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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Decisions taken in the meeting under the Chairpersonship of Secretary (P) held on 24/06/2013 on memorandum submitted by Postmen & MTS Staff union.

Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
(S.R. Section)

Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg
New Delhi dated the 8th July, 2013

Shri I.S. Dabas
          General Secretary
All India Postal Employees Union Postmen & MSE Gr.’D’
17/3-D, Type-III, P&T Quarters
Kali Bari Marg
New Delhi-110 001

Shri T.N. Rahate
          General Secretary & President FNPO
National Union of Postal Employees Postmen Gr ‘.D’
Central Head Quarters, Dalvi Sadan, Khurshid Square
P&T Colony, Civil Lines
Delhi – 110 054

                            Subject:  Memorandum submitted to the Secretary, Department of Posts on       urgent issues of Postmen and MTS Staff.

                      Reference your letter No. Memorandum/Postmen JCM/2013 dated 07/06/2013 (received in SR Section on 18/06/2013) on the above subject.  The issues raised in the memorandum have been examined in consultation with all officers concerned in the meeting held under the chairpersonship of Secretary (Posts).  The decisions taken on the various issues, raised by the unions, are enclosed.

                      It is reiterated that no purpose is served by agitations.  On the contrary, disruption of work undermines the prestige of the Department and affects the business.  You are, therefore, requested again to stay away from such activities and call off the proposed Dharna / strike.

Yours faithfully,

Encl: as above.
                                                                                                                             (Arun Malik)
Director (SR)

Decisions taken in the meeting under the chairpersonship of Secretary (Posts) held on 24/06/2013 on memorandum submitted by Postmen & MTS Staff Unions
Sl. No.
Agenda Item
Decisions taken
Postmen Committee Recommendation not Implemented

Extraction of data entry work from Postman:Suitable instructions / Orders to all the Circles are to be issued by 30/04/2012; nothing has been done so far.  An early issue of orders is required to implement them.
It has been decided that circles will make necessary arrangements at WCTC or DO/HO to impart training on Saturdays/Sundays to all those Postmen who are unable to perform data entry work to bring proficiency.  It is essential for Postman to perform data entry work as the Department is moving from a present computerized mode to the CSI Software and Hand Held device for the Postman.  Under MNOP data entry of articles for delivery is a part of the delivery system.  The Hand Held device will be given to the heavier SP/Regd. Post delivery POs the data of articles for delivery in a delivery PO coming through CSI Software will be down loaded into the HH device.  The Postmen will then have to tick (   )   when article is delivered on or choose from a drop down menu for reasons of non-delivery. Necessary training for Postmen will be given.
Revision of postmen norms: Postmen norms issued by the Department are very old.  The decision taken in the committee are not convincing.  As such it is suggested that formation of fresh Internal Work Study Unit with one / two staff side members to review all work performed by postmen staff with door to door measurement of beats was requested.  Internal Work Study Unit for this job is to be ordered by the Directorate as the same does not come under the jurisdiction of the Committee.
The norms for Postmen were issued on 05/02/2010 after discussions with Postal Unions and were further revised on 19/07/2012.  Therefore, the demand for constitution of a fresh committee for revised norms is not justified.
Change in procedure for payment of Speed Post delivery incentive: At present the procedure for payment of incentive is very lengthy.  Nobody prepares bills.  In case the bills are prepared they remain under verification of PRI/SDI/ASP then go to sanction to the Divisional Head.  After sanction of bills from Divisional Head to DDOs for payment.   Then bills are to be prepared DDOs for payment office wise.  It is suggested that module for payment of Speed Post Incentive in the computer software be installed and give powers of payment to the concerned postmaster on weekly/ monthly.  After payment the concerned vouchers be sent to the DDOs for accounting purpose.
It was decided that software module for generation of speed post incentive bills shall be developed for installation in the Post Office.  However, the sanction of the incentive bill will continue to be done by Divisional Office.
Combination of beat:  It was decided in the above meeting that limit of combination of beat in the post office having 4+ strength will be removed since it adversely affects the delivery efficiency.  But orders on this item are yet to be issued by the Directorate.  This needs to be done at the earliest.
It was decided that combination of beats will continue wherever essential due to leave and other contingencies so that delivery of mail which is the core business of Post Office is not adversely affected.
Delivery of Heavy parcels and EPP articles: It was pointed out by the staff side that Postman faces difficulty in delivery of registered parcels weighing more than 5 Kgs each and EPP articles of which the maximum weight of 35 Kgms., per articles has been fixed.  It was highlighted that either some reasonable rate and mode of conveyance for delivery EPP articles should be fixed or the rates of coolie charges fixed in the past should be revised for efficient delivery of the registered parcel.  It was decided that the Directorate will consider reiterating the instructions on coolie charges to all the Circles so that the delivery of heavy parcels is not adversely affected.  Whether coolie charges pertaining to heavy parcels have been enhances due to high prices.  As regards EPP parcels, whether mode of conveyance with rate of each mode have been decided by the Directorate.
It was decided that the new Parcel Division will examine the proposal keeping in view issues of the heavy parcel and EPP articles.
Corrigendum on density of population:  The staff side drew attention of the committee to the note of Sl.8 in the Directorate letter No.9-1/2005-WSI/PE.I dated 05/02/2010 which stipulates that area having a density of population 2500 per Sq. KM may be taken as congested area “and pointed out that the same has incorrectly been printed as it should refer to 2500 per sq. Mile instead of 2500 sq. meter.  They quoted a clarification received from PTC, Mytore which has cited Directorate letter dated 19/02/1976 indicating establishment norms for Postmen and defining congested area or having a density of population of 2500 sq. per Mile.  After discussion it was agreed that Directorate would examine and issue suitable amendment / corrigendum to the Note 8 of the revised norms of postmen establishment.
Matter was examined and found that vide letter NO.l9-1/2005-WS.I/PE.I dated 05/02/2010, norms for Postmen Establishment were circulated in which under note 8 – density of population mentioned 2500 per, and still holds good.  The union is confusing with earlier order issued in the year 1975. 

PTC, Mysore will also be informed to correct their compendium and send correction to every booklet sold.
Creating of justified additional posts:  In this connection while implementing the system for delivery work and allowing postmen to write correct remarks for non-delivery.  The staff side drew attention to item No. 25 minutes of the last JCM meeting issued on 01/03/2012 wherein it is mentioned that the issue is under examination by the Postman Committee being chaired by CGM (PLI).  After discussion, the view emerged that this item is not part of Committee’s mandate and the issue pertains to creation / re-deployment of Posts which is basically a policy issue.  However, the staff side mentioned that Postmen were not able to write correct remarks for non-delivery of article due to heavy work in the project Arrow Offices, it was, therefore, decided that the experience gathered after implementation of Project Arrow in various Post Offices could be examined.  Result on examination has not been communicated so far in this regard.
It was decided that the commitment made in respect of Project Arrow implementation will be examined by Director (Mail Management). Accordingly, the issue was examined.  As per Postal Manual (Vol. VI, Part 3), when an undelivered article or MO entered in the Postman’s book (M 27) is brought back, a remark as to why it was not delivered or paid should be written briefly but legibly by the Postmen.  Therefore, recording the reasons for non-delivery is part of Postmen’s job, ever since Postal manuals were written.

As Hand Held device shall soon be issued to Postmen of heavier SP/Regd. Post delivery offices and GDS – BPM and delivery agents, the entry of reasons for delivery/non-delivery can be ticked from the drop down option menu by Postmen at the time of effecting delivery itself.
Cadre Restructuring of Postman an MTS: The first and foremost issue on which a bias against the Postman is clearly visible is that of cadre restructuring for this cadre.  The Department through conceded to form a Cadre Restructuring Committee during the strike negotiations with the Postal Joint Council of Action had issued orders omitting the cadre of Postman and MTS from the ambit of cadre restructuring.  This shows the mind-set of the Department on the important issue of cadre restructuring of Postman and MTS cadre.  The stand of the Postal Directorate was against the direction of the Official Side in the National Anomaly Committee that every department shall go into the issue of cadre restructuring for boosting the promotional avenues of employees rather than depending too much on the MACP Scheme for that purpose.  It is a known fact that the cadres of Postman and MTS have no in-situ promotion in their cadre except the promotion to the cadre of Postal Assistant through a competitive examination.  Every other cadre other than the cadres of Postman and MTS have their own hierarchical promotions in their own cadre and this discrimination cannot be ended without a proper cadre restructuring in place for the Postman and MTS cadre.  Even the flimsy promotion for the cadre of Postman earlier to the introduction of TBOP / BCR like Head Postman, sorting Postman etc., have disappeared from the scene and as on date no promotion in the cadre is available to both these cadres.  Unfortunately, the Department of Posts not only  not in a position to appreciate our contention as well as the proposal for cadre restructuring based on percentage basis as available to all cadres in the Department of Railways but no inclined to consider any cadre restructuring proposal to these cadres.  The absence of any promotion to them in their own cadre leaves them total frustrated and takes away any incentive to perform better to the services.  This has to be properly appreciated and attended to by the Postal Directorate in the absence of Cadre Restructuring Committee failed to find out any alternate proposals to ‘our proposal based on percentage.’
It was decided to ascertain as to how many Postmen / GDS / MTS have passed the examination during the last five years and how many Postmen vacancies were filled through direct recruitment.

Cadre restructuring for Group ‘C’ employees was not found justified.

There is only one cadre i.e. Postal Asstt. after the Postman cadre.  The functional requirement of PA Cadre includes knowledge of computers.  They are also recruited on examination both from DR and promoted.  Hence a chance for those who measure up is already provided subject to fitness.
Door to Door Scientific Measurement of Beats: (A) – At present the door to door beat measurement system adopted by the department is not only unsatisfactory but also incorrect one as neither scientific device like foot meter nor cyclo meter is used to assess the actual length of beat.  The measurement of beats is generally done while sitting on the table by guess work only.  Moreover the workload of mail delivery and number of houses to be visited during duty of eight hours has no where been laid down causing extreme  harassment to postmen  staff.  It is demanded that the number of houses to be visited and number of articles to be delivered should be laid down in the interest of delivery efficiency and rationalization of workload of postmen staff as well.

The Directorate ordered for rationalizing of Postman beats after hearing our complaints that Postman beats are constructed unscientifically with long distances humanly impossible to cover on a day.  Many examples like more than 70 kilometers beats were brought to the notice of the Postman Committee to substantiate our complaints.  Based on the discussions the Directorate agreed to issue orders for measuring the beats and rationalizing them appropriately.  Unfortunately the CHQs of our Unions are receiving complaints from our Circles that re-measuring of beats is being done most unscientifically without using either the cyclo-meters or foot-meters but applying their imaginary calculations.  This has complicated the problem more and there is wide spread resentment among the Postman staff.  Both our unions urge upon you to issue strict instructions to measure all Postman beats only by using cyclo-meters or foot-meters for the purpose of rationalizing the beats.
The representative beats intimated by staff side  in Delhi and Haryana Circles have been assessed and the assessment / study report is enclosed.  It has been found that in Delhi Circle the two POs have excessive manpower while in Haryana the manpower is short of its requirement.

To fix the meeting of Committee for Modification in Order No. 31-38/79-PE-I dt 22-5-1979:- The Committee Constituted for examination of Modification in Departmental Order No. 31-38/79-PE-I dt. 23-5-1979 in R/O footwork of the Postman from door to door walk in R/O Item DO 4 of Periodical Meeting held on 29-11-2012 and Departmental Council Meeting on 28-12-2012.

This issue was deliberated by the committee constituted to examine the issues related to postmen under the chairmanship of the then CGM (PLI) Shri Shekhar Sinha.  The committee was of view that the time factor for door-to-door distance travelled by foot by the postmen is being taken care of in the time factor provided for delivery of mail The committee further noted that this aspect has been duly clarified in the note No. 11 of Directorate letter dated 5/2/2010 which is reproduced below:
“Distance travelled means distance covered on the main roads, lanes and bye-lanes. Distance travelled/covered for entering various houses is included in the time factor for delivery of articles.”
Revision of Syllabus to Departmental Exams Modification:- (A)  As narrated in the earlier paragraph the only avenue open to the cadre of Postman / MTS for higher promotion is that Postal Assistants through competitive examinations. The Department opted for revision of syllabus and pattern of examinations and the Staff Side too agreed to it. It was told to us that the revision of syllabus and pattern of examinations would go a long way to help more candidates get through the examination to avoid many vacancies go unfilled after every examination. It took a long time for finalizing the syllabus and new method of examination introduced for LGO exam. However it is found that contrary to what was told by the Department the examinations of LGOs as well as the examinations from GDS to Postman and MTS have become so tuff that it has become extremely difficult to answer many questions.  Many questions are of such a standard that even IPS Officers may not be able to answer easily. This has led to a situation wherein the candidates could not get through these examinations and a large number of vacancies remain unfilled after the examinations. Both of our unions urge upon you to set up a high level committee of Officers with Staff Side Members in it to review the whole syllabus for suitably modifying it. 

It was decided that the question papers of the last three years will be examined by DDG(P)  to see whether any question was out of the syllabus and report submitted in 15 days.   The question papers in respect of minimum three circles will be examined for the report.  Revision of syllabus is not recommended as syllabus is linked to job content and should not be compromised in these days of stiff competition from couriers and public expectancy of service delivery.
Request to conduct special examination for recruitment to the Postman & MTS cadres for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 : To avoid recurring vacancies due to leaving of qualified employees of high standard in the background of submission made above, it is requested that –
1. To fill up the vacancies for the years 2009 to 2013 in the Postman and MTS cadre aspecial examination only for GDS/MTS employees may be conducted.
2. The question paper may be set on the basis of practical and relevant work routinely done by the regular MTS and Postman employees.
3. The work of setting question paper may be got done by a promotee officerwho is having practical knowledge of the nature of work being done by the MTS and Postman employees.

The posts are to be filled as per the provisions of the modified Recruitment Rules, which are statutory in nature.  However, no deviation from the RRs is permissible.  However, all circles will be addressed to hold the examination as per prescribed periodicity.  Circles will also be advised to hold training classes on holidays in Divisions on a fee basis of competiting employees to ensure that syllabus based training is imparted to upgrade knowledge and skills.  Divisional Supdt. will only be enablers for this process.
Filling up vacant posts with Residual vacancies:-All vacant post of Postmen & Group D/MTS should be filled in within 30th June 2013 as directed by Directorate. There is no chance to fill up vacant posts in due time as no notification has been issued in many circles like A.P. and Assam Circle etc.
Status of vacancies will be reviewed on receipt of feedback from the circles in the first / second week of July, 2013 which is the time limit given to Circles for this task.
Improving the Quality of Uniforms and timely supply of all kit items:-The Postman and MTS are called the uniformed staff in the Department of Posts. Unfortunately these cadres who are actually moving among the members of public pose a poor picture to the image of the Department because of the inferior quality of the uniform cloth. Despite the agreement with the All India Unions by the Department that facilitated inclusion of staff side member from the Unions in the purchase committee of uniform cloth to ensure purchase of better quality of cloth,, the problem persists. This cannot be sorted out unless the cost price permitted by the DOPT is enhanced on the face of escalating prices of all commodities including the textiles. The cost price permitted by the DOPT cannot ensure better quality uniform cloth from the market. Added to this are the violations here and there in Circles where the Administration is not sincerely ensuring inclusion of staff side members in the purchase committee and no protection against ensuring supply of the selected quality of cloth only to the staff. These have to be addressed immediately.

This issue relates to purchase of good quality of uniform and non inclusion of representatives of staff side in the purchase committee was taken up with DOPT by this Department.  DOPT had furnished their comments for procurement of uniform which are as under:
“After coming into effect of GFR 2005 this Department has issued an OM No.14/7/2003-JCA dated 25/11/2005 which was in supersession of the earlier instructions, clarifying that the further procurement should be made as per the relevant rules in the new GFR’s.  This implies that Ministries /Departments can now decide to procure uniform from anywhere and on rates subject to complying with the provisions of GFR 2005”.

This advice of DOPT is being circulated to all Circles for necessary action.  Further, Circles will be asked to comply with specifications circulated for uniform while making supply.  Union is requested to bring specific instances with details and samples for examination, if necessary.
Stop Unscientific Measurement of Postmen Beats:
The Directorate ordered for rationalizing of Postman beats after hearing our complaints that Postman beats are constructed unscientifically with long distances humanly impossible to cover on a day. Many examples like more than 70 Kilometres beats were brought to the notice of the Postman Committee to substantiate our complaints. Based on the discussions the Directorate agreed to issue orders for measuring the beats and rationalizing them appropriately. Unfortunately the CHQs of our Unions are receiving complaints from our Circles that re-measuring of beats is being done most unscientifically without using either the cyclo-meters or foot-meters but applying their imaginary calculations. This has complicated the problem more and there is widespread resentment among the Postman staff. Both our Unions urge upon you to issue strict instructions to measure all Postman beats only by using cyclo-meters or foot-meters for the purpose of rationalizing the beats.
The representative beats in Delhi and Haryana Circles have been assessed and the assessment / study report is enclosed.

Cycle Maintenance Allowance to MTS:-The Cycle Maintenance Allowance is paid to all Postman staff without any conditions whereas the MTS Staff who are engaged in letter box clearing or other outside office work  excluded from the ambit of CMA. This is unjustified. The MTS Staff also are to be paid CMA without any conditions as like Postman staff. Both our Unions urge upon you to issue necessary orders to pay CMA to all MTS without any conditions.

The Postman’s duty involves daily visit to delivery letters in his beat and hence if using cycle the allowance is admissible.  Since different persons, depending on availability of persons, are used for letter box clearance, the allowance is not admissible.  Further, the proposal that MTS staff be paid CMA without any condition like Postman staff is not acceptable.
Revision of Fixed Monetary Compensation (FMC):-This has reference to your office  letter No 10-7/2003.P.E.II dated 24th Nov 2010 wherein existing rate on revision has been enhanced for each category except Multi Tasking staff whose rate of remuneration has been reduced @ Rs 60/- per holiday for 4 hours whereas MTS staff was getting  @ Rs63.45 per holiday for 3 hrs on hourly basis @ Rs 21.15 per hour. Protracted correspondence made proved in fructuous. This need to be reviewed for proper justice to the MTS staff.

The matter will be examined as per extant rules by DDG(Estt.) and put up in file within 15 days.
Abolition of Nodal Delivery Centers at all metro cities:-All Nodal delivery centers should be abolished throughout the Country immediately to avoid complication in day-to-day delivery system. (Example–West Bengal Circle, Karnataka Circle, Bangalore, Maharashtra Circle Mumbai GPO).

Mail delivery is the core business of post and everything should be done to ensure that service to public is not compromised particularly in view of stiff competition from the courier industry.  Nodal delivery is functioning smoothly at many places.  In their memorandum, service unions have not cited any specific reason as to what complications arise out of nodal delivery and why Nodal delivery should be abolished.  In the absence of complete information, it is difficult to examine the matter.

To Stop harassment:-The postman staff being tortured for 100% delivery and in various cases by asking them to work beyond duty hours and many other ways harassment is there it must be stopped.
100% delivery is the duty of Post Office and Postmen and hence there is no harassment in performing duty.  No specific instances have been brought to the notice of the Directorate by the service unions.  In case any specific instance of harassment is brought to the notice of the Directorate by the service unions, the same will be examined.

Promotional posts of Postmen Cadre: The posts of Mail Overseer, Cash Overseer, Head Postman and Sorting Postman should be considered as promotional posts for Postmen cadre and an additional increment or some allowance should be granted for performance duties on such posts. Seniority criteria of postmen should be taken in view while deploying on these posts.
There is no separate Grade Pay between Rs. 2000 and 2400 in the hierarchy of the Grade Pay recommended by 6th CPC.  In case we treat these cadres as promotional cadres of the postman then they will be losers as 1st financial upgradation will be admissible to them in the same Grade Pay but with only one increment. For example a direct recruit postman is presently allowed 1st financial upgradation to the GP of Rs. 2400, 2ndfinancial upgradation to the GP of Rs. 2800 and 3rd financial upgradation to the GP of Rs. 4200. In the event of treating these cadres as promotional cadres in the same GP but with allowance, they will get 1st financial upgradation GP of Rs. 2000, 2ndfinancial upgradation of GP of Rs. 2400 and 3rd financial upgradation to GP of Rs. 2800.
        The special allowance provided after introduction of TBOP effective from 30/11/1983 was withdrawn on introduction of BCR effective from 01.10.1991. Thus for the posts of Mail Overseer, Cash Overseer, Head Postman & Sorting Postman, no special allowance is currently admissible.