It is reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited trade union leaders for tea on 19th July at his residence. Well and good! The moot question is whether the invitation is to convince them about the justification of the anti-labour laws that is being brought to be enacted or to hear the justified demands of the workers and consider them favourably. The invitation has been made on the eve of the Indian Labour conference is to be noted.
A well attended meeting of BSNLEU and AIBDPA, Bengaluru District, CGM Office, Civil/Electrical, QA and STR was held at BSNLEU Office, Bengaluru at 14.00 hours on 27th June 2015, presided over by Com. Kempe Gouda, District President. Com. C.K.Gundanna, Circle Secretary, Karnataka spoke about the decisions of the CEC at Dalhousie. The house stood in silence for one minute paying homage to Com. A.M.Patil, Circle secretary, Gujarat, who passed away at the time of CEC. Com. H.V.Sudershan, Dist. Secretary, BGTD, addressed the house and welcomed all. Senior leaders Muddiah, J.V.Keshav, T.S.Krishna Moorthy, Infran Pasha, Shravan Kumar singh, Farooque, Girish, Krishnan kutty, H.C.Prakash, Bharathi, M.Manchaiah, Shivalinga Prasad and other leaders were in the dais.
Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, founder General Secretary and Patron BSNLEU and also Founder Convener of Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations addressed the house and briefed about the latest developments after the successful 2 days strike on 21-22 April 2015, the meeting with the Secretary, DOT and the assurances etc. He also spoke about the efforts being made by the Forum and the Management to implement the ‘09.00 PM- 07.00 AM’ campaign for improvement of services and BSNL expansion. The present position of 78.2% IDA pension fixation was also stated. Com. Namboodiri answered and explained on the issues raised by the members. He was given a very affectionate reception at the meeting.
The Bengaluru Comrades assured Com. Namboodiri that BGTD and other districts in Bengaluru will ensure the ‘Save BSNL Campaign’ very effectively and ensure profit for the BSNL. Thanks for the Bengaluru Comrades and Circle Union for the excellent meeting and discussion.
The JCM Staff Side Circular issued by Com. Shiv Gopal Mishra, Secretary Staff Side is reproduced below:
The 7th CPC had asked the JCM Staff Side to present their case before the Commission for wage revision on 23rd and 24th March 2015. Accordingly, the Standing Committee of the Staff Side met on 22nd March and again 23rd March 2015. The presentation was made on 23rd and 24th March 2015 before the Commission.
We have discussed the memorandum, chapter wise and the Commission made a very patient hearing and interacted with us seeking clarifications on certain matters. It is not possible to provide a detailed account of the discussions. However, we are to inform you that we came out of the discussion with a very good impression and satisfaction.
1. The Commission will adopt Minimum Wage Concept(Dr. Aykhrod Formula) as the principle of wage determination. They will however, collect the retail rates of the commodities that go into the basket.
2. We have pleaded for the adoption of the best international practices while fixing the highest salary.
3. On the demands for Interim Relief and Merger of DA, the Commission finally said that those can only be considered if Terms of Reference are amended.
4. The Commission agreed that there had been reduction in the sanctioned strength and working strength over the years despite the increased workload.
5. They have also noted that there was substantial reduction in percentage terms of the expenses on salary and wages over the years.
6. The Commission enquired, as to how multiplication factor of 3.7 was arrived at. The same was explained in detail.
7. Fitment Formula and the demand on Fixation of Pay on Promotion, were appreciated as the rationale was explained.
8. Date of effect: No commitment or comment was made by the Commission. The Staff Side explained, as to how they compromised by shifting the date from. 01.01.2011 to 01.01.2014.
9. The institution of Special Pay, especially in the wake of de-layering was explained.
10. Common Categories: We have requested the upgradation and amalgamation of the cadres of LDC with UDC and the need for bringing about parity in pay scales of the Subordinate Offices with the Central Secretariat. The problems of Staff Car Drivers were also elaborated. The contractorisation and casualisation at lower level positions and the consequent exploitation of the labour were discussed at length. The Commission has made a proposal to do away with the contractorisation/casualisation. Staff side will discuss the proposal and will send its views to the Commission in due course.
11. Classification of Posts: Our proposal has not been found favour.
12. GDS: While sympathizing with the Staff Side, the Commission wanted them to approach the Government with a view to amend the Terms of Reference.
13. Allowances and Advances: Detailed discussions were held on HRA, CCA, Transport Allowance, CEA and Special Allowance for personnel posted at North East Region. Chapters dealing with the facilities was also discussed at length, including compassionate appointment. On holidays, we have requested to include May Day in the list of holidays. The background of observance of May Day was enquired by the Commission and explained.
14. Pension and Retirement Benefit – NPS: Commission stated categorically that NPS being an Act of Parliament, they will not make any comment thereon.
Pension Computation: The rationale of 67% was explained and appreciated.
Minimum Pension: our demand for 2/3rd of the Minimum Wage was also explained.
Parity in pension of past and present pensioners was fully explained, linked with one rank -one pension scheme for Defence Personnel. We have pleaded that Civilian Pensioners should not be discriminated against. Demand for Additional Pension for both Pensioners and Family Pensioners was explained. All matters concerning Family Pension were also discussed. So also, gratuity to be computed in accordance with the Gratuity Act.
There was good response for the demands from the Commission.
Restoration of commuted value of pension: The Commission will enquire the views of the Government as to what is their objection to the demand.
Medical facilities for pensioners and discrimination between Pensioners in CGHS area and CCS(MA) Area as also the Postal Pensioners was brought home including the higher Fixed Medical Allowance for ESI persons.
Certain clarifications/elucidations have been asked for by the Commission. To provide such clarifications, another meeting with the Commission might be held after the Commission’s interaction with other organizations. The Staff Side may meet the Commission after their interaction with the other organizations are over.
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)
Meeting of the CMD with Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations on 09-02-2015
Consequent to the serving of strike notice by the Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations, the CMD BSNL invited the Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations for discussion on 9th February 2015, which was held in the board room of BSNL Corporate office. S/Shri Anupam Srivastava, CMD BSNL, A.N.Rai, Director (EB and HR), N.K.Gupta, Director (CFA and CM), Sujata Ray, ED(Finance), Shameem Akhtar, Sr.GM (SR) and other officers participated from the Management. The Forum was represented by Coms. C.Singh, Chairman, V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener and General Secretaries of the affiliated unions/associations. The meeting started at about 1500 hours and continued up to about 1900 hours.
The CMD in his introductory remarks mentioned that BSNL is a big company and this has to be taken into consideration while discussing the revival of BSNL. It has got a revenue of about Rs.28,000 crores and has assets worth Rs. 90,000 crores. While there was growth earlier, after 2006 it went down. There have been difficulties. Development of broadband is more important now. Data has become most important than voice telephony. Funds are required for the same, but taking loan is difficult since we have to pay the high interest also. Investment is required to expand the services. The entire issues have to be seen in this scenario. He congratulated the unions for taking up the issue of revival of BSNL.
Forum Convener thanked the CMD for holding the meeting and informed the decision of the Forum to organise a Parliament March on 25th February 2015 on the issue of Revival of BSNL and gave the noticer to that effect. He also mentioned about the efforts being made by the Forum for focusing the issue and propagating among the public. A Memorandum signed by more than one crore signatures from the public will be presented to the Prime Minister on the day of the Parliament March.
All the demands raised by the Forum were discussed. A brief report is given below.
- Filling up posts of CMD BSNL and Directors: CMD post is already filled up. The filling up of posts of Directors, HR, Finance and CM has been taken up with Government. Selection is already over on certain posts.
- Stop Formation of Subsidiary Companies: Forum stated that BBNL should be merged with BSNL and no separate Tower Company is to be formed. Management stated that the proposal for Tower Company is only to focus on the tower business, but it will only be a subsidiary company.
- Grant of Compensation for providing rural services: The management fully agreed with the demand of the Forum for adequate compensation for the loss making services in the rural areas. CMD stated that even Rs. 1,250 crore approved in lieu of ADC is yet to be paid to BSNL by DOT. The Forum leaders demanded that the issue should be seriously pursued.
- Procurement of equipment: The Forum demanded immediate procurement of Cable, Broadband Modem, Drop Wire, Mobile lines etc. for expansion. Management explained the present position. There was some problem with the tender of SIM card which is being sorted out.
- Transfer of all assets to BSNL: The BSNL Management was in support of the demand, but the government has to take decision.
- Drop proposal of BSNL-MTNL Merger: The Forum explained that until the three important issues of Disinvestment of MTNL, huge liability of BSNL and HR issues are sorted out, no merger will be accepted. The Management stated that no final decision has been taken in the matter.
- Spectrum Liberalisation and trading by BSNL: Management stated that there is no bar as far as 3G is considered. But since 2G was allotted without auction, the government will not allow spectrum trading and liberalisation in 2G.
- Fix pension contribution on basis of actual pay instead of on the maximum of the payscale: BSNL management stated that this issue is being pursued with DOT.
- Surrendering 1.2 MHz spectrum by BSNL: Management stated no decision has been taken so far.
- Reject M/s Deloittee Consultant recommendations: Detailed discussions took place in the matter. This will be further discussed with the Forum within 10 days.
- Refund of BWA Spectrum charges to BSNL for the surrendered spectrum: This is being pursued.
- Grant of 78.2% IDA pension fixation: The undue delay in the settlement of the issue was strongly protested by the Forum leaders. Management agreed to pursue the matter.
- Implement Cabinet decision on 30% superannuation benefits to BSNL direct recruited employees: The Forum leaders strongly demanded that 30% superannuation benefits should be ensured to new recruits. After discussion, the management wanted a detailed note on the issue. This will be furnished by the Forum.
Management agreed to issue minutes of the meeting.
The meeting was cordial, but the issues are not settled, since most items are to be settled at DOT/Govt. Levels. Hence our preparation for the struggle should continue.
As scheduled the meeting between the CMD BSNL, Shri Anupam Srivastava and the leaders of the Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations was held at the BSNL Board room, Corporate Office. The meeting was attended by both the Directors in addition to the CMD as also ED(Finance) and GM(SR).
All the issues included in the Charter of Demands was discussed in detail. The meeting continued for about 4 hours. The discussion was cordial. The demands of the workers were ably presented by Com. C.Singh, Chairman, V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener and other leaders of the Forum. The Convener gave the written notice for the Parliament March to the CMD BSNL.
A brief note on the discussions will be published shortly.
A meeting of the Forum will be held at 03.00 PM on 11th February 2015 at BSNLMS Office to review about the discussion, preparation for the Parliament March as also the issue of strike notice.
Immediately after the General Elections and formation of the new government at centre, Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations has sent a letter congratulating the new Communications Minister, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, on 26th May 2014 along with a request for a meeting to discuss about the most important issues on the Revival of BSNL along with one or two staff issues. It is almost one and half months since the letter was given.
We know that the Minister will be very busy with three important portfolios like Communications, IT and Law. We understand that the Parliament was is session in between and now also the Parliament is in session. It is very difficult for a Central Minister to find time.
But in between he had met the private telecom companies, met the BSNL Management a few times and also many stake holders. We feel that the 2.5 lakh employees are also important stakeholders of the BSNL and their unions also should be taken in to confidence and they should be given opportunity to meet the Minister. This is only but just and fair.
When the office of the Minister was contacted in person twice, it was stated that the Minister has got the Forum Memorandum and the minister will meet. But so far it has not been arranged.
We feel the Minister should meet the Forum leaders at the earliest, finding some time between his busy schedule.
The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations have given a memorandum to Communications Minister on 26th June and requested for a meeting to discuss the issues of Revival of BSNL and a few other issues. So far no meeting has been held.
Today, 24th June, the Convener Forum has written another letter seeking an early meeting.
Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri, President BSNLEU and Advisor AIBDPA met senior officers of the DoT on 4th April 2014 and discussed important issues:
Meeting with Ms. Annie Moraes, Member (Finance):
1. 78.2% IDA fixation for Pensioners – Com. Namboodiri expressed serious concern at the undue delay in taking decision and issue of orders. It is almost ten months after orders have been issued for regular employees. Member (Finance) stated that Dept. of Expenditure has sought clarifications on three issues viz. 1) whether Cabinet decision is required, 2) whether the pension will exceed 60% of the amount being paid by BSNL to DOT on taxes, licence fee etc. and 3) whether there is any precedent for making payment of pensionary benefits on notional pay and pension revision. The reply is being prepared and will be furnished to DoE early. Com. Namboodiri demanded speedy action by DOT.
2. Rs. 1,500 crore payment to BSNL in lieu of ADC: The Rs.1,500 crore allotted for BSNL from USOF is still not paid. This is to be paid with out further delay. Member (Finance) stated that the matter is being pursued, but certain report from BSNL is required on the performance etc.
3. Upgradation of cities on the basis of the 2011 census: Though it is more than 2 years after the census report has been published, the upgradation of cities like Ahmedabad are still pending orders. Com. Namboodiri requested for early issue of orders. It was stated that the issue has to be decided by DPE on the basis of the final report of the Census.
Meeting with Ms. Rita Teotia, Addl Secretary DOT:
1. Merger of BSNL and MTNL: Com. VAN Namboodiri expressed serious concerns regarding the merger and demanded that these concerns of the employees as mentioned in the Forum Memorandum should be settled before any merger is decided. Addl. Secretary assured that so far no decision has been taken on Merger and that the concerns of the employees will be certainly considered.
2. VRS in BSNL: Addl. Secretary stated that the DOT is fully aware of the opposition of the workers. In fact, no decision has been taken and the viewpoint of the unions will be considered, if any decision will be taken.
Meeting with Shri S.C.Misra, Member (Services):
1. 78.2% IDA fixation for pensioners: Member (Services) stated the complications with regard to the queries raised by the DoE. He also stated that the same is being examined and reply will be given to DOE early.
Forum representatives Coms. V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener and K.sebastin, GS, met Ms.Geeta Rau, ED (Finance) and discussed about the financial position of the BSNL, the assistance to be received from DOT/Government and the proposals of the Forum for increasing of revenue and reducing the expenditure.
With regard to the superannuation benefits to the Direct Recruited employees of BSNL, the Forum leaders wanted a discussion with the High Level Committee appointed by the BSNL for the purpose. The ED(F) stated that the meeting can be fixed for the next week.
The absence of the ruling party Congress and main opposition party BJP in the meeting conducted by the Law Commission on 1st February at New Delhi to discuss about electoral reforms is highly inappropriate. The meeting has been called by the Law Commission as
perthe guidelines of the Supreme Court.
Legal luminaries such as Soli Sorabji and TR Anthyarjuna attended the meeting along with Law Commission chairman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and former chairman Justice BP Jeevan Reddy.
The Left Parties, Biju Janata Dal and some other parties attended the meeting. Some of the issues in the agenda was about the expense of candidates, eligibility of the criminally convicted candidates etc.
It is not known why Congress and BJP did not attend. Is it whether they boycotted or is there any other reason?
EW DELHI, FEB 1:
Major national and regional parties, including the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, gave a miss to the Law Commission’s one-day discussion on electoral reforms. The meeting held here on Saturday was focusing on the methods to decriminalise politics.
In the six national parties, only CPI(M) and CPI attended the meeting. Biju Janata Dal was the only major regional party and was represented by MP Pinaki Mishra.
The Commission had started the process after the Supr