Gist of discussions in the Standing Committee Meeting held today:
The meeting of the Standing Committee of the JCM National Council was held today. Secretary (Personnel) presided. On behalf of the Confederation, Com. S.K.Vyas President and Com. KKN Kutty, Secretary General attended the meeting. All agenda items could not be discussed as the meeting had to be ended at 3.00 PM. The next meeting will take place within three months. Decisions taken on each of the agenda items discussed will be circulated shortly.
The following were the prominent issues that came up for discussion today:
(a) Bonus : Official side informed that the Cabinet had excluded the Central Govt. employees from the purview of the recent amendment to Bonus Act, whereby the ceiling limit for calculation of bonus had been raised from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3500. The Staff Side reacted sharply to this statement and informed the Secretary Personnel that they would be left with no alternative but to withdraw from the discussion forum and resort to action programmes if the Govt. persists with its untenable decision. The Secretary (Personnel) assured the Staff Side that he would convey their strong resentment over this issue to the Cabinet Secretary and will convey the Government's position. The Staff side has decided to meet in the first week of January, 2008 and consider the outcome of efforts of the Secretary Personnel in this regard and take appropriate decision.
(b) Interim Relief and the CPC Report: The Staff Side Secretary conveyed in his initial remarks that the employees are concerned over the delay in the submission of the report by the 6 th CPC due to the various references being made by the Govt. at the last minute. He also informed the Secretary Personnel that most of the Public Sector undertaking employees have been granted interim relief ranging from Rs. 20000 to Rs. 60000 while the Central Govt. employees are denied despite specific terms of reference to the 6 th CPC. He urged the Secretary Personnel to appreciate the injustice caused to the Central Govt. employees in this regard.
(c) Arbitrary reduction of CGHS rates for hospitalization and pathological tests in recognized hospitals. The Stand of the Health Ministry officials was that the rates had been revised on the basis of the tender and naturally the recognized hospitals were not entitled to object to it. The Staff Side pointed out that none of the recognized hospitals had entered into an MOU with the Govt. on the reduced rates and the beneficiaries are denied the treatment in all places. After some discussions it was decided that:
(i). the Health Ministry officials will interact with the CGE organizations in all Cites and towns where the scheme is in vogue and report as to which hospitals are providing treatment on the basis of the reduced rates and which of them were refusing to take corrective steps;
(ii). The calendar of such meetings pertaining to various CGHS centres would be prepared by the Health Ministry and would be submitted to the Secretary (Per) within 10 days.
(d) Arbitration awards: It was indicated that discussions on all items had been completed and the matter is being considered at the level of the Cabinet Secretary as to the next course of action.
(e) New Pension scheme: Both the Sides reiterated their position. The denial of family pension and other retirement benefits in respect of the employees recruited after 1.4.2004 and the remedial actions were stated to be under consideration of the Govt. In respect of those employees who were given the temporary status prior to 1.4.2004 and in whose cases, 50% of the services rendered as casual/contingent/daily rated workers are to be counted for the purpose of pension, the Secretary Pension informed the staff side that the question of treating them as having been recruited prior to 1.4. 2004 would be considered.
(f) Compassionate appointments: The Official side has gone back on their earlier assurance and has now stated that no further relaxation would be available in this regard further to what had been already announced. The Staff side contested the position taken by the Department of Personnel in the matter and reminded them of the promise held by the Cabinet Secretary when the issue was discussed with him as part of the strike charter. The continuing discrimination in the matter of compassionate appointment between the employees of the Railways and other Central Govt. employees was also brought home. After discussion, it was decided that the Joint Secretary (E) in the Department of Personnel will discuss the issue once again with the staff Side to prepare a note to the Cabinet Secretary incorporating the views of the staff side properly for his reconsideration.
(g) At the end of the meeting Staff Side Secretary enquired whether there was any proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 to which the Secretary Personnel clarified that to the best of his knowledge and information that neither the Department of Personnel nor the Finance has officially mooted any such proposal.
Secretary General Confederation.
Secretary General NFPE