After the mighty massive Parliament March by the BSNL Workers and pensioners as per the call of the BSNL All Unions and Associations and also fully supported by the AIBDPA (All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association), the DOT as well as the Communications Minister have been compelled to meet the General Secretaries and discuss the issue in right earnest. It has been assured by the Minister that the issues will be forwarded to the Government. So far, well and good. The Ministry should recommend with full facts and figures furnished by the Unions/Associations and recommend for wage revision as well as Pension revision. If the government does not settle the issue further struggle will follow.
What should be the method of pension revision? Whether it should be based on the CDA scale of VII CPC or the IDA Scale of III PRC? Actually there need be no doubt about the same, but some confusion is being made by some comrades, which will complicate the whole issue and delay the pension revision. These comrades feels that since BSNL is already in loss and there will be no wage revision in future and hence no pension revision also. So their suggestion is that the demand should be pension revision on the basis of the VII CPC in the CDA scale.
Let us look in to the relevant facts:
1. Till October 2000, when BSNL as formed, all were government employees and they got Pay revision and Pension revision on the basis of the V CPC (1996).
2. BSNL employees retired from 2000 onward got pension in IDA scale based on the wage revision of BSNL employees in IDA scale in 2000. The DOT pensioners did not get this benefit. This was one advantage for the BSNL pensioners and their pension was fixed in the IDA scale ( and not CDA scale). This was beneficial to them.
3. DOT Pensioners got their pension revision on the basis of VI CPC in CDA scale from 01-01-2006. They got the pension revision after 6 years of the IDA pension revision which was in 2000.
4. BSNL pensioners got pension revision in IDA scale from 01-01-2007 on the basis of the wage revision of BSNL employees, increasing much higher than the DOT pensioners.
5. DOT Pensioners has got pension revision with effect from 2016 in CDA scale on the basis of the VII CPC
6. As per the convention and on the example of the wage revision of 2000 and 2007 pension revision, the present pension revision should be on the basis of of the III PRC on IDA scale. This is only logical and convincing. Since the government has already removed the 60:40 condition and is committed to pay the full pension, it need not wait for the wage revision of BSNL employees. It can implement 15% fitment as suggested by the III PRC, which is higher than that of VII CPC. This will benefit the BSNL pensioners.
7. The demand for pension revision of BSNL pensioners on the basis of VII CPC CDA scale, will create a lot of anomalies, will reduce the pension and also create serious dispute between those pensioners retired before 2017 and after 2017. Changing pension revision from IDA to CDA after two pension revision have been made in 2000 and 2017 will have serious consequences for the pensioners.
8. The thinking that there will be no wage revision for BSNL employees now and in future is a negative thinking, which the government want to impress upon the workers. CPCs have also stated that in future, there need be no pay commission. What will be the result? The working class, whether in the government or in the PSUs will never allow such a situation. We have to be positive and negative.
On the above and other many fully justified reasons, the best and logical demand is that the pension revision of the BSNL pensioners should be made from 01-01-2017 on 15% fitment which is recommended by the III PRC, and also with out waiting for the wage revision of employees, since the affordability clause and profit and loss conditions are not applicable to the government. We should not make any demand which will reduce the pension, make the issue complicate and bring many anomalies which will take years to settle or not settle at all. We should not divide the BSNL pensioners in to two camps, which will reduce our fighting power.