Resolution adopted at the National Executive Committee Meeting of the Confederation of Central Govt. Employees and Workers on 05.06.2007
This meting of the national Executive of the Confederation held on 05.06.2007 in New Delhi take a serious note of the fact that no action has been taken by the Govt. despite notice given by the Confederation to the Cabinet Secretary on 20.04.2007 to settle the following demands :-
1. Grant of Interim Relief of Rs.1000/-
The Central Government employees were entitled to have the wage revision as on 01-01-2006. As per the 5th CPC recommendations, the Government ought to have set up the 6th CPC in April, 2003 itself. The notification setting up the Commission was issued in October, 2006 and even according to the terms of references; the Commission is expected to take 18 months to formulate its views. Therefore, the report of the Commission is not expected before 31-03-2008. If one is to go with the past experience, the submission of the report is bound to be delayed further.
The Government had granted Interim Relief prior to the setting up of the 4th and 5th CPC. Because there had been an unavoidable delay in the submission of the report, both the 4th and 5th CPC granted second and third interim relief.
The demand of the employees to grant Interim Relief was not conceded by the Government while setting up the 6th CPC and no reason whatsoever was advanced for such denial.
During the discussions, with the Finance Secretary before the notification was issued, the staff side was categorically assured that the Pay Commission would be specifically asked to submit a report within a specified time frame on Interim Relief. However, the notification has only asked the Commission to look into the feasibility and desirability of an Interim Relief. The 6th CPC has categorically conveyed that they had no intention of suggesting any I.R to the Central Govt. employees on the specious plea that such infusion of money would further stoke the inflation. In the circumstance, the Govt. should come forward to grant Interim Relief @ 15 % of the emoluments, subject to a minimum of Rs.1000/-
2. Date of effect of the 6th CPC to be 01-01-2006
The 5th CPC made a specific recommendation to the effect that the periodicity of wage revision in the case of Civil servants should be decennial. This suggestion was made as an alternative; to the setting up of a permanent wage review Committee. In the case of Public Sector Undertakings, the wage agreement indicates the date of next wage revision. Therefore, as and when the wage revision takes place, the same is made effective retrospectively. In the case of civil servants, the date of effect of the revised wages is arbitrarily decided by the Commission. We expected the Government to mandate the Commission with the stipulation that the date of effect must be 01-01-2006. By asking them to suggest the effective date of their recommendations, the Government has sought to unsettle a settled issue. The Government should announce that the date of effect of wage revision would be 01-01-2006.
3. Judicial committee to effect Wage revision in the case of Grameen Dak Sewaks:
The Grameen Dak Sewaks are part time employees engaged by the Postal Department. Most of them are engaged for full time work and are exploited. They do not get full salary and allowances and are also denied pension on par with the regular employees in the Postal Department.. The Supreme Court has declared them to be holders of Civil post for the purpose of Article 311 of the Constitution. In December, 1993 the Postal Department through a written agreement categorically assured the employees that the Committee to go into the issue of wage revision of GDS would not be headed by a serving or retired Postal Officer. Accordingly, they set up a judicial Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice Charanjit Singh Talwar. Our plea before the Government was to include the Grameen Dak Sevaks within the ambit of the 6th CPC. This was however, not agreed to. An understanding was reached that the Government would set up a judicial committee to consider the issue pertaining to Grameen Dak Sevaks immediately after the setting up of the 6th CPC. It is now more than months and the Government has not honored its commitment. The Postal Department going back on their assurance made in 1993 has decided to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of a retired Postal Officer.
In the recent negotiations, the Postal Federations had in the wake of an indefinite strike action, the Postal department has agreed to take orders from the Govt. to refer the wage revision of Gramin Dak Sewaks to the 6th CPC in effect conceding the demand raised by the ab-initio. However, no order has been issued so far. The Govt. must take immediate steps to honour the agreement.
4. Ending discrimination in the matter of compassionate appointments
At the discussions, the Staff side representatives had with the Govt. in January 2003 to explore the possibilities of bringing about a negotiated settlement on the 20 point charter of demand, the Cabinet Secretary indicated that the discrimination in the matter of compassionate appointment between the Railway workers and the other civilian employees of the Government of India, being unjust would be removed. Thereafter, on quite a number of occasions, the issue had been discussed with the Secretary (Personnel) and at the instance of the Cabinet Secretary with the then Finance Secretary, prior to the National Council meeting held in October, 2006. The Department of Personnel has not so far taken any steps to mitigate the problem and end the unjust discrimination. There are thousands of poor applicants waiting for appointment who are in a highly distressed circumstance. The 5% ceiling instituted by the Department of personnel since 1998 has no legal basis and inoperable administratively. The Department of Personnel should withdraw the instructions issued by them instituting a 5% cap on compassionate appointments and advise the administrative departments to appoint the deserving candidates immediately.
5. (a) Scrap the order of abolition of post, stop downsizing, privatization and contractization.
In may 2001, the Government issued instructions withdrawing the authority from the concerned Heads of Department to fill up the vacant posts through recruitment and assigning the same to a Screening Committee. As per the stipulation the said screening committee is entitled to authorize filling up only 1/3rd of the direct recruit vacancies ( subject to a maximum of 1 % of the sanctioned posts), the rest 2/3rdbeing abolished permanently. The intention of the order was to reduce the existing manpower drastically. No post was allowed to be created even for justified functional requirement. Not only it killed the job opportunities for thousands of unemployed youth in the country, but also in the process crippled the functioning of the Departments raising the burden of workload on employees. Even though the said instruction was prima facie applicable to all cadres, categories and groups of civil servants, the Group A Cadres has invariably been excluded by almost all the Departmental Heads. In other words, the abolition of posts had only been in Group C and Group D Cadre only.
Having given a choice, the Heads of Departments have invariably abolished almost all Gr. D. Posts. Since the Posts are abolished, neither the employees who are in temporary status could be regularized, nor the application of the family members of those Gr. D. Employees who died in harness could be considered for appointment.
It had been repeatedly asserted by the official side on many occasions that the above cited order is meant to be effective only for a limited period of 5 years and the recruitments to fill up the vacancies might commence from the Recruitment years 2006-07 onwards. It is, therefore, surprising to note that the Government has decided to extend the operation of the instruction for another 3 years on the specious plea that the 6th CPC has been set up. It is incomprehensive as to why the stipulation for 3 years had been made while the 6th CPC has been mandated to submit its report within 18 months.
The Department of Personnel must withdraw the instructions extending its operation for another 3 years and allow all Departments to fill up the existing vacancies.
(b) Stop Downsizing, Privatization and Contractorisation
The Government have been implementing the recommendations of the expenditure Reforms Commission for quite some time now without explaining the justification for these recommendations and without any negotiations with the Employees organizations. The result is that in some Departments like Geological Survey of India drastic curtailment of staff strength is taking place,; in postal Departments recourse has been made to outsource the postal functions by franchising the post offices; major functions in Income tax Department like allotment of PAN/TAN, challan processing , processing of returns and all care taker functions are outsourced or contemplated to be outsourced; almost entire Department of Development Commissioner of Iron and Steel had been shut down and employees declared surplus and re-deployed elsewhere; Text book printing presses were shut down, in Audit Department where there are 15000 vacancies against the total strength of about 50000, a new method of selective audit is being resorted to in the name of Audit Planning. The very audit norms has been diluted. Some of the Audit functions are being entrusted to Private parties.. In the name of non core functions entire Gr.D staff is being replaced by men supplied through Contractors. In all these exercises it is only the Group C & D staff who are thrown out. On the other hand there is an increase in the Group A posts. In some offices in order to create more Gr. A posts, Group C posts are being curtailed by way of maching contribution. Almost in all the Departments and Ministries such exercise have been implemented or contemplated to be implemented. The implementation of these downsizing devices privatization, outsourcing, contractorization etc. must be stopped.
6. Withdrawal of the new Pension Scheme.
The Pension system for the Government Employees was evolved as a social security Scheme decades back. Under this system the employer was expected to set apart a certain percentage of employees" wages under a fund. The Government scrapped this system in respect of employees who entered service on or after 1-1-2004. There is no law or rules under which such a step could be taken by them and as such this was an illegal measure. Under the new system the Government Employee is required to contribute 10 % of his pay plus DA and the Government also contributes the matching amount. The fund created during the entire tenure of the Service will be invested in the market through private promoters. It is a defined contributory pension scheme, for those who entered service after 1-1-2004 while entire personnel recruited prior to the cut off date would continue to be governed by a defined benefit scheme of Pension under the CCS ( Pension ) Rules. This is a gross discrimination and illegal measure too.
The Committee set up by the Government to recommend Pension Reforms had in fact suggested a hybrid system, where both the defined benefit and contributory system would co-exist. Since, under the new scheme, pension is depended on the vagaries of market, it is not at all acceptable. In any case there is no justification for recovering a contribution from the employees who entered service on or after 1-1-2004 as their wage structure is what was recommended by the 5th Pay Commission on the premise that the pension was the liability of the Government. The Govt. is aware that the Contemplated change in the pension scheme requires Parliamentary Sanction. That was why PFRDA Bill was introduced in the Parliament. Thanks to the principled position taken by the left parties, the Bill has not yet been passed, whereas the Govt. has gone ahead with its implementation through executive fiats: 5% of the accumulated contribution has already been diverted for stock exchange operation. Fund managers have been appointed. The sovereign authority of the Parliament has been allowed to be eroded. The Govt. must stop these mechinations and scrap the New Contributory Pension Scheme and refund the funds collected from the employees recruited after 01.01.2004
7. Regularize the casual/contingent/daily rated workers
On the basis of the discussion, the staff side had in the National Council, the Government introduced a scheme for regularization of casual/contingent/daily rated employees as a one time measure, by virtue of which all those who were in the Rolls as on September,1993 were absorbed and regularized. The Department of Personnel issued instructions to all Departments banning recruitment on casual/contingent basis. However this instruction was constantly flouted, mostly due to the ever-increasing workload and insufficiency of men-in-position. The ban on recruitment, the instructions to implement austerity measures and the abolition of posts carried out in the last 5 years all accentuated the problem. Presently in the most of the Departments, the number of casual/contingent/daily rated workers has phenomenally increased and these employees are not paid the requisite wages. This is nothing but exploitation taking advantage of the acute unemployment situation in the country. The stipulation that if one has been in continuous employment for more than 206 days in a year is entitled for regularization has to be adhered to and abided. The Govt. should immediately issue instruction for regularization of the daily rated/casual/contingent paid workers.
8. No replacement of CGHS by Medicare Insurance
The Government had been contemplating to replace the existing CGHS with Medicare insurance plan. With all the deficiencies, CGHS is considered by both the serving employees and pensioners as the best Medicare system in the country. In the case of Pensioners especially, it is a great relief when they are afflicted with serious illness due to old age. The Insurance scheme can never be a substitute to the present Medicare system, even if the premium for such insurance scheme is borne by the employer. The Government cannot withdraw itself from its primary responsibility of providing Medicare to its present and past employees on the plea of financial stringency. This apart it is also necessary to consider the security of livelihood of the persons employed by the CGHS whose number is sizable. The Government should abandon the idea of replacing CGHS with Medicare Insurance and evolve instead methodologies to strengthen and expand the CGHS.
9. Implementation of the Awards of the Board of Arbitration
Under the JCM scheme, any issue, which is not settled through discussions at the National/Departmental council, is referred to the Board of Arbitration, specifically set up for the purpose. The decision of the Arbitrator is bound to be accepted by both the side i.e. staff side and the Govt. The Govt. is entitled to approach the Parliament for rejection /modification on the following two grounds only i.e.
a) the implementation of the award will adversely affect the national economy
b) it affects the social justice.
The prescribed time limit for getting the Parliamentary sanction for rejection of an award is six months. While the request to Parliamentary sanction had been few and few between in the 1960s, 70s and even in the earlier part of 80s, the Govt. began to approach the Parliament as a matter of routine to reject invariably all awards given in favour of the employees. Neither the time limit of six months was adhered to nor was it explained as to how the implementation of these awards would have affected the National economy or the Social justice.
Being one of the charter of demands, the settlement for which the JCA of organizations participating in the JCM threatened to go on strike from 01.03.2006, it was decided that the Govt. would look into the matter afresh and settled the same through mutual discussions. Accordingly 16 such awards were identified for further discussion and settlement. The process of consultation was scheduled to be completed by end of June, 2006. On none of the issues, settlement has been brought about so far, despite the lapse of more than a year. The Govt. is morally and legally bound to implement these awards.
10. To remove the quantum ceiling on Bonus:
Presently a quantum ceiling of Rs.2,500/- operate on Bonus payment. Whatever is the pay of an employees he/she is entitled to Bonus computed on the notional salary limit of Rs.2,500/-. The said limit was stipulated nearly two decades back. The abysmally low ceiling limit was not removed or raised despite demand to that effect raised on several occasions. This gross injustices is perpetuated to deny the workers their legitimated duea. The Govt. should bring in an amendment to Bonus Act to remove the quantum ceiling and order payment of Bonus on the basis of one's actual salary/emoluments.
The meeting taking into account the total nugatory attitude of the Govt. decided that the Central Govt. employees have to manifest their extreme discontent over the indifferent attitude of the Govt. to settle these demands by organizing a day long strike sometime in August, 2007 and also to give serious warning thereby to the Govt. that incase these demands are not satisfactorily settled within a reasonable time, they will be compelled to go on indefinite strike.
Confederation of CGE & Workers
5th June, 2007