NFPE FEDERAL SECRETARIAT DECIDED TO WITHDRAW THE INDEFINITE STRIKE
DECISION ON THE BASIS OF THE APPROACH OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR NOT TAKING ANY UNILATERAL DECISION ON GDS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS WITHOUT CONSULTING THE STAFF SIDE
DECISION IS INFLUENCED BY THE NON-NEGATIVE APPROACH OF THE SENIOR OFFICERS COMMITTEE HEADED BY SHRI P.K.GOPINATH
GDS CHQ ADVISED BY NFPE SECRETARIAT TO COLLECTIVELY CALL OFF TO MAINTAIN UNITY FOR NEGOTIATIONS AND FUTURE ACTION
The Federal Secretariat of NFPE met today at 9.00 P.M. in the Office of the NFPE. Before the meeting started the General Secretaries, the Secretary General and the office bearers of the NFPE had a detailed discussion with the General Secretary of GDS Union. The situation arising out of the two days strike conducted jointly by the GDS Union and by the NFPE and its affiliated unions was discussed. It was pointed out to him that since the approach of the Senior Officers Committee is positive on many issues and that the Department has given a letter to us admitting that the Staff side would be provided with adequate opportunity to present our view point before the Postal Board sends the proposals to the Cabinet, there is no compelling reason to continue the Indefinite Strike into the third day.
It was also pointed out by the Secretariat members that if the Department is negative and denies any negotiating table then there would have been no other alternative but to intensify the strike. But since that is not the case the need for continuing the strike is absent. Even though the General Secretary GDS Union also concurred that the approach of the Senior Officers Committee was positive during the interaction between the Committee and the GDS Union today, he expressed his decision that he cannot agree to the view point of NFPE to suspend the agitation. He favoured continuing the strike and to appear before the Regional Labour Commissioner for continuing the conciliatory proceedings.
In this background the NFPE Federal Secretariat analysed the whole situation thoroughly and came to the unanimous conclusion that the solidarity strike call for Indefinite Strike cannot be continued for the third day and that the strike call of the NFPE and its affiliated unions shall have to be suspended forthwith. NFPE Secretariat further resolved to request the GDS General Secretary also to suspend the strike action collectively and preserve unity in ongoing and further negotiations and for future actions.
If for any reason the GDS Union finds itself difficult to withdraw its strike action simultaneously, the NFPE Secretariat has resolved to call upon the entirety of postal employees to extend support by organising demonstrations etc for the GDS even after withdrawing the Indefinite Strike action.
Dear Comrades! NFPE is an organisation of historic traditions. We are an organisation of militant class consciousness. We never hesitated to agitate or organise strikes or continue to go on higher form of action if need be. But we cannot be dogmatic when negotiating forums are made available to us by the Department. We even now hope that the GDS CHQ would realize the need for unity and united approach of all organisations and would take action before late to fall in line with the entirety of NFPE organisations that always stood by the side of the downtrodden GDS and will always stand by their side.
NFPE DISCUSSED MODIFICATIONS ON GDS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH SENIOR OFFICERS COMMITTEE.
COMMITTEE DISCUSSION POSITIVE
NO DRAMATIC DEPARTURE FROM STATUS QUO PRACTICE ON MANY ISSUES
Today NFPE Delegation consisting of Comrades K.Ragavendran [Secretary General NFPE]; K.V.Sridharan [General Secretary P3]; and Ishwar Singh Dabas [General Secretary P4] attended the discussion with the Senior Officers Committee headed by Shri.P.K.Gopinath Chief Postmaster General Delhi Circle. The full Committee took the meeting with us and more than one hour all issues raised in our Note to Secretary [P] were discussed. We insisted that the Government of India should now consider our demand for grant of Civil Servants status under the light and spirit of several Supreme Court Judgments.
The approach of the Senior Officers Committee is positive. The Chairman of the Committee shared our opinion and asserted that no dramatic departure should be made on many established practices like Pro-rata comparison with Mail Overseers, Postmen, Group D; same DA formula; same PLB Bonus ceiling etc. Even on the matter of our assertion that GDS should be treated as holders of Civil Post as per the Supreme Court judgment and not to be downgraded as part timers or vetti or thalayaris etc, the approach of the Committee is positive.
The following points have been insisted within the limited time available to us for discussion with the Committee:
- Status of Civil Servants to be accorded to GDS and all benefits and all allowances on par with regular shall be proportionately granted.
- Prorata wages on the basis of historical comparison with Mail Overseers, Postmen, Group D to be maintained and no violation as recommended by GDS Committee should be accepted. The Committee is positively responded to this.
- There should be only two pay scales for the work load for 3.45 minutes and above. This would be considered.
- Rate of increment shall be @ 3% and not as recommended by GDS Committee. The Committee may favourably consider this issue.
- DA Formula should not be changed as recommended by GDS Committee by introducing a Rural Basket and the same formula in existence for all CG Employees should be continued without any change. The Committee felt that no need to drastically change the existing system of DA Formula.
- PLB Formula should be same for all Postal Employees and the recommendation of the GDS Committee for reducing the ceiling for GDS should not be accepted. The Committee appreciated our view point and may consider favourably.
- Fixation of Pay for GDS should ensure exact comparative Prorata wages including the Grade Pay Quantum and weightage should be ensured @ one increment per two years of service. This will be considered.
- Pension in the name of Service Discharge Benefit offered by the GDS Committee is very low and it has to be as per Justice Talwar Committee and a minimum of 1750/- per month should be ensured by modifying the recommendations of the GDS Committee. The Severance Amount presently payable to Promotees from GDS shall continue. All our suggestions will receive due consideration of the Committee.
- Gratuity should not be less than the amount prescribed under the Gratuity Act 1972 as per the Supreme Court Judgment. The issue will receive due attention.
- No adverse change to be introduced in the promotional avenue and promotional methods for GDS like introduction of direct recruitment in Postmen cadre and introduction of examination for becoming upgraded Group C. This will be considered favourably. In addition we demanded that the Department should consider ACP for GDS also. We also insisted introduction of element of recruitment of PA Cadre from amongst the GDS by appearing the exam for the unfilled vacancies.
- Transfer shall be permitted to GDS against vacant posts without restriction. The issue was discussed deeply and the Committee may give some positive decision also.
- Leave shall be at least 50% of total leave available to regular and the facility to carry forward the leave accumulated without any restriction be permitted. Maternity leave should be same as regular without difference and should be paid from the exchequer and not from welfare fund.
- No abolition of GDS posts, offices etc. The Committee again reiterated that no drastic departure from the existing position.
- The standards particularly tightening of standard like cash counting etc for BPM recommended by GDS Committee should be rejected. The Committee agreed that the recommendation of GDS Committee is unscientific. We hope the Committee may favourably consider this issue.
- Retirement age should not be reduced. The Committee felt that no need to drastically change the status quo.
- No abolition of GDS MM, GDS SV, ED BOs, ED SOs and GDS SPM etc. The Committee will consider continuation of existing system instead of drastic departure of the present.
- No PSSK or Franchisee outlets should be opened in lieu of BOs.
- Combined duty should be compensated by actual work load and not a meagre allowance.
- On Cycle beat – Foot beat formula, we demanded that the 1987 agreement shall be honoured. This was agreed to.
- Office Maintenance Allowance should be at least 200/- per month in addition to grant of actual electricity charges.
- Rate of compensation for detention beyond working hours shall be fixed as 25/- and not as recommended by the Committee. This will be favourable considered.
- Night co-efficient should be compensated by hourly wages and not just Mazdoor charges.
- Introduction of minor penalties in GDS Conduct Rules insisted.
- Procedure of obtaining Security Bond should be dispensed with.
- Review of establishment should be conducted as per the present norms.
Above all the major break through is non-curtailment of trade union facilities. The Committee has observed that the recommendations of Nataraja Murti Committee on this count are beyond the jurisdiction of the GDS Committee.
LETTER OF DEPARTMENT ADDRESSED TO NFPE AND GDS UNION DATED 18.12.2008 IS REPRODUCED BELOW:
Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg,
File No.8/12/2008-SR Dated the December 18, 2008
Subject: Notice for Indefinite Strike starting on 17.12.2008 given by All India Postal Extra Departmental Employees Union and National Federation of Postal Employees along with its affiliated unions.
In the wake of strike notice 02.12.2008 given by All India Postal Extra Departmental Employees Union and letter dated 09.12.2008 of National Federation of Postal Employees and its affiliated unions showing their solidarity for the strike action, the conciliation proceedings were started by the Regional Labour Commissioner [Central] on 12.12.2008. Further proceedings in the matter were held in the fore noon of 15.12.2008 in the chamber of Regional Labour Commissioner [Central], who suggested the management side to give a meeting to the Staff side and accordingly she fixed a meeting for 14.00 hours. However, Shri.S.S.Mahadevaiah, General Secretary, All India Postal Extra Departmental Employees Union, did not report for the meeting and this was brought to the notice of the RLC.
2. The next sitting of the conciliation proceedings took place on 16.12.2008 at 11.00 hours, wherein the Staff side was persuaded to at least defer the strike on the plea that the report of the GDS Committee was still under the examination by the Department. However, the Staff side did not agree to the view point expressed by the Department as well as by the RLC and remained adamant on their stand to proceed on strike. The RLC once again suggested that the management should a meeting to the Staff side and the meeting was fixed for 15.00 hours. The RLC further suggested that NFPE and its affiliated unions may also be invited in the meeting to be taken by the management.
3. The meeting taken by the DDG [Estt] started at 15.00 hours of 16.12.2008,,which was attended by Secretary General, NFPE and General Secretaries of P III, R III, P IV and Administrative Offices Union, affiliated to NFPE and General Secretary of AIPEDEU. The Staff side was appraised of the fact that the recommendations of the GDS Committee are still under consideration by the Group of Senior Officers and its report is likely to be submitted shortly, after which it will be considered by the Postal Services Board and the recommendations of the Postal Services Board will be finally considered by the Cabinet. The Staff side will get adequate opportunity to present their view points.
4. In the light of the facts stated above, the Staff side may kindly appreciate that their action of going on strike in the context of recommendations of the GDS Committee is unfounded and it would be in the fitness of things if they call off the strike and resume their duties and restore normalcy.
- Secretary General National Federation of Postal Employees
- General Secretary, All India Postal Extra Departmental Employees Union
RESOLUTION ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY IN THE FEDERAL SECRETARIAT MEETING HELD ON 18.12.2008.
The Federal Secretariat which met at 9.00 P.M. on 18.12.2008 greeted the entirety of GDS and also the regular employees who went on Indefinite Strike as per the call of the GDS Union and the solidarity call of the NFPE and all its affiliated unions and associations. The Federal Secretariat analysed the entire situation including the ongoing strike situation and the meetings held with the Department and the Senior Officers Committee headed by Shri.P.K.Gopinath during the past three days in which NFPE and all its General Secretaries took part along with the GDS General Secretary.
The Federal Secretariat evaluated that the approach of the Senior Officers Committee in the discussions on the modifications sought by the staff side, and felt that the approach is positive. The assertion by the Chairman of the Committee that there may not be any major departure from the established positions like pro-rata wages in comparison with corresponding categories of regular employees; DA formula; PLB formula, existence of BOs as per present norms, establishment matters, trade union facilities etc is a positive signal. The Committee responded to favourably consider many of our demands for modification and improvement.
The Department also made it clear during the course of the meeting held on 16.12.2008 as well as through a written communication to the NFPE and GDS Union dated 18.12.2008 that " .. the recommendations of the GDS Committee are still under consideration by the Group of Senior Officers and its report is likely to be submitted shortly, after which it will be considered by the Postal Services Board and the recommendations of the Postal Services Board will be finally considered by the Cabinet. The Staff side will get adequate opportunity to present their view point."
Therefore it is thus assured that no unilateral decision will be taken on the recommendation of the Nataraja Murti Committee without discussing with the Staff Side.
In this background, the Federal Secretariat discussed thoroughly and resolved that there is no need to continue the strike anymore. The Federal Secretariat also analysed the efforts taken by several leaders including the Secretary General to convince the GDS General Secretary to collectively suspend the strike action and return to discussion table offered by the Department. The Secretariat also after hearing the view points of GDS General Secretary resolved to request and to appeal the GDS CHQ to suspend the strike action collectively and preserve unity in ongoing and further negotiations and for future actions.
The weapon of struggle can be resorted to at any time if necessary if the written word of the Department and the positive approach of the Senior Officers Committee is violated. The Federal Secretariat also resolved unanimously to suspend the Indefinite Strike action called by the NFPE and its affiliated unions and associations and call upon the membership to restore normalcy of postal operations from tomorrow morning itself. The Federal Secretariat also resolved to appeal the GDS CHQ to take identical view and suspend the Indefinite Strike action called by them also. However if the GDS Union continues with their action, the Federal Secretariat resolved to call upon the entirety of membership to extend support through demonstrations etc.
Secretary General NFPE