The National Council meeting will be held tomorrow on 30th Janaury 2013, after more than 6 months. The items have been given already on which the discussion will mainly be held.
The present meeting is the 28th meeting of the National Council after it has been formed in 2002, after the First Membership Verification.
If we go through the constitution and proceedings of the National Council so far, we can see that the same is treated as an unwanted but unavoidable practice by the BSNL Management. This mindset is there from the start. Let us examine whether this assessment is true or not.
1) In the government services, there is the system of National Council for the Central Government employees as a whole. On the official side there are Secretaries of the Departments and on the Staff Side, the nominated General Secretaries/ office-bearers of various organisations. The topmost officer of the Central Government, the Cabinet Secretary will chair the meetings. In the Departmental Councils, the head of the Department, the Secretary will chair. Accordingly, in the National Council for BSNL, the CMD BSNL should chair the NC meeting. But unfortunately, only Director HR/HRD, is the Chairman. Despite demanding several times, the BSNL management has not agreed to the proposal and still Dir(HR) is presiding. For taking quick decisions, chairing by the CMD will be the ideal position.
In fact, the head of the circle, CGM and that of the SSA, GM are presiding the council meetings at their respective levels.
2) Periodicity of the meetings
The National Council is to be held every three months. But it is not beiong held like that. Only two meetings have been held in 2012, instead of four meetings. This indicates the intention of the management toavoid meetings and delay the same. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that the meetings are held regularly and in time.
3. Discussion and Decisions:
The meetings are being held to discuss and settle issues of the workers, which couold not be settled till then. The items are given sufficiently early so that the management can prepare their position and ready for taking suitable decisions.But what is happening is completely different. The management is outrightly denying most of the demands on one plea or another. It is very rare that concrete decisions are taken in the council. The maximum that is stated is that the official side will examine the demand. The Councils are being held for taking decisions and the examination should be over before the meeting. If the view points of the management is given along with the agenda at the start of the meeting it will be possible for the unions also to discuss the same and find out some solutions.
4. National Council is not a one way process. The Management have to bring their agenda which they want to discuss with the staff side on development, expansion, improvement of the services etc. But during the last so many years, the official sie has not brought any agenda from its side. On the other hand it is issuing orders on many issues connected with the service condition and connected staff matters without discussing with the unions or in the Nationl Council. Such one sided actions are being taken due to the bureacratic thinking that the unions have no role in all these issues.
5. Even after certain decisions are taken in the meeting, it is not being pursued by the official side. The minutes are issued, but then no action is taken on the matters till the next meeting. Once a decision is taken it has to be implemented by the management.
6. There are certain issues on which the management has to take up the matter with the DOT before taking any decision. A large number of cases come under this category. The official side assures to take up the cases with the DOT, but is is not being pursued, or after writing a letter no further reminder or action is taken. Earlier a Committee was formed with DOT, BSNL and the recognised union which discussed and settled many things. But that system has been given up lately. This is to be restored for dealing with such cases.
7. Sufficient time is not allotted for the National Council. Though the meeting will be scheduled at 1100 hours, it is held at 1130 or so. And by lunch time it is managed to finish. One full day is required for the Council to effectively discuss.
More than two lakh workers, several cadres, and mny kinds of issues are being discussed with the recognised union in these council meetings. It is for the management to ensure that the meetings are effective, positive decisions are taken and that there is cordial relationship between the unions and the management.