The meeting of the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) was held on 17th January 2017, Leaders of Railways, Defence, Postal and Confederation attended the meeting, Unfortunately, there was no consensus regarding revival of the deferred indefinite strike of the 11th July 2017. Hence no decision could be taken.
The clear picture that emerged from the NJCA meeting held on 17.01.2017 is that there is no possibility of a joint strike or revival of deferred indefinite strike in the near future. It is also a fact that Government may implement the recommendations of Allowances Committee, Pension Committee etc before or immediately after March 2017; It has become certain that the Pension Committee has rejected Option. I recommended by the 7th Central Pay Commission, which is the one and only favorable recommendation, and the Implementation Cell of the Finance Ministry is processing the recommendation, of Pension Committee for Cabinet approval.
Whether the Allowances Committee will recommend any change in the recommendation of the 7th CPC (i.e. %ge of HRA etc.), nobody can predict. The request of the Secretary, JCM staff side and NJCA Convener to convene one more meeting with staff side was not conceded by the chairman of the Allowance Committee (finance Secretary ) till date. There is every possibility that the Government may not implement the revised allowances from 01.01.2016, instead it may implement it from 01.01.2017 or 01.04.2017, thereby denying arrears on allowances. After Government unilaterally implementing everything, declaring a strike is a futile exercise and betrayal of employees. We should strike when the iron is hot.
The unilateral decision of the Government to implement “Very good” bench mark for MACP promotions has cast shadow on the future promotional prospects of a large number of employees who are not in the good book of the Government and administration for reason best known to them. The NPS Committee constituted by the Government is not mandated to recommend scraping of New Pension Scheme, but it is for recommending cosmetic changes in NPS in the name of streamlining the NPS as recommended by the 7th CPC.
Regarding increase in Minimum Pay and Fitment formula, no High Level Committee is constituted till date, as assured by the Group of Senior Cabinet Ministers to NJCA leaders on 30.06.2016. A Group of Senior Officers held two round discussion with the staff side, but surprisingly they had not come prepared to discuss increase in Minimum wage and Fitment formula. They made a mockery of the meeting by disclosing in the first meeting that they are not fully aware of the details of the issue and in the second meeting they told that they came for discussing Allowances (another committee for Allowances is already constituted) and not Minimum wage and fitment formula!!! The last meeting was held in October 2016 and thereafter no meeting is notified. All the anomalies arising out of implementation of 7th CPC recommendations remain unsettled.
There is no improvement in the issues relating to Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS). It will take time for implementation of GDS Committee report which is published on 19.01.2017. Other demands submitted to Government by NJCA on 10th June 2016 along with the strike notice are also pending. The four months time fixed for Allowance committee already extended to six months. The four months time for increasing Minimum pay and fitment formula expired on 30.10.2016.
All the employees and pensioners are totally disappointed and are voicing their anger and protest through various forums and social media. In the above circumstances, everybody expected that NJCA shall revive its deferred indefinite strike. Inspite of our best efforts, that is not happening.
When the three Cabinet Ministers including Shri Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Shri Suresh Prabhu, Railway minister have gone back from their assurances and betrayed the entire employees and Pensioners, when the Government is unilaterally going ahead with all retrograde measures, we cannot remain silent spectators and accept every decision of the Government lying down, without any protest, Somebody should come forward to protest and, if necessary, to suffer and sacrifice and history has bestowed that responsibility on Confederation.
It is in this background the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers has decided to go for one day strike on 16.03.2017. As the biggest affiliate of Confederation, NFPE and all its affiliates shall implement the decision in its true spirit and make the one day strike a thundering success.