- APPOINTMENT OF II CENTRAL PAY COMMISSION
The government appointed II Central Pay Commission on 21st August 1957 with the following Members:
- Justice Jagannatha Das, Judge of the Supreme Court, Chairman
- V.B.Gandhi, Member
- N.K.Sidhantha, Member
- M.L.Dantwala, Member
- Mrs.Maragatham Chandrasekharan, Member
- L.P.Singh, ICS, Member Secretary
- P.F.B.Pias, Associate Secretary
Since there was delay in announcing Interim Relief, Confederation and NFPTE gave call to the workers to observe 13th September 1957 as “Interim Relief Day”, which was effectively organized. Dada Ghosh, Secretary General NFPTE, addressed a letter to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru pointing out the delay in granting interim relief to which the PM replied that the Pay Commission is seized of the matter.
FEDERAL COUNCIL AT BOMBAY, 5-10 DECEMBER 1957
The Third Federal Council of NFPTE was held at Bombay from 5th to 10th December 1957. The FC reviewed the activities including the withdrawal of the strike and appointment of Pay Commission. The Council protested against the delay in grant of interim relief. V.G.Dalvi and Dada Ghosh were re-elected as President and Secretary General of the Federation.
On 17th December 1957, Finance minister T.T.Krishnamachari announced interim relief of Rs. 5 per month to all officials drawing a basic pay not exceeding Rs.250/- as per the interim recommendations of the II CPC. The interim relief was completely insufficient. Hence the unions organized Pay Strike on 1st January 1958.
As per the call of the Confederation, workers launched ‘Signature Campaign’ from 16th February against the meagre interim relief. 1th March 1958 was observed as “All India Protest Day” by organizing general body meetings and mass rallies.
QUESTIONNAIRE BY THE PAY COMMISSION
The Pay Commission issued a questionnaire to the Unions seeking their replies and comments on the various points being considered by it. These included the General Principles, Minimum Remuneration, Dearness Allowance, Pay Structure, Conditions of Service, Facilities and Amenities, Economic Factors and General Matters. As per the Pay Commission, there were 18 lakh central employees, 21 lakh State employees and 16.70 employees in local bodies and teaching profession.
All the unions/associations of the central employees including Confederation and NFPTE gave detailed replies to the questionnaire. In their reply, they pointed out the criteria and unscientific proposals of the CPC questionnaire.
MEMORANDUM TO PAY COMMISSION
Just as in the case the First Pay Commission, a large number of unions submitted memorandums to the II CPC also. In reply to a question in Parliament raised by S.M.Banejee nad Prabhatkar, M.P.s, it was informed that 101 organisations in P & T alone had submitted memorandums. 22 Unions have replied to the questionnaire. Except NFPTE, all were small sectional unions or associations. NFPTE and the 9 affiliated unions gave detailed Memorandum touching all important points.
All India Railwaymens Federation, All India Defence Employees Federation and other major Federations also submitted detailed memorandums. These Federations pointed out specific issues of employees of their particular departments.
EVIDENCE BEFORE PAY COMMSSION
NFPTE and its 9 affiliated unions gave oral evidence before the II CPC for four days from 29th July to 1st August 1958. The full Pay Commission including Chairman was present. V.G.Dalvi, President, B.N.Ghosh, Secretary General, V.S.Menon, Secretary and all General Secretaries along with a few other office bearers participated including O.P.Gupta, R.P.Chatterjee, A.S.Rajan, D.Gnaniah, Jamna Das Akthar, Gopal Singh Josh, Ajoy Kmar Das, Sisir Bhattacharjee, Pakrasi, D.G.Nanotkar, P.S.R.Anjaneyulu, Dharam Vir, Kabal Singh and Sarjesh Mukherjee. All the issues were effectively placed before the Pay Commission with special importance to Minimum Wage, Interim Relief, Dearness Allowance, Pay Scales, Promotions, Service Conditions, Union rights & privileges.
Other Federations also submitted their evidence before the Commission with special reference to their departments.
The Federal Council of NFPTE held at Jaipur from 26th to 31st December 1958 reviewed the developments after submission of memorandum and oral evidence to the II CPC. The issue of brutal victimization, including dismissal of CG employees under Rule 4(A) and 4(B) of the CCS (Conduct) Rules also came up for discussion. Com. E.X.Joseph, General Secretary of Audit & Accounts Association, was dismissed under these rules and the employees in the department were fighting a heroic battle.
The Federal Council after thorough discussion decided to organize the following agitational programmes demanding early submission of CPC report as also settlement of other demands and against victimization:
- Demands day on 11.02.1959
- Pay Strike on 02.03.1959 (01.03.59 Sunday)
- Telegram Campaign on 16.03.1959
- Pay Strike and Badge Campaign on 01.05.1959
- If the issues are not settled, extra ordinary meeting of the branches will be held to ascertain the opinion of the members for strike action.
The Federal Council re-elected V.G.Dalvi and B.N.Ghosh as President and Secretary General respectively.
All the agitational programmes were effectively organized. The workers were agitated at the delay in submission of the Pay Commission report. (To be continued).