Massive Meeting at Vellore

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BSNLEU, AIBDPA and BSNLCCWF jointly organised a massive meeting attended by more than 250 comrades at vellore on 31st July 2014. The meeting venue was decorated with banners and festoons of all the three unions. The Meeting was presided over by Com.V.Elumalai, District President of AIBDPA. District Secretary, Com.Jothi Sudanthiranathan welcomed the participants who have from all parts of the District. All the leaders on the dais were honoured by offering shawls. AIBDPA All India Organising Secretary Com. R.Arumugham, Circle Secretary, AIBDPA Com. C.K.Narasimhan and District Secretary BSNLEU Com.C.Gnanasekharan addressed. Com. Palani, District President, BSNLCCWF and other leaders were present.
Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, President BSNLEU & BSNLCCWF and Advisor AIBDPA in his address spoke in detail about the demands raised by the three unions as also the struggles that have been organised in the past. The necessity of unity and strong organisation was stressed.
Com. R.Anbazhagan, Dist. Org. Secretary proposed vote of thanks.

Memorandum on BSNL Pensioners by NCCP

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I am reproducing below the portion of the NCCPA Memorandum on the BSNL Penioners issue:

NCCPA MEMORANDUM TO VIICPC – PORTION RELATING TO BSNL

Chapter X
BSNL / MTNL Pensioners
10.1 DoT employees who had been absorbed in MTNL / BSNL are being given the benefit of defined benefit pension scheme by amending the CCS (Pension) Rules – 1972 providing an amended rule as 37 A. But this facility is denied to the new recruits who are recruited after 1.10.2000. They are being governed by Employees Pension Scheme. This is discriminatory and in violation of the Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
We, therefore, propose scrapping of EPS and that all the BSNL recruits be brought under the CCS (Pension) Rules-1972. In many of the Public Sector Undertakings like Tea Board Corporation, Damoder Valley Corporation, Steel Authority of India, Coal India, Airport Authority of India, Port and Dock workers are all under the purview of CCS (Pension) Rules – 1972. Hence, justification to BSNL new recruits is quite valid.
10.2 Pension Revision of BSNL Pensioners CCS (Pension) Rules – 1972 to ensure pension to the BSNL absorbed DOT employees from the consolidated fund of Government of India. Subsequently this position was ratified by the Secretary, Department of Telecom vide his D.O. letter dated 15.5.2005, that in respect of employees who have been absorbed in BSNL, BSNL is liable to pay the pension contribution in accordance with FR-116 and liability on amount of pension payable will be that of Government of India. Surprisingly DOT issued another letter on 15.6.2006 reversing its earlier decision and linked payment of pension with receipt of revenues from BSNL, this being most dangerous and certain to create problems in future for payment of pension. The Union took up the issue seriously and the DOP was compelled to issue another letter stating that the contents of the letter dated 15.6.2006 will not be insisted. But in the absence of cancellation / nullification of the controversial letter of dated 15.6.2006, whenever the pension revision issue of BSNL pensioners is initiated hindrances / roadblocks are raised not only by DOT, but also by other departments like Expenditure, Law and Public Enterprises on the basis of the above letter. This has happened when pension revision of pre 2007 BSNL pensioners was initiated and now for pension revision on 78.2% IDA merger. This position should not be allowed to continue and the BSNL pensioners should be treated at par with central government pensioners as they are covered under the 37 A of CCS (Pension) Rule – 1972.
10.3. Department of Telecommunications vide their OM No.4-12(11) 2012-PAT dated 20.2.2014 have extended CGHS facilities to retired BSNL employees who are in receipt of Central Civil Pension / Pro rata pension from Central Civil Estimates in consultation with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. BSNL retirees have been given an option to choose either CGHS or BSNL – MRS as per their convenience.
BSNL also vide its letter No. BSNL / Admn/14-15.09 (pt) dated 2nd April, 2014 addressed to all the Chief General Managers, has asked them to give wide publicity and to assist the willing retired employees by forwarding their applications to the respective CGHS units for admission to CGHS.
But the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare does not seem to have issued any clear order in this connection. Hence in the absence of necessary order from the nodal Ministry, the facility is not being extended to BSNL retirees. Hence immediate necessary action in the matter needs to be taken by MOH & FW.
Further, since the DoT O.M. dated 20.2.2014 stipulates that the retired BSNL employees who opt for CGHS “would have to pay the requisite fee to CGHS as applicable to Government retirees”. DoT must now fix the rate of monthly contribution payable by the pensioner. It is to be noted that the contribution payable by the Government retirees is fixed on the basis of the Grade Pay that they would have drawn had they been in service whereas in BSNL there is no element of Grade Pay to fix the rate of contribution on par with government retirees. The ward entitlement of Government retirees is also determined on the notional pay in pay Band. Hence, BSNL will have to evolve a new dispensation on contribution and ward entitlement in respect of BSNL retirees which must be in conformity with the rates applicable to CGHS beneficiaries.

Will former ministers be evicted from quarters?

NEW DELHI: Sixteen former ministers of the UPA government are staying unauthorised in government bungalows for over a month now and have been served eviction notices, the Lok Sabha was told today.

These former ministers owe a total damage charges of Rs 20,92,463 for one month of unauthorised stay till July 26, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said in a written reply. (Economic Times)

CEC Meeting of AIBDPA on the struggle path.

The All india BSNL DOT Pensioners Association (AIBDPA) has decided to continue its efforts to settle the issues amicably failing which it may resort to agitational path.
The CEC was continuing its deliberations today. Com. Ananta Bhattacharjee, All India President, presided.`The CEC members discussed on the report submitted by the General Secretary, Com K.G Jayaraj. The discussion was businesslike and the representatives spoke on all issues concerning the workers.The GS effectively replied and summed up the discussion and the same was passed unanimously.
The house discussed about the Memorandum to be submitted to the VII CPC. The same was adopted after discussion and was then sent to the CPC immediately.
It was decided to organise a Convention by the end of September the date of which will be decided later.
The House congratulated the Coimbatore comrades for the excellent arrangements.
The CEC was a great success and it has given great enthusiasm and motivation to the Pensioners.

CEC Meeting of AIBDPA at Coimbatore

The CEC Meeting of the AIBDPA started at Coimbatore today, 29th July 2014. The Open Session was held at Com. Puthiyavan Hall (Jeeva Jyothi Ashramam) named after the late leader Com.Puthiyavan, who passed away recently at Coimbatore.
Com. A.K.Bhattacharjee, All India President, presided. Com.C.K.Narasimhan, Circle Secretary,Tamil Nadu, welcomed all the delegates and invitees. The house stood in silence for one minute paying homage to the martyrs and who passed away recently.
The President in his address called upon the Pensioners to organise the union to making it capable of achieving the demand of the workers.
Com.R.Muthusundaram, General Secretary, AISGEF, inaugurated the open session. He spoke in detail about the anti-worker policies of both UPA and NDA. He strongly opposed the New Pension Scheme
and demanded its withdrawal. Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA and President BSNLEU, Com.Krishna Moorthy (CITU), Com. S.Chellappa, Circle Secretary, BSNLEU, T.Nadu Circle, Com.K.Govindarajan, C/Secy, Chennai, A.Sundaram (Convener, pensioners Assn, Com.K.G.Jayaraj, GS, AIBDPA addressed.Com. L.Umapathy, Convener, Reception Committee proposed vote of thanks.
The open session was attended by hundreds of comrades, despite the fact that today was a holiday. The big hall was packed to capacity.
The CEC will continue tomorrow.

The Great Solidarity Action of Bengal in support of the 1946 P & T Strike

29th July is a date enshrined in the annals of the P&T Movement and its glorious struggles. It was on this day in 1946 that tens of thousands of common workers marched through the busy streets of Calcutta in support of the P&T Employees Indefinite Strike which started on 11th July of the year. It was the biggest rally, Calcutta has seen till that time. Though the strike was on the demands of the Postal workers, it was also part of the great Indian Freedom movement.Com.Jyoti Basu, in his autobiography has specifically mentioned about the great rally.
Similar rallies were organised in Madras and Bombay. The Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India and others supported the strike.
The strike was a success, not only in participation, but on achievement. Almost all the 15 demands were settled after the three weeks strike. Though called by the Postmen Union, it gradually became a P&T strike thanks to the efforts of Coms. Dada Ghosh, KG Bose and other leaders.
We remember on this day, the great sacrifices made by our great leaders of the movement. We assure that we will continue the same path of struggle and sacrifice.

NCCPA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE MEETING HELD IN NEW DELHI

NCCPA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE MEETING HELD IN NEW DELHI

NATIONAL COORDINATION COMMITTEE OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS

National Executive Meeting

New Delhi – 25.07.2014

The National Executive meeting of NCCPA was held at D-7 Telegraph Place, New Delhi – 110001 at 11.00 Hrs under the Presidentship of Comrade R.L.Bhattacharyya the Chairman NCCPA. More than 20 members of the Executive attended.

The meeting commenced with paying condolence to all the departed leaders since our last meeting.

Comrade VAN.Namboodiri Patron of NCCPA inaugurated the National Executive and he narrated the growing unity of pensioners internationally and explained the proceedings of the international conference of pensioners and senior citizens at Barcelona in Spain. The formation of Trade Union International – Pensioners and Senior Citizens at the behest of WFTU in Barcelona in Spain marks the beginning of international unification of all pensioners in different countries. He also referred to the change of Government in India and the dangers of division amongst the working people and pensioners due to divisive policies. He touched the task before the 7th CPC and inaugurated the Executive.

Comrade S.K.Vyas the Secretary General NCCPA briefed the executive about the preliminary interaction between the Chairman 7th CPC and BCPC led by Comrade S.C.Maheswari and S.K.Vyas. He explained all the issues discussed with the Chairman as follows:

1.NPS: We have categorically told that it should be rescinded and scrapped. The Chairman asked us as to why the NPS was not challenged in court of law during the past 10 years after its implementation? He also questioned as to what the Pay Commission can do in this matter? We requested that the CPC can intervene as 6th CPC had given recommendations that Defined Pension Scheme is better than NPS. We requested that the recommendation of 6th CPC should be applied to all entrants since 1.1.2004. The Chairman desired all relevant materials be submitted to him for study and we have agreed to supply.

2.Parity in Pension:We cited the Boothalingam Committee recommendations that had proposed for periodical pension revision and also the 4th and 5th CPC recommendations in this account. We also cited how the VI CPC did not extend this parity but only granted Modified Parity with reference to the minimum of the revised pay. The Government had however now accepted to implement One Rank One Pension in respect of Ex-Servicemen. Therefore the 7th CPC should grant full parity of past and future pensioners. The Chairman agreed to look into this.

3. Rate of Pension: We pointed out the absence of any rationale in fixing 50% of LPD as pension. The Supreme Court had held that Pension should be adequate to enable the pensioners to live maintaining the same standard which he was having while in service. To ensure this the pension should be 2/3rd of LPD as because the family on retirement is reduced to two units.

4. Minmum Pension: Minimum Pension should not be below the minimum wage in Central Services as because otherwise the pension would be below the subsistence level. This will benefit most the family pensioners only because the family pension is only 30% of LPD at present.

5. Additional Pension: The Pay Commission was requested to recommend additional pension each five years after retirement. The Chairman stated that the rate of pension, Minimum Pension and the Additional Pension issues would be considered keeping in view of the total economy.

6. Anomalies: On anomalies the Chairman said that they should be given details of all the unresolved anomalies so that similar anomalies are not repeated by 7th CPC.

7. CGHS: The Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had submitted a detailed report on functioning of the CGHS and improvement therein. We requested the Chairman to call for the Action Taken report by the Government on the recommendations of the Standing Committee and then suggest appropriate action to be taken for improving the CGHS.

8. P&T Pensioners: We pointed out the existing discrimination against the P&T Pensioners who are denied entry into CGHS after retirement on the plea that they were not subscribing to CGHS while in service. The Chairman felt that there should be no discrimination and that he would look into the matter.

Comrade Vyas then narrated the details about the Chennai Meeting of BCPC which finalised the common memorandum. The common memorandum so finalised had been submitted to CPC and covered many points in that memorandum with the Chairman of the Pay Commission during the preliminary interaction.

The issue of finalising the NCCPA memorandum was discussed in the meeting. The following decision was taken:

1.NCCPA will endorse the BCPC memorandum .

2. Some left out issues will be covered in Part-I of NCCPA Memorandum by way of supplementing the BCPC memorandum.

3. Part-II of NCCPA memorandum will contain sectional issues of various departments.

4.NCCPA Memorandum will be submitted before 31st July, 2014.

Disinvestment Department’s Aggressive Attack on PSUs

Department of Disinvestment seems to be the most active department of the Modi Government. It might be working 24 hours days. It has now drafted proposals to disinvest the PSUs in a big way. The target is get about Rs.63,000 crore in this financial year.

The plans are already made and implementation will start shortly. The workers in the PSUs and their organisations have a big challenge to face. There is no other way but to fight, to fight with all our might.

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