AIBDPA/ Circular No.7 /2020                                                                                    8th October, 2020


All CHQ Office Bearers, Circle Secretaries

District Secretaries and Affiliates.

Dear Comrade,

The danger of Covid-19 pandemic is still there and nowadays it is spreading rapidly in our country. In spite of precautions, some of our comrades are also infected, mostly from Maharashtra and Gujarat. Com.A.Dhupal, CHQ Vice President from Odisha also had to be admitted in the hospital and now under home quarantine. So, Comrades we are to be more vigilant and should strictly follow the Covid-19 protocol.

Standing Dharna against non-payment of Medical Benefits.

CHQ call to organise Standing Dharna on 19-08-2020 against non-payment of medical benefits and discrimination by the BSNL management was responded massively all over the country braving the dangerous situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic but strictly following the Covid-19 protocol. CHQ heartily congratulates all our comrades for effectively organizing the agitation.

International Pensioners Day observed successfully.

The decision of TUI (P&R) to observe October 1 as World Pensioners Day was duly endorsed by NCCPA, AIBDPA and AIPRPA. The 75th Anniversary of WFTU which falls on October 3 was also combined with the Observance of World Pensioners Day.  It was held with very good participation of pensioners throughout the country by our units. In some places it was jointly held with the other constituents of NCCPA. In Tamil Nadu where there is an effective Co-Ordination Committee of pensioners organizations including State Government pensioners, the programme was a stupendous success.

Our comrades also participated in the Black Day Lunch hour demonstration on the same day called by AUAB against roadblocks being created by central Government on starting 4G services by BSNL.  Congratulations Comrades.

Revalidation of Medical Card – time extended up to 31-03-2021.

CHQ had taken up the issue of further extension of time for submission of Option for outdoor medical facilities and Revalidation of Medical Card. However, the Corporate Office has issued order only for extension of time for revalidation of medical card up to 31-03-2021. In some circles like West Bengal, it is reported that many of the pensioners could not submit the Option for outdoor medical facilities due to the peculiar situation of Covid-19 pandemic.

Celebrate the 12th Foundation Day of AIBDPA befittingly.

Our mighty and beloved organization, All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association, is completing 11 years and the 12th Foundation Day on 21-10-2020 deserves to be celebrated in a befitting manner. Let us celebrate with hoisting the AIBDPA flag, holding General Body meetings, distributing sweets, distributing food/clothes to the needy etc. In the meeting, the achievements and the onward march of AIBDPA through the path of struggles , Cordial relationship with the serving employees organizations and joining their struggles, our affiliation with NCCPA, the umbrella organization of pensioners organizations in India and TUI(P&R), the international pensioners organization and constituent of WFTU and the tasks ahead for pension revision and payment of medical benefits, revival of BSNL etc.  are to be explained.

Hold Circle Executive Committee and District Executive Committee meetings online.

It is a foregone conclusion that we have to live with the Covid-19 pandemic for some time long. We cannot allow to hit our normal functioning anymore. So, let us hold the Circle Executive Committee meeting virtually utilizing the technology of Google Meet, Zoom etc. One of the capable comrades may be entrusted with the responsibility of holding the CEC online and the CEC, as far as possible, may be held before 31-10-2020. Thereafter District Executive Committee Meetings also be held online and completed before 30-11.2020. This is very much necessary to streamline our functioning. CHQ is planning to hold the Central Executive Committee Meeting also online in the month of December,2020.

We should have a definite picture as to how many VRS retirees have joined AIBDPA and CHQ is in darkness as no report in this regard is received from any circle. CHQ quota also is not being received from most of the districts. Circle Secretaries and CHQ office bearers in charge of the circles may take the initiative for getting a clear picture and remittance of CHQ quota.

Creation of WhatsApp Groups for speedy communication.

In the last Circular No.6. the importance of creating WhatsApp groups by circles and districts for effective and speedy communication, was explained in details with proper guidelines to be adopted. Unfortunately, no visible progress is noticed in this regard as if our comrades have not taken it seriously. This is being advised on the basis of our experience as we could reach out to the entire membership through effective functioning of WhatsApp groups. So it is once again requested for early creation of WhatsApp groups by those Circles and Districts which have not yet created the same.

Telepensioner E-journal.

Situation continues to be not conducive in New Delhi to get the Tele Pensioner printed and dispatched. So as in the case of January-June, 2020 issue which was released as e-journal, next issue of July- September, 2020 also will be released as e-journal within a few days.

Pension Revision – Seeking legal remedy.

Our demand on pension revision has been very clear from the beginning. Pension should be revised with 15% fitment from 01-01-2017, delinking wage revision of BSNL. AUAB also raised the same demand and got a favourable assurance from the former Minister of Communications, Shri. Manoj Sinha in the wake of a three days strike. But the present Minister, Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad has taken a negative stand and stated in Parliament that Pension Revision is possible after wage revision. Thereafter some of the Pensioners Organisations, lost hope and started talking about seeking legal remedy. Our CEC meeting held at Guwahati in November, 2019 after serious and threadbare discussion took a very clear stand against seeking legal remedy at this stage and instead took the decision for a phased program of agitation culminating in the Parliament March. Accordingly, all the programmes were implemented successfully barring the Parliament March which was compelled to be postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, some of the pensioners oraganisations have filed petitions for Pension Revision at the Principal Bench of CAT, New Delhi. AIRBSNLEWA and SNPWA have filed the case seeking pension revision with 2.51 multiple factor. Three MTNL pensioners organizations filed another case with the same demand. But AIBSNLPWA filed a separate case seeking Pension Revision as per the terms of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. These organizations were in a Coordination Committee but could not come to a consensus on the demand.

One of the important functionaries of AIBSNLPWA, in an open video talk, has stated that seeking legal remedy involves huge financial expenditure and unpredictable delay and may benefit the next generation of pensioners if the verdict is finally decided favourably to the petitioners.

Now, in the ongoing conciliation of 3 days Strike of AUAB held on 18-20 February, 2019, with the Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) in which all the 5 issues of the strike including Pay Revision and Pension Revision were discussed, RLC has directed the BSNL management to discuss and decide the issue of at least the wage revision of the Non-Executives. Next sitting of the conciliation will be held on 26-11-2020. But the RLC has its own limitations and pressure has to be exerted in the form of agitation by AUAB and AIBDPA is committed to join. BSNL management has to implement the wage revision to motivate the staff. BSNL, as part of its revival package, has already got the sovereign bond of Rs.8,500 crore and asset monetisation is also being materialized which are certain to ease its financial crunch.

Nationwide Strike on 26-11-2020 by Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations – Support and Solidarity by AIBDPA.

The National Convention of Workers held online on 03-10-2020 has given a clarion call for a country wide Strike on 26-11-2020 against the anti-farmer, anti-worker and anti-people measures of Narendra Modi government. The National Convention, after serious discussion of the recent developments, particularly undemocratic adoption of farm bills throwing the farmers to the mercy of Corporates and 3 labour codes replacing the existing 44 labour laws curtailing the rights of the workers, took the important decision of the country wide Strike.

The following demands are put forward for the strike;

  • Cash transfer of Rs. 7,500 per month to all non-income tax paying families
  • 10 kg free monthly ration per person to all needy.
  • Expansion of MGNRGEA to provide 200 days’ work in a year in rural areas, at enhanced wages, extension of employment guarantee to urban areas.
  • Withdraw all anti farmer laws and anti-worker Labour Codes,
  • Stop privatization of all Public Sector including financial sector and stop corporatisation of Government run manufacturing and service entities like Railways, Ordnance Factories, Port etc.
  • Withdraw the draconian circular on forced premature retirement of Government and PSU employees.
  • Provide Pension to all, scrap NPS and restore earlier pension scheme, improve EPS-95.

AIBDPA wholeheartedly welcome the decision and calls upon all its units to extend support and solidarity to the Strike. The form of solidarity action may be decided according to the local conditions.

Dear Comrades, let us implement the decisions successfully within the limitations of Covid-19 pandemic.

With warm Greetings,

Fraternally yours,

K G Jayaraj

General Secretary.