSG-I Recruitment Rules is being delayed on one pretext or the other. This is pending over five years. 100% of HSG I posts are lying vacant and are being managed by officiating arrangements without any financial benefits. Due to the delay in finalizing HSG I Recruitment Rules, Carving out of Postmaster Grade III is also delayed. It is most unfortunate that orders have been issued by the Directorate not to fill up the HSG I vacancies as per the old Recruitment rules. At least this would have been caused to fill up the vacancies.
It has defeated the very purpose of matching savings offered to the extent of 680 PA posts for availing HSG I Promotion and it is highly deplorable. Necessary action may please be taken to finalise the HSG-I Recruitment Rules or at least to fill all the vacant posts forthwith besides carving out of Postmaster Grade III Posts as per the existing HSG I Recruitment Rules.
6. Abnormal delay in filling up of vacant LSG, HSG II and HSG-I vacancies due to non-holding of DPCs in many circles
In many circles, the regular DPC to LSG has not been convened. Many LSG Posts are being kept vacant resultantly causing a heavy shortage in PA cadre due to their officiating. Further the delay caused non filling up of HSG-II Post due to inadequacies in the eligible candidates in LSG cadre. In many circles, HSG-II DPC has also not been convened and many of the HSG-II Posts could not be filled up on a regular basis due to the officiating of the incumbents in the vacant HSG I Posts.
In nutshell all the higher posts are being managed only with the officiating or adhoc arrangements causing non filling up of basic PA posts and denying and depriving the due promotional chances to the eligible candidates .
It is therefore requested to cause appropriate orders to convene DPC and fill up all the vacant LSG & HSG II posts immediately by prescribing time schedule
7.Problems of Postmaster Cadre Officials
(i) Allowing Postmaster Cadre officials to appear for IP and PSS Group B examination.
(ii) Orders permitting the Postmaster Cadre official to officiate in HSG-I vacancies and earmarked Postmaster Grade III Posts.
(iii) Allow PO & RMS Accounts cadre official to opt for Postmasters cadre
(iv) Filling up the Postmaster Grade-III posts by granting promotion to Grade-II officials and also by option from HSG-I officials after filling up all HSG-I posts
(v) Filing up of all vacant Grade II and Grade III posts promoting the Postmaster cadre official relaxing the minimum service condition.
(vi) Filling up 100% Senior Postmaster/Chief Postmaster posts which are earmarked for Postmaster cadre by Postmaster Cadre officials alone declaring it as a hierarchical promotion cadre of Postmaster Cadre.
(vii) Delay in holding LSG, HSG II and HSG – I DPCs and thereby denying the chance for giving option to Postmaster Grade – I, II & III to eligible officials.
(viii) Maintenance of up to date separate gradation list for PM Cadre officials.
In the minutes of the discussion held on 21.05.2012 the Secretary (Posts) has assured as follows:
“The issue was discussed at length and it was decided to review it after sometime keeping in view the merits and demerits of the proposal as well as the response of the officials for Postmasters Cadre.”
The minutes did not reflect the real spirit of discussion as it was assured to consider favourably the above items after long discussion. However, it is high time to review the above cases and settle favourably. The entire Postmaster Cadre officials are totally frustrated and disappointed due to the negative attitude of the administration towards them.
8. Problems of System Administrators
In the minutes of the Departmental Council JCM Standing Committee dated 02.02.2012 (communicated in letter dated 06.06.2012) for the 15 items pertaining to system Administrators including creation of separate cadre, it is furnished as follows:
“The issue is under the consideration of the cadre Restructuring Committee constituted under the chairmanship of DDG (P) vide Department’s office memo no. 01/04/2010-Sr dated 05.05.2011”
Finalization of the proposal by the Cadre Restructuring Committee is being delayed indefinitely. Recently, during the demonstration of IT Modernisation Project, the Staff side has repeatedly requested the Member (Technology) to create a separate cadre and absorb all the existing SAs as a onetime measure in the new cadre. Unfortunately no commitment was given regarding the creation of new cadre, except the assurance that the services of the existing system Administrators will be utilized in future also. It is high time to end the present uncertainty by creating a separate cadre for System Administrators.
9. Implementation of speed Post hubs and L1, L2 System
The High Power Committee appointed to discuss the issues under the Chairpersonship of then Secretary, Department of Posts assured the following before implementation of MNOP proposals.
(i) There will be no shifting of staff from L1 office to L2 office vice versa for three years.
(ii) Irregular or wrong identification of L1 office will be changed after discussion with the staff side.
But to our dismay both the promises were not kept. There is a complete violation and deviation of assurances. Further, eventhough directorate has issued instruction to the Chief PMGs regarding change of administrative jurisdiction of speed post hubs, certain Chief PMGs have not yet implemented it and still some of the speed post hubs are continuing under the administrative jurisdiction of postal superintendent.
Further, CRC & Speed post norms have been finalized without any consultation with staff side. The impracticable norms have been imposed upon violating the earlier decision and agreements on the subject.
10. MACP Related issues
The implementation of the Jodhpur CAT Judgment; i.e. non-counting of promotions acquired from one cadre to other through examination for MACP, Granting of MACP counting the total service rendered in each cadre etc has not been implemented resulting deprival of dues to the senior most promotees in the Department of Posts. This may kindly be considered.
11. Problems of APM Accounts/Accountants
The following demands in respect of PO & RMS Accountants have not been considered yet causing resentment and displeasure amidst the qualified hands.
(i) Proportionate distribution of APM Accounts posts among LSG, HSG II and HSG-I
(ii) Counting special allowance for pay fixation benefits to PO & RMS Accountants on promotion. Implementation of Karnataka High court order not only for a specific period but also till the withdrawal of the TBOP/BCR schemes in true spirit. The special allowance should be taken for pay fixation up to 31.08.2008 for TBOP/BCR officials.
(iii) Date of passing Accountants exam may be taken as the criteria for counting seniority for promotion, since no amendment has so far been issued to the statutory rules. Further the earlier passing of examination will have no relevance in future.
12. Filling up of all vacant posts
Even though Government of India has lifted ban on filling up of posts from 2009 onwards, and the Directorate has given repeated instructions to fill up all direct recruitment as well as promotional quota of vacancies up to 2012, in many circles posts are remaining unfilled. Similarly in Postal Accounts much delay in taking place in filling up of posts due to delay in finalization of the Recruitment process by staff selection commission. Action may be taken to fill up all vacant posts from 2009 onwards on top priority basis as the staff are reeling under the pressure of workload which in turn affects the efficiency of the services rendered by the Department of posts.
In conclusion, we hope that all the above issues will be given top most priority and the Hon’ble Secretary, Department of Posts, shall come forward for a negotiated settlement with the staff side in a time bound manner.
13. Non settlement of agreed items placed in the Departmental Council (JCM)
Most of the issues agreed in the last Departmental Council meeting held on 28.12.2012 have not been processed further. Many of them remain as it is. There is no serious action taken in mitigating the issues put forth in the departmental council meeting.
Awaiting early action
(D. Theagarajan) (M. Krishnan)
Secretary General, FNPO Secretary General, NFPE