Friday 3 March 2017

Circle Secretary meets the Secretary (Posts) for discussion on Cadre Restructuring Proposal of Group-C postal employees in Odisha Circle and other local issues.

Dear Comrades,
As you know, we had requested vide our letter No. P3NFPE – Odisha / 10 – 02 / 2017, dated 28th  February, 2017 to the Chief PMG to allow us for a discussion with Sri B V Sudhakar,  Secretary (Posts) who is visiting Odisha on 02.03.2017.

On 02.03.2017, at about 20.00 hours, the AD (Estt) informed this Circle Secretary that the Secretary (Posts) has given his consent to meet and discuss on the local issues at 12 O’ Clock on 03.03.2017. The information was repeated by the AD (Staff) on 03.03.2017 morning.

Accordingly, this Circle Secretary accompanied with Com. B P Das, Financial Secretary and Com. Kishore Biswal, Circle Secretary,  AIPAOEU, PPP Branch, Bhubaneswar  met the Secretary (Posts) in Hotel May Fair Lagoon, Bhubaneswar on 03.03.2017 and discussed the local issues especially on the deficiencies noticed only by the AIPEU, Group-C, Odisha Circle with regard to implementation of Cadre Restructuring Proposal of Group-C Postal Employees.

With the available time, we briefed the deficiencies.

After listening to us, the Secretary (Posts) told that it is the responsibility of the Administration to call the Union Representatives for discussion. However request form the Union side for discussion is appreciable. According to him the Union people are the extended family members and a part of the administration.

What we pointed out during the short period with regard to discrepancy in distribution of posts, issues to be faced due to the surplus/deficit of staff amongst various Divisions after implementation, completion of  the DPC for LSG avoiding that of the HSG-II and HSG-I and without waiting for the one time absorption order etc, the Secretary (Posts) told that he realized the genuineness of the issues which could have been sorted out by the Administration earlier. The Union is faster in this regard while the Administration in slower, the Secretary (Posts) categorically told. He assured us in the presence of the Chief PMG, Odisha Circle and DPS(HQ), Bhubaneswar to look into the matter for bringing out a solution and asked for our representation.

This Circle Secretary handed over a Memorandum to the Secretary (Posts) containing some important  local issues apart from the issues arising out of Cadre Restructuring with request to stop issue of posting orders of the approved LSG officials till receipt of a clearance from the Secretary (Posts) on the issues raised by us in our memorandum.

During the course of discussion, the Secretary (Posts) also emphasized on  regular and effective functioning of the RJCM which is an important machinery for the development of the Circle. Administration should involve the Union people for taking constructive decisions for the progress of the Circle and simultaneously the Union representatives should also suggest constructively for the betterment of the Circle and work in cooperation with the administration to keep the Circle in No. 1 position.

The Secretary(Posts) thanked the NFPE representatives for appraising him about the important local  issues.

On behalf of NFPE, Odisha we express our sincere gratitude  to the Secretary (Posts), Chief PMG, Odisha Circle, DPS(HQ) and officers of the Circle Office, Bhubaneswar for allowing and cooperating us to discuss in a fruitful manner.

The copy of the Memorandum submitted to the Secretary (posts) is reproduced below for information of our members.

Circle Secretary

Copy of the Memorandum

No. P3NFPE – Odisha / 05 – 03 / 2017
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 3rd  March, 2017
Shri B V Sudhakar, IPoS
Secretary, Department of Posts
Dak Bhawan, New Delhi – 110 001
(Camp at Bhubaneswar)

Sub: Problems of Odisha Circle

Respected Sir,
 First of all we would like to express our sincere gratitude to our Hon’ble Secretary (Posts) for allowing us to meet him and discuss on our local issues here in Bhubaneswar.

While the peace loving employees of Odisha Circle are trying their best to achieve the goals and objectives of the Department facing several untold sufferings for acute shortage of staff, increased working hours, frequent system problems, introduction of new products and services and such other issues beyond their control, the following issues have added salt to the injury which need the kind attention of the Secretary(Posts) for immediate redressal.

1.   Cadre Restructuring of Group-C employees :

a.    Keeping the number of sanctioned strength constant to 3713, the number of PA, LSG, HSG-II and HSG-I were reduced / enhanced from 3516, 101,48,48 to 2398, 931, 301 and 83 ( 75 plus 8 NFG) respectively in Odisha Circle vide Directorate’s letter No.25-04/2012-PE.I, dated 27.05.2016.

b.    But during allotment by Odisha Circle keeping the number of sanctioned strength constant to 3593 posts, the number of PA, LSG, HSG-II and HSG-I were reduced / enhanced from 3398, 103, 45, 47 to 2390, 931, 189 and 83 ( 75 plus 8 NFG) respectively vide Chief PMG, Odisha Memo No. EST/1-2/Rlg/2016-Corr, dated 24.06.2016 and 20.07.2016 and posts were identified accordingly vide Chief PMG, Odisha Memo No. EST/1-2/Rlg/2016-Corr, dated 07.10.2016.

The 112 HSG-II posts ( 301 – 189),  the distribution of which remained in suspense in Odisha Circle could have been created as Supervisors  in Divisional Offices, CBS / PLI CPCs, and as APMs in MDGs and HOs.

c.    The above discrepancy in distribution of Posts amongst various cadres has been raised by us earlier and AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ has already written to the Secretary (Posts) vide letter No. P/2-16/Odisha Circle, dated 28.07.2016.

d.    Though the discrepancy has remained unsettled till date, the proposal has been implemented partially with completion of DPC for HSG-I (NFG) since August, 2016 and now DPC for LSG officials have been completed by C O , Bhubaneswar  issuing Regional allotment order of the approved LSG officials vide C O, Bhubaneswar Memo No. ST/26-6(1)/2017(Postal), dated 23.02.2017.
e.    Though we had requested the Circle administration vide our  letter No. P3Odisha/03-01/2017, dated 20th January, 2017 and 27.01.2017 with request first to complete the process for  HSG-I and HSG-II cadre following the rules of chain vacancies and then go for LSG cadre to avoid any dislocation in managing the huge number of vacant posts under both the  higher selection grades, it was not given due attention for the only reason that no eligible LSG and HSG-II officials are presently available for promotion to HSG-II and HSG-I cadre.
It is worth mentioning here that AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ, has already written to the Secretary Posts for issuing one time absorption order of the existing LSG and HSG-II officials.  We have also  requested to the Circle administration to wait for receipt of such orders which has not been accepted.
Now since all the existing LSG posts have been upgraded to HSG-II and now manned by the existing LSG officials as usual,  if posting orders are issued in favour of the approved LSG officials then the existing LSG officials will be forced to remain as LSG and all the HSG-II posts will fall vacant.  Since the functional activities will not stop, automatically, the P As will be compelled to work against these posts without any financial which will be an injustice to them.

The situation warrants immediate solution.

f.     As a part of selection process in the DPC for LSG, about 94 LSG officials were found surplus in 7 Divisions and 191 were found  short in 11 Divisions in comparison to the respective Divisional sanctioned strength which may create serious dislocation while adjusting the surplus officials of one Division in another Division(s) which fall(s) short of the sanctioned strength.
The action to be taken to fill up the proposed vacancy consequent upon relieve of the  surplus LSG officials  from the above 7 Divisions and the methodology of drawing Pay and Allowances of such officials who will be found excess than the sanction strength after their joining in rest 11 Divisions has not yet been worked out. The Circle as a whole is struggling with acute shortage of staff after dragging of P As as SAs, B Es, Trainers, PLI Group Leaders and to manage CBS/PLI CPCs etc and  grant of Child Care Leave to women employees. Presently the officials are debarred of getting even C L. Employees are seen shifting their marriage dates, fail to attend medicals at the time of emergency, deprived of discharging their social responsibilities and many such unusual occasions are happening day by day.

Thus, the huge vacancies will dislocate the day to day functioning of the Divisions and require to be solved simultaneously with implementation of the proposal.

g.    It is seen that the names of some senior officials especially belonging to reserved category are omitted from the approved list of LSG officials issued vide C O, Bhubaneswar Memo No. ST/26-6(1)/2017(Postal), dated 23.02.2017. On query, it was learnt that it has done in accordance with Directorate’s order No. 16-11/2016-SCT, dated 21.10.2016 accompanied the DoPT OM No. 36012/11/2016-Estt (Res), dated 30.09.2016 regarding treatment of SC/ST candidate for reservation in promotion which states, inter alia that no further promotions of reserved category persons  to unreserved posts will be made on the DoPT OM dated 10.08.2010. And DoPT OM dated 10.08.2010 clarified that SC/ST candidates appointed by promotion on their own merit  and seniority and not owing to reservation or relaxation of qualification will be adjusted against  unreserved points of reservation roster, irrespective of the fact whether the promotion  is made by selection method or non-selection method.
But, when the DPC is convened purely on seniority-cum-fitness basis, though such officials  may not be promoted against unreserved posts according to the clarification in DoPT OM No. 36012/11/2016-Estt(Res), dated 30.09.2016, they shall be selected according to their seniority beyond the reservation quota.

Thus, we feel some injustice has been done for such reserved category officials in the DPC which needs to be examined.

h.    The approved list contains the name of some SAs, B Es, Trainers, CPC Supervisors and PLI Group Leaders also who are now supposed to be posted as LSG SPMs in the identified S Os since the existing  posts  against which these employees are working are neither created nor  identified as LSG.

Now question arises as to how these posts will be manned if they are diverted from the current jobs. There may be complete dislocation in undertaking the day to day activities with regard to system failure and software issues if the experienced S As are diverted. Alternatively, if they are retained in their posts, then the proposed LSG posts against the said officials will remain vacant and the T S  P As may be forced to work  without any financial benefit which will be an injustice to them. The situation warrants immediate solution before implementation of the Cadre Restructuring proposal.

i.      Since maximum number of  officials now approved for LSG vide C O, Bhubaneswar Memo No. ST/26-6(1)/2017(Postal), dated 23.02.2017  are already in the  Level of Rs.4600/- and will not at all be benefited in such promotion, there will be huge declination   as per information gathered by this Union. Similar may be the situation for officials in Level Rs.4200/-  who are in a dilemma because of future MACP to Level Rs.4600/-
The condition of depriving the officials for financial upgradation to next level in case of refusal to regular promotion needs relaxation to give justice to those officials who will decline such promotion to meet the principles of natural justice.         
Such situations may also come in other Circles.
Since Odisha Circle is ahead of all other Circles in implementing the Cadre Restructuring proposal of Group-C postal employees and our Circle administration is going to issue posting orders in favour of the approved LSG officials very soon,   we would like to request our Hon’ble Secretary (Posts)  to give special attention to this issue of Odisha Circle for which we have the following suggestions.

i.              Reclassification/redistribution of posts under various cadres in Odisha Circle in accordance with the allotment made vide Directorate’s letter No.25-04/2012-PE.I, dated 27.05.2016 to solve the  existing discrepancy as already brought to the kind notice of the Secretary (Posts) vide AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ letter No. P/2-16/Odisha Circle, dated 28.07.2016.
ii.             Creation of HSG-II posts to the extent available (112 posts) as Supervisors  in Divisional Offices, CBS / PLI CPCs  and as APMs in MDGs and HOs.
iii.            Correct interpretation of DoPT OM No. 36012/11/2016-Estt(Res), dated 30.09.2016 reconsidering  the senior officials under reserved category for promotion to LSG as per their seniority.
iv.           Expediting issue of one time absorption order for the existing LSG/HSG-II officials already requested to the Secretary (Posts) by AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ.
v.            Stop issue of posting orders in favour of the approved LSG officials till filling up of HSG-I and HSG-II cadre.
vi.           Relaxing the condition of depriving the officials for financial upgradation to next level in case of refusal to regular promotion.
vii.          Divisionalization of LSG Cadre  to solve the surplus / deficit issue and holding the DPC according to the Divisional Gradation List to have easy solution of staff dislocation problem.

2.   Non-payment of Scheduled / Tribal  Area Allowance as per recommendations of 6th CPC to the postal employees of Odisha Circle

This has a kind reference to the Recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission under Para which has been accepted in principle by the Govt. in Para 2 (i), Part – B vide Resolution No.1/1/2008-IC, dated 29.08.2008 published by the Deptt. of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance , Govt. of India in the Gazettte of India (Extraordinary) and circulated to all Ministries / Departments vide DoE (MoF) OM No. 17 (1) / 2008 –E.  II ( B ), dated 29.08.2008 modifying the earlier OM No. 19(14)-E.IV(B)/70- Vol.II, dated 19.2.1972 read with OM No. 17(1)/98-E.II(B), dated 17.07.1998 and enhancing the Scheduled / Tribal Area Allowance to Rs.400 for employees drawing Grade Pay of Rs.5400/- and above and to Rs.240 for employees drawing Grade Pay less than Rs.5400/- with effect from 01.09.2008.
The scheduled areas originally specified for the purpose in the State of Odisha are as follows.
i.      Mayurbhanj District
ii.     Sundergarh District
iii.    Koraput District
iv.   Kuchinda Tahasil of Sambalpur District
v.    Keonjhar and Telkoi Tahasils of Keonjhar Sub-Division and Chamua and Barbil Tahasils of Champua Sub Division in Keonjhar District.
vi.   Kandhamal Tahasil of Kandhamal Sub Division and Baliguda and G. Udayagiri Tahasils of Baliguda Sub Division in Boudh-Kandhamal District.
vii.  R. Udyagiri Tahasil and Guma and Rayagada Block of Parlakhemundi Tahasil of Paralakhemundi Sub Division and Surada Tahasil excluding Gazalbadi and Gochha Gram Panchayats  of Ghumusar Sub Division in Ganjam District .
viii. Thuamul Rampur Tahasil of Kalahandi Tahasil and Lanjigarh Block falling in Lanjigarh and Kalahandi Tahasil in Bhawanipatna Sub Division in Kalahandi District.
ix.   Nilgiri Community Development Block of Nilgiri Tahasil in Nilgiri Sub Division in Balasore District.
  Thus, it is evident that the employees working in the post offices functioning in the above scheduled areas are entitled for the Scheduled / Tribal Area Allowance with effect from 01.09.2008 at the rates specified. But it is regretted that even after expiry of 8 years and that too after implementation of the recommendations of 7th CPC, the postal employees of Odisha Circle are deprived of the above allowance. The fact has already been brought to the notice of the Chief PMG, Odisha Circle vide our letter No. P3Odisha/03-02/2017, dated  6th  February, 2017 without any action.

Since the matter has been badly delayed, we request our Secretary (Posts) to issue suitable instructions in this regard for the benefit of the employees.

3.   Sanction of huge pending T A  & Medical Bills:

Due to paucity of funds huge T A and Medical bills pending for sanction in different Divisions. Illustratively, T A Bills amounting to Rs.25 lakhs are kept pending only in Berhampur Region which has been discussed under  Item No. 2 – 12 / 2016  in the last Four-Monthly meeting of the Chief PMG, Odisha Circle on 26.12.2016 with the representatives of NFPE Unions. As per reply given to this Circle Union, the  Divisional Superintendents were to be addressed to clear all the admissible outstanding bills immediately.
But as known to this Circle Union,  neither any letter has yet been issued from Circle Office nor a single bill has been sanctioned basing on the reply of the Chief PMG  in the above Minutes. However as per information gathered, Directorate has been requested by C O, Bhubaneswar for allotment of sufficient funds under the head(s).
As such, it is requested kindly to take immediate necessary action to allocate sufficient funds under Medical and T A head as projected by Chief PMG, Odisha  for clearing all the admissible outstanding bills before the end of this financial year.

   4.   Provision of Police Escort in Cash Van & Deployment of Arm Guards in HOs/GPOs:

The cash vans of Bhubaneswar Division and Sundergarh Division in Odisha Circle are clearing / supplying cash from / to different post offices in huge amount beyond the line limit without police escort. After withdrawal of police forces by the State Govt. authority, unnecessary high risk has been thrown upon the staff related to cash conveyances. Despite several discussions for years together with the Divisional administration in the monthly union meetings and with the Circle administration in the bi-monthly and four-monthly meetings, no satisfactory progress is being observed till date. The situation went bad to worse during the demonetization period.
Similarly, keeping in view the recent ongoing robberies in broad-day light  from banks and other cash counters in cities on one hand and considering the amount of  per day cash transactions  especially  in GPOs and HOs, we had given a proposal in 2006 to the administration for deployment of arm guards in the campus of and inside GPOs/HOs. Due to our continuous pursuance,   the matter was discussed with the DPS (HQ) by the Circle Union on 16.11.2006 and as replied by the DPS(HQ), the matter would be referred to the Directorate since related to all India.  But since then, we are in dark on the progress of this issue.
However, lastly both the above items were taken up at Directorate level by AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ on 11.03.2014 and Directorate vide its letter  F No. 18 - 1/-2012 – PO, dated 20.03.2014 directed the Chief PMG, Odisha Circle to follow the instructions of Postal Directorate issued on security of cash at Post Offices and conveyance of cash from Post Office earlier issued vide Directorate’s letter No. 24-4/2003-PC, dated 10.10.2007 and No.32 - 1/86-CE,, dated 09.01.1986 authorizing the Circle Head with full Administrative and Financial Powers in this regard.

But unfortunately, no action has been taken.

We sincerely request our Secretary(Posts) to bring an immediate solution to this sensitive issue arranging provision of Police escorts in Cash Vans and deploying arm guards in GPOs/HOs.
    5.   Civil and Electrical maintenance work of Staff Quarters / P O Buildings:

No periodical Civil and Electrical maintenance work of Staff Quarters in almost all the Postal Colonies in Odisha Circle including the Post attached quarters / P O Buildings are not being done.  As a result the employees are forced to occupy and reside in the quarters at their own risk. Even the vacant quarters are not being white-washed before allotment to a new occupant.
Amongst various other reasons, paucity of funds under maintenance work is a vital one.
Illustratively, since the taken over  date of the Postal Colony, Bargarh HO under Sambalpur Division by the department probably during 1996-1997, no electrical repairing has been undertaken leaving the occupants of the said staff quarters to live there at their own fate/risk.  All the three Postal Colonies in Bhubaneswar, staff quarters of Burla MDG and P&T Colony, Jharsuguda under Sambalpur Division, 12  staff quarters starting from Qtrs. No. PTN-139 to PTN-150 in the new P & T Colony, Sector-6, Rourkela-769002 under Sundergarh Division are in damaged condition. In addition, there is water scarcity problem in various colonies and PO premises, viz. Ashoknagar MDG under Bhubaneswar Division, Bargarh HO and Rajborasambar S O under Samblapur Division, Sundergarh  HO and Postal Colony Maheshdihi under Sundergarh Division, Postal Colony, Koraput under Koraput Division. Provision of bore-well in the said colonies and P O premises are barely necessary.
As such, we would like to request our Secretary(Posts) to take immediate action in this regard with allocation sufficient funds to Odisha Circle under building maintenance head to meet the exigencies.

6.   AMC of UPS / Generator and Change of UPS batteries:

Due to no AMC for UPS and Generator , especially in the Head Quarters Region the employees are suffering a lot in managing the day to day works smoothly. Similarly the old and obsolete  UPS batteries are not being changed at the time of need under Berhampur Region. Phulabani and Koraput Division are the worst sufferers.  As known to this Circle Union, though the concerned file from R O, Berhampur has been sent to Directorate vide letter No. TO/103-83/2016, dated 13.01.2016, action is still awaited.
Due to frequent power failures especially in rural areas, change of UPS batteries in time and AMC of Generators are barely necessary for rending prompt and efficient service to the members of public.
Therefore, we would like to request  our Secretary(Posts) to to look into the matter seriously and take immediate appropriate action.

With deep regards.
Yours faithfully,

Circle Secretary

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