GO AHEAD WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE INDEFINITE STRIKE FROM 11th JULY-2016
NJCA PRESS STATEMENT
National Joint Council of Action
4, State Entry Road, New Delhi – 110055
Dated 9th June, 2016.
The National Joint Council of Action was formed as an apex level organization of the under-mentioned Associations/Federations participating in the negotiating body of the Central Government employees at the National level, called the Joint Consultative Machinery.
1. All India Railway men Federation.
2. National Federation of Indian Railway men
3. All India Defence Employees Federation
4. Indian National Defence Workers Federation
5. Confederation of Central Government employees and workers representing the
Unions and Associations in all Departments other than Railways and Defence.
6. National Federation of Postal Employees
7. Federation of National Postal organizations.
It was formed in the wake of the then UPA Government refusing to enter into any meaningful negotiations with the Employees Federation. In the face of the unprecedented rise in the inflation of the Indian Economy during 2006 -16, the employees demanded the Government to effect wage rise for the emoluments fixed on the basis of the 6thCPC was incapable of meeting the both end of an employee especially at the lowest level. Though under threat the then Government conceded the demand for setting up of the 7th CPC, they stubbornly refused to grant any interim relief or DA merger, which alone would have mitigated the difficulties of the low paid workers When the NDA Government came to power, the NJCA approached them also with a request that the difficulties of the low paid workers in Central Government must be appreciated and the demand for Interim Relief or DA merger be conceded. The NDA Government too did not respond to the plea made by the NJCA.
The 7th CPC which was set up in Feb. 2014 was to submit its report in August, 2016. However, at the intervention of the Government, the report was further delayed and it ultimately reached the Government only in November, 2015. Their recommendations were to be effective from 1.1.2016. Except setting up an empowered Committee of Secretaries, the Government did not do anything so far on the report. It is now more than six months the report is with the Government. Normally the revised allowances which form part and parcel of the salary of the employees are granted with prospective effect i.e. from the date of the issue of the orders. The delay in taking decision on the report will rob the employees of the increased allowances for ever. This apart, the report of the 7thCPC was totally disappointing as it did not address any of the issues projected before them in a proper manner and most of the demands were rejected sans reasoning and logic. The increase they recommended was a paltry 14%, the lowest any Pay Commission had ever suggested. The NJCA in a detailed memorandum submitted on 10th December, 2015, conveyed to the Government as to how the recommendations on all major issues were bereft of logic and reasoning and suggested as to what improvements were required thereon. The NJCA had been pursuing to have a meaningful negotiation and settlement of the issues. Except hearing the leaders, the empowered Committee did not go further. It acted as if it was powerless and the final decision will have to be taken by the Government. At the request of the Cabinet Secretary on Ist March, 2016, when the NJCA deferred the strike action which was to commence in April, 2016.
As there had been no fruitful negotiations or discussions and having realized that the Government has no intention to settle the Charter of demands, the NJCA decided to serve the notice for an Indefinite strike action on 9thJune, 2016. Accordingly, all the constituent organizations have served the strike notice today to their respective heads of Departments. The indefinite strike will commence on 11th July, 2016, if no satisfactory settlement is brought about on the charter of demands (which is enclosed).
About 35 lakh workers and employees belonging to various Departments of the Government of India will participate in the strike action, which is to commence on11th July, 2016. It will certainly be the largest participated strike action of the Central Civil Servants of the country since its independence. The determination of the Minimum wage on the basis of Dr. Aykhroyd formula enunciated in 1957 to which the Government of India was a party is the most significant issue in the charter of demands. A right settlement thereon will have far reaching impact in the wage determination of the entire working class in the country. The confrontation is between the forces who wanted India to be the destination for cheap labour and others who fight against the exploitation.
The new Contributory Pension scheme introduced by the Government in 2004 has made one third of the Civil servants unsure of their entitlement at the evening of their life even though they were to contribute huge sums from their wages every month compulsorily. The PFRDA bill became an Act in the country as the members of Parliament both belonging to NDA and UPA voted in favour of the loot of the workers. Even the recommendation made by the Standing Committee of the Parliament to provide for a minimum guaranteed annuity pension was rejected when the Bill was passed. The other issue which must have a satisfactory settlement in the charter of demands is about the contributory pension scheme.
There was perhaps only one and only one positive recommendation made by the 7th CPC. That was to give some relief in the pension entitlement of the past pensioners. The Government has now proposed to reject that recommendation on the specious plea that the relevant records required for the verification of the claim of the individual pensioners especially those retired long time back may not be available with the Government. If the Government chooses to accept such also untenable advices from whichever quarter it emanates, it would not only be unfortunate but will make the strike action an imminent inevitability. While the NJCA hopes that the good counsel will prevail upon the Government to avert the strike action, it appeals all its constituents and through them all Central Government employees to go ahead with the preparation of the strike action, which is slated to commence from 11thJuly, 2016 with courage and determination.
Shiva Gopal Misra.
CHARTER OF DEMANDS
1. Settle the issues raised by the NJCA on the recommendations of the 7 CPC sent to Cabinet Secretary vide letter dated 10th December 2015.
2. Remove the injustice done in the assignment of pay scales to technical/safety categories etc. in Railways& Defence, different categories in other Central Govt establishments by the 7 CPC.
3. Scrap the PFRDA Act and NPS and grant Pension/family Pension to all CG employees under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 & Railways Pension Rules, 1993.
4. i) No privatization/outsourcing/contractorisation of governmental functions.
ii) Treat GDS as Civil Servants and extend proportional benefit on pension and allowances to the GDS.
5. No FDI in Railways & Defence; No corporatization of Defence Production Units and Postal Department.
6. Fill up all vacant posts in the government departments, lift the ban on creation of posts; regularize the casual/contract workers.
7. Remove ceiling on compassionate ground appointments.
8. Extend the benefit of Bonus Act,1965 amendment on enhancement of payment ceiling to the adhoc Bonus/PLB of Central Government employees with effect from the Financial year 2014-15.
9. Ensure Five promotions in the service career of an employee.
10. Do not amend Labour Laws in the name of Labour Reforms which will take away the existing benefits to the workers.
11. Revive JCM functioning at all levels.
CHARTER OF DEMANDS
1. Re-compute the minimum wage on the basis of the actual commodity prices as on 1.7.2015and factor the Dr. Aykroyd formula stipulated percentages for housing and social obligations, children education etc. Revise the fitment formula and pay levels on the basis of the so determined minimum wage;
We are not in agreement with the methodology adopted by the 7th CPC in computing the minimum WAGE. We give hereunder briefly the reasons thereof.
1. The retail prices of the commodities quoted by the Labour bureau is irrational, imaginary and even absurd in respect of certain articles at certain places. The Staff Side had objected to the adoption of those rates in its meeting with the Commission on 9th June, 2015.
2. The adoption of 12 monthly average of the retail prices is contrary to Dr. Aykroyd formula. Same is the case with the reduction effected by the Commission on housing and social obligation factors. The house rent allowance is not a full compensation of the expenditure incurred by an employee for obtaining an accommodation. Therefore, no reduction on that count in arriving at the minimum wage is permissible. We may cite the minimum wage computation made by the 3rd CPC in this regard, The employees were in receipt of HRA even at that time. But still the 3rd CPC, and rightly so, adopted the 7.5% as the factor for housing. In respect of the addition to be made for children education and social obligation as per the Supreme Court judgement, (25%) the Commission has reduced the percentage to 15% on the specious plea that the employees are separately given children education allowance. The Children education allowance is not a full reimbursement of the expenses one has to incur. After the liberalization of the Education Sector where private parties were allowed to set up universities and colleges, the expenses for education had increased heavily . No concession or allowance is granted to the employees for educating the children beyond the higher secondary levels. The earlier Pay Commission has only tried to compensate a little in the increasing cost of education and that too at the primary level, since even the Governmental institutions had started charging abnormal tuition and other fees.
3. The website maintained for the Agriculture Ministry depicts the retail prices of commodities which go into the basket of minimum wage computation. Even though the rates quoted by them vary from the real retail prices in the market, it provides a different picture. If one is to take the rates quoted by them for different cities and make an all India average of the prices as on 1.7.2015, it will work out to Rs. 10810. It will result in the computation of the minimum wage of Rs. 19880. Adding 25% for arriving at the MTS scale, it will rise to Rs. 24850. To convert the same as on 1.1.2016, 3% will be added as suggested by the 7th CPC. The final computation will be Rs. 25,596, when rounded off shall be Rs. 26000.
4. The Andhra Pradesh State Pay Commission in its report has taken the commodity prices at Rs. 9830.- as on 1.7.2013 which works out to a minimum wage of Rs. 18080. The wage of MTS will then be Rs. 22600 as on 1.7.2013, The Corresponding figure for 1.1.2016 shall be Rs. 26758 , rounded off to Rs. 27000.
5. The Staff side had computed the minimum wage as on 1.1.2014 at Rs. 26,000, taking the commodity price at Rs. 11344. The rates were taken on the basis of the actual retail prices in the market as on 1.1.2014( average prices of 8 Cities in the country) substantiated by the documentary evidence of Cash bill obtained from the concerned vendors. As on 1.12016, the minimum wage work out to Rs. 29339, rounded off to Rs. 30,000.
6. The 5th CPC adopted the rate of growh in the economy ( as reflected in the increase in the per capita net national produce at factor cost) over a period of ten years to arrive at the increase required to be made to arrive at the minimum wage. The per capita NNP at factor cost registered an increase of 65.28% over a period of ten years in 2013-14. If we apply the same percentage to the emoluments (Pay +DA) as on 1.1.2016 (assuming that DA will be 125% as on that date), the minimum wage as on 1.1.2016 for an MTS will have to be Rs. 26030, rounded off to Rs. 27000.
7. In para 4.2.9 of the report, the Commission has given a table depicting the percentage increase provided by the successive Pay Commissions, according to which the 2nd CPC had made a paltry increase of 14.2%. The 3rd CPC gave a rise of 20.6, 4th 27.6, 5th 31.0 and 6th CPC 54%. While the per centage increase had been in ascending order all along, the 7th CPC has sought to reverse that trend ostensibly for reasons unknown. It is was the meager increase of 14% provided for by the 2nd CPC that triggered the volatile situation in the civil service and led to all India strike encompassing all employees which lasted for 5 days in 1960. We do not know whether the 7 CPC really intend to create such a scenario once again.
8. In the case of Bank, Insurance and many other Public Sector Undertakings wage revision takes place once in 5 years. In the recently concluded agreement, Bank employees were provided more than 15% increase.
9. After the implementation of the Pay Commissions Report the AP State Employees have been given a wage structure based on a minimum wage far above the level of Central Government employees. In their case also wage revision does take place once in 5 years.
It could be seen from the above that the computation of minimum wage by the 7 CPC is prima facie wrong and computed on untenable premises and incorrect data. The minimum wage therefore requires re-computation and revision. Once the minimum wage gets revised, the fitment formula, the multiplication factor applied for determining the pay levels and the pay matrix itself will have to consequently revised.
Determination of Pay Level Minimum
It is seen that the 7th CPC has applied varying multiplication factors for different pay levels. The 6th CPC has taken the emoluments in the private sector to hike the salary of officers by applying different yardstick to compute the pay bands disturbing the vertical relativity while the 7th CPC has further accentuated the gap of differences in wages between officers and employees. This being unacceptable we urge upon adoption of uniform multiplication factor for determining pay levels.
2. Revise the pay matrix basing upon the revised minimum wage and rounding off the stages to the next hundred. Accept the suggestion made by the Staff Side in its memorandum to 7 CPC for de-layering viz. to abolish the pay levels pertaining to GP 1900, 2400 and 4600.
In our memorandum to 7th CPC the staff side had requested for de-layering by abolition of Grade Pay of Rs 1900, 2400 & 4600. The pay levels pertaining to GP 1900, 2400 and 4600 may be abolished and merged with the next higher levels.
3. Revise the rate of increment to 5 % and Grant two increments in the feeder cadre levels as promotion benefit.
The rate of increment has been pegged down to 3% by the 7th CPC. At this rate an employee will not be able to double his pay even after 30 years. The demand of the staff side to increase the rate of increment to 5% to be accepted.
Promotion from one cadre to another is a rare phenomenon in government services especially in lower grades. If one to be awarded only an increment amounting to 3% of pay, it might not become a sought after affair and will in fact act as a de-motivating factor. This apart, in most of the Govt. Departments, promotion is followed by posting to a different location. Those who are posted to unclassified cities or from Metro cities to towns will financially suffer due to such mandatory transfer on promotion. This is because of the fact that the rate HRA, Transport Allowance etc vary from one station to another. The financial benefit on promotion must be, therefore, at least two increments i.e. 10% of the pay.
4. Fill up all vacant posts by holding special recruitment drive
5. MACP to be treated as financial up-gradation, without any grading stipulation; to be provided on the basis of the promotional cadre hierarchy of the concerned department; increase the number of MACP to five on completion of 8, 15,21,26 and 30th years of service. Reject the Efficiency Bar stipulation made by 7th CPC. Personnel promoted on the basis of Examination should be treated as fresh entrants to the cadre.
6. Upgrade the LDCs in all departments as UDCs for it is stated by the Commission that the Government has stopped recruiting personnel to this cadre.
The cadre of LDC, after the introduction of MTS has presently overlapping functions. Most of the specific functions have also become obsolete on introduction of computerized diarizing and maintenance register. There is no specific need for this cadre in any of the offices. While future recruitment can be stopped, which the government has conveyed to the Commission, what has to be done to the existing cadre is not mentioned. It is therefore necessary that the existing incumbents be promoted as UDCs by upgrading all posts of LDC as UDCs.
7. a) Parity to be ensured for all Stenographers, Assistants, Ministerial Staff in subordinate offices and in all the organized Accounts cadres with Central Sectt. By upgrading their pay scales ( and not by downgrading the pay scales of the CSS)
b) Drivers in all Government offices to be granted pay scale on par with the drivers of the Lok Sabha
The question of Parity, as has been rightly mentioned by 7th CPC, is a settled matter. It is the Department of Personnel which the cadre controlling Department for CSS cadre that unsettles the parity every time. The recommendation to downgrade the CSS is however not acceptable. What is required is to grant higher pay levels at par with CSS ministerial and stenographer cadres and other similarly placed cadres in the field/subordinate offices and IA&AD & Organized Accounts cadres.
8. To remove existing anomaly, the annual increment date may be 1st January for those recruited prior to 30thJune and 1st July in respect of those recruited prior to 31st December.
9. Wage of Central Government Employees be revised in every 5 years
10. Treat the GDS as Civil Servant and grant them all pay, allowances and benefits granted to regular employees on Pro -rata basis
11. Contract/casual and daily rated workers to be regularized against the huge vacancies existing in various Government offices.
12. Introduce PLB in all departments. All existing bilateral agreement on PLB must continue to be in operation
13 Revise the pension and other retirement benefits as under:-
(a) Parity between the past and present pensioners to be brought about on the basis of the 7th CPC recommendations with the modification that basis of computation to be the pay level of the post / grade/ scale of pay from which one retired; whichever is beneficial.
(b) Pension to be 60% of the last pay drawn in the case of all eligible persons who have completed the requisite number of years of service.
(c) The family pension to be 50% of the last pay drawn.
(d) Enhance the pension and family pension by 5% after every five years and 10% on attaining the age of 85 and 20% on attaining the age of 90.
(e) Commuted value of pension to be restored after 10 years or attaining the age of 70, whichever is earlier. Gratuity calculation to be on the basis of 25 days in the month as against 30 days as per the Gratuity Act.
(f) Fixed medical allowance for those pensioners not covered by CGHS and REHS to be increased to Rs. 2000 p.m.
(g) Provide one increment on the last day in service if the concerned employee has completed six months or more from the date of grant of last increment.
14 Exclude the Central Government employees from the ambit of the National Pension Scheme (NPS) and extend the defined benefit pension scheme to all those recruited after 1.1.2004
15 In the absence of any recommendation made by 7 CPC, the Government must withdraw the stipulated ceiling on compassionate appointments
16 Revise the following allowances/advances as under in place of the recommendations made by the 7th CPC :
The 7th CPC has recommended to abolish large number of allowances and interest free advances without going into the exact relevance in certain departments where the allowances are provided for. The allowances which are stated to be subsumed and which are clubbed with other s also require consideration. If these allowances are withdrawn, it might affect adversely the very functioning of the Department itself in certain emergent situation. Of the allowances mentioned in the report for abolition, we have mentioned hereunder those pertaining to civilian employees which require to be retained.
In respect of advances the Commission appears to have taken a shylock view of the matter. Most of the under mentioned advances are required to meet out contingencies which the employees cannot manage to organize. These advances are, therefore, to be retained.
(a) Retain the rate of house rent allowance in place of the recommendation of the Commission to reduce it.
(b) Restructure the transport allowance into two slabs at Rs. 7500 and 3750 with DA thereof removing all the stipulated conditions.
(c). Fixed conveyance allowance: This allowance had no DA component at any stage.. This allowance must be enhanced to 2.25 times with 25% DA thereon as and when the DA crosses 50%
(d) Restore the island Special duty allowance and the Tripura Special compensatory remote locality allowance.
(e) The special duty allowance in NE Region should be uniform for all at 30%
(f) Overtime allowance whenever sanction must be based upon the actual basic pay of the entitled employee
(g) Cash handling /Treasury allowance. The assumption that every transaction in Government Departments are through the bank is not correct. There are officials entrusted to collect cash and therefore the cash handling allowance to be retained.
(h)Qualification Pay to be retained.
(i) Small family norms allowances;
(j) Savings Bank allowance
(k) Outstation allowance
(l) P.O. & RMS. Accountants special allowance.
)m) Risk allowance
(n) Break-down allowance.
(o) Night patrolling allowance.
(p) Special Compensatory hill area allowance.
(q) Special allowance for Navodaya Vidyalaya Staff.
(r) Dress Allowance ceiling to be raised to Rs. 32,400/- p a
(s) Nursing Allowance to be raised to 2.25 times of Rs 4800/-
(t) All fixed allowances must be raised to 2.25 times as per the principle enunciated by the Commission
(u) The erroneous statement in Para 9.2.5 to be corrected. Vide OM No. 13018/1/2009-Estt (L) dated 22.07.2009, DOP, P&W, the leave period for Child adoption has been increased to 180 days
(v).Restore the allowances abolished for the reason that it is either not reported or mentioned in the Report by the Commission
Restore the following advances and revise the same to 3 times.
(a). Natural calamity advance;
(b). Festival Advance
©. LTC and TA advances
(d). Medical advance
(e). Education advance.
(f) Vehicle advances including cycle advance
18 The stipulation made by the 7th CPC to grant only 80% of salary for the second year of CCL be rejected and the existing provisions may be retained
19 50% of the CGEIS premium to be paid by the Government in respect of Group B and C employees.
20 Health insurance to be introduced in addition to CGHS/REHS and CCS(MA) benefits and the premium to be paid by the Government and the employee equally.
21 Reject the recommendations concerning PRIS
22 Full pay and allowances to be provided for the entire period of WRII .
23 The conditions stipulated in clause (4) & (5) under Para 9.2.37 be removed
24 Reject the recommendation made by the 7th CPC in Para 8.16.9 to 8.16.14 concerning dress allowance to PBOR as otherwise the five Ordnance Equipment factories under OFB will have to be closed down
25 Set up a Group of Ministers’ Committee to consider the anomalies including the disturbance of the existing horizontal and vertical relativities at the National level and Departmental/Ministry level with provision for referring the disputed issues to the Board of Arbitration under the JCM scheme
26 To increase the promotional avenue for Technical and other Supervisory staff.
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