Saturday, 28 September 2019

Circle Secretary meets Member (P) in Bhubaneswar with submission of memorandum and detailed discussion on some important local / national issues

No. P3NFPE-Odisha/08 - 09/2019
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 28th September, 2019
Sj. P K Bisoi, IPoS
Hon’ble Member (P)
Dak Bhawan, New Delhi – 110 001
(Camp at Bhubaneswar)

Sub:-Request for redressal of some local issues and submission of some suggestions on all India issues.

Respected Sir,
            Sincerely conveying our gratitude for allowing us to have a discussion with you in between your busy schedules during your visit to Odisha Circle, we would like to bring some local issues to your kind notice for immediate redressal as well as some suggestions on few specific all India issues..

Local Issues:

1.   Delay in payment of Financial Assistance to ‘Fani’ affected employees of Odisha Circle: 

It is a matter of regret that even after expiry of a period of four months, the Financial Assistance to the employees affected with sever cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ on 03.05.2019 has not yet been paid. While the payment to GDS employees has been released by the Circle, the same for the Departmental employees is getting delayed on the on the ground of compliance to the queries of the Directorate. In this context, this is to intimate further that the Director (Welfare & Sports), Department of Posts, Dak Bhawan, New Delhi – 110 001 has been requested for approval of the sanctioned amount for 1741 Departmental employees @ Rs.4500/- each amounting to Rs.7834500 vide Odisha Circle letter No. WL/1-77/2019, dated 10.07.2019 which has been reminded twice in the meantime vide its letter No. WL/1-77/2019, dated 01.08.2019 and 28.08.2019.  

            Therefore, this Circle Union requests your kind intervention for immediate approval of the above Fani  Assiatance.    

2.   Revision of Sanctioned Strength in HSG-I Cadre in   Odisha Circle: 

Inviting a kind reference to Department of Posts, Higher Selection Grade – I in Post Offices and Railway Mail Services, Group ‘B’ Posts Recruitment Rules, 2014, this is to intimate that the Department merged all the 141 IP line HSG-I posts with General line raising the sanctioned strength of HSG-I posts from 1600 to 1741 on all India basis (Column 2 of the Gazette Notification dated 17.07.2014). Accordingly, three posts of HSG-I cadre under IP line in Odisha Circle i.e. Dy. Postmaster, Bhubaneswar GPO, Postmaster, Puri HO and Postmaster, Sambalpur HO should have been merged with general line increasing the present Sanctioned Strength to 99 along with the enhanced 96 HSG-I posts vide Directorate letter No. 25-04/2012-PE-I (Vol. II), dated 10.11.2017 including 10 posts of HSG-I NFG. Now after merger of Postmaster Cadre ordered vide Directorate letter No. 25-19/2018-PE.I, dated 10.07.2019, 18 posts of Postmaster Grade-III were added to existing Sanctioned Strength of HSG-I cadre and thus the total   Sanctioned Strength of HSG-I cadre   in Odisha Circle should have been 117 (99 existing + 18 Grade-III). But this has not been done in Odisha Circle and presently the Sanctioned Strength in HSG-I cadre has been shown as 114 (96 + 18) vide Circle Office letter No. ST/26-26/2019, dated 27.08.2019. 

As such, this Circle Union would like to request your kind intervention to revise the Sanctioned Strength of HSG-I cadre in Odisha Circle correctly taking into consideration all the three IP line HSG-I posts of Dy. Postmaster, Bhubaneswar GPO, Postmaster, Puri HO and Postmaster, Sambalpur HO which have no locus standi after the HSG-I Revised Recruitment Rules, 2014.

3.   Payment of Cash Handling / Treasury Allowances
As aware, the Cash Handling Allowance at Sl. No. 3 and Treasury Allowance at Sl. 32 of the Resolution  No. 11-1/2016-IC, dated 06.07.2017 issued by Ministry of Finance on Allowances based on the Recommendations of 7th CPC have been subsumed and revised as under with effect from the 1st July, 2017.

Amount of  average
monthly cash handled
6th CPC rates 
Revised Rates
(in  Rs. Per Month)
<= 5 lakh
Over 5 lakh

But it is regretted that the above allowances have been discontinued in Odisha Circle since implementation of the Recommendations of 7th CPC. In spite of discussion with the administration, no satisfactory result has come yet.

 Therefore, this union requests your kind intervention to issue necessary instructions to all Unit Heads / DDOs for immediate payment of Cash Handling / Treasury Allowances to all eligible officials with effect from 01.07.2017.

4.      Treatment to the LSG Posts created in MDGs under Cadre Restructuring proposal of Group-C postal employees as Supervisor.

As known, one post in LSG cadre has been created in all MDGs under the Cadre Restructuring Proposal of Group-C postal employees on abolition of one post of P A from each MDG. While the post of LSG is treated as supervisor and designated as Assistant Postmaster in HOs / GPOs, the same post now created in MDGs is termed as LSG PA in Odisha Circle in contrast to its nature of supervisory works.
Now as per latest instructions (Addendum to S B order No. 5/2016), both Maker and Checker should belong to same SOL in ‘Verify’ mode for activities in CBS Finacle like Freeze / Unfreeze and issue of Duplicate Pass Books etc. If the 2nd Supervisor Role is assigned to the newly created LSG officials in MDGs, this will not only expedite the service delivery but will lessen the burden of workload on HOs/GPOs.
Therefore, it is requested kindly to take appropriate action for uniform assignment of 2nd Supervisor roles to the LSG official of each MDG redesignating them as Assistant Postmaster for rendering prompt service delivery to the members of public.

 All India Issues:

1.            Conversion of Single-Handed Post Offices to Double-Handed: The Sub Postmaster of a single-handed Delivery Post Office has been unscientifically given two passwords for Operator and Supervisor. He has to perform all the functions of a Post Office first as Operator with a given Password and then will act as his own Supervisor with another Password to verify the transactions performed by him as Operator. He has to perform all types of transactions booking, delivery, and despatch, MPCM, POSB in the same system both as Operator and as Supervisor.  If such post offices are attached with branch post offices, then their sufferings beggar description.  In addition, he has also to achieve targets, promote business and mange other staff members of his office which may vary from 2 to 20. A person has his own limitations. But our operative Postal Assistants are compelled to work regularly beyond their limitations. The repeated approaches of the employees to convert all single-handed Post Offices to at least double-handed post offices in the analogy of Checker-Maker system under CBS platform have invited no result for years together and such Sub Postmasters are suffering like bonded-labourers from dawn to dusk in the fear of disciplinary action under high pressure of bureaucratic ego.
As such we would like to suggest that all the single handed post offices need be upgraded to double handed to redress the plight of the Sub Postmasters.

2.    Change of Nomenclature: The 6th CPC vide Para 3.1.10 and 3.1.12 states that emphasis should be on recruiting multi skilled personnel at Assistant level designed as Executive Assistant who will discharge the function of present day requirement and be designated as Executive Assistants.  As the Postal Assistants, Supervisory and Operative possess a higher qualitative and quantitative nature of work, they can be called as Executive Postal Assistant.

The change of nomenclature will cost nothing. But it can motivate the employee to live with a status in the society. No one just works for pay and allowances. Everybody wants status and dignity. The present nomenclature of the Postal Assistant on different stages is very much confusing and don’t suit to the functional needs of the Department on one hand and not understood by the members of public on the other. Under the circumstance, we have the following suggestions to change the existing nomenclature. The suggestions are just illustrative.

Existing Nomenclature
Proposed Nomenclature 
Postal Assistant
Executive Postal Assistant
Postmaster (L S G) / Postmaster Grade – I / Asst. Postmaster (LSG)
Asst. Executive Postmaster
Postmaster (HSG-II) / Postmaster Grade – II / Asst. Postmaster (HSG-II) / Dy. Postmaster (HSG-II)
Executive Postmaster
Postmaster (HSG-I) / Postmaster Grade – III / Dy. Postmaster (HSG-I)
Senior Executive Postmaster
Senior  Postmaster
Chief Executive Postmaster

3.    Five-day Week for Operative Staff: A serious discrimination is rolling over in between the Administrative and Operative staff for decades with respect to 5 days and 6 days week respectively.

Kind request to have a look on the following information.

Operative Staff in Post Offices
Administrative Staff in Post Offices and other CG establishments
Closed Holidays
Casual Leave & R H
Closed Saturdays
Weekly Off / Sundays
Total Holidays
Total Working days out of 365 days in a year
Working Hours
Working hours in a year
Yearly Excess Woking Hours of Postal Operative Staff 
2288 – 1989 = 299 hours

While the operative staff are working 299 hours a year in excess, the logic behind not allowing them to avail 5 days week for treating them at par with the administrative staff is not understood. Besides, now the employees of Bank and Insurance sector are eligible for availing holidays on 2nd and 4th Saturday though these establishments are operative in nature. The basic principle of equality of status as a major constitutional provision is seriously hampered when postal operative staff are deprived of the benefit of 5 days week.  All operative staff need to avail 5 days week and to work for 1989 hours a year at par with the administrative staff.

Humble request to look into the issue with priority.

4.    Gazetted Status to HSG-I / Grade-III Postmasters: While officers in the pay level of Rs.4600/- in various Central Govt. establishments are enjoying Gazetted status, the Postmasters in Higher Selection Grade-I with similar pay level are deprived of the status. It is quite unfortunate that though after implementation of cadre restructuring proposal of Group-C postal employees, now Postmasters in Higher Selection Grade-I are promoted to Non Functional Grade (NFG) in the pay level of Rs.4800/, they are still treated as non-gazetted.
Such discriminations need to be addressed by conferring Gazetted Status to Postmasters in Higher Selection Grade-I and Postmaster Grade-III.

5.    Enhancement of Financial Powers of the Selection Grade Postmasters: The financial power of an HSG-I Postmaster who is managing either a Head Post Office or a Mukhya Dak Ghar with huge staff members is limited to Rs.60/- only in 21st century which will not permit him to purchase an LED bulb, a mouse, a key-board, a ribbon cartridge, a packet of paper, a litre of diesel, a bucket, a broom, a bottle of phenyl / gum, a floor cleaning brush, a register, a lock etc which are barely required on day to day basis for smooth functioning of the post office and to maintain the cleanliness. For the purpose, he has to obtain prior approval from the competent authority, i.e. Divisional Superintendent. If the mouse or key-board becomes defunct during counter hours, the Postmaster has no other alternative but to communicate to his higher authority, obtain approval, purchase the item and then run the counter work. He may also be directed to collect in person from the Divisional Office. Kindly think about the embarrassing situation the Postmaster has to face before the members of public standing before the Counter. Till then, the public at the counter have to suffer and the Postmaster is to be humiliated. No stand-by accessories are supplied to any Post office and the supply is centrally done by the Divisional Heads. Reports from the administration may come that there is no dearth of supply. But the same is completely far from truth and reality.

As such, it is suggested that the financial power of the Selection Grade Postmasters need immediate revision suitably to meet the exigencies.

6.    Administrative Powers to the Selection Grade Postmasters:       Similarly there is no administrative power of an HSG-I Postmaster who is managing either a Head Post Office or a Mukhya Dak Ghar with huge staff members except grant of Casual Leave and allowing officials to avail earned leave not more than 3 days. They have no power to sanction earned leave and other admissible leave to an employee. They can’t write the APAR of the employees under his direct control. Presently the APAR is being assessed by the Divisional Heads who is indirectly controlling such officials. Such power needs to be decentralized for better administration.

The administrative power of an HSG-I Postmaster needs to be redefined.

7.    One-time filling up of all HSG-II and HSG-I posts:  After implementation of Cadre Restructuring Proposal for Group-C Postal Employees, the Post of Higher Selection Grade-II and Higher Selection Grade-I are almost vacant due to increase in number of posts in the particular Grades on one hand and non-availability of eligible officials  in the required feeder cadre on the other. Thus, almost all the Post Offices headed by HSG-I and HSG-II Postmasters are presently managed by Lower Selection Grade officials. Both the status of the Post Office and dignity of the post have been affected.
For the purpose, the Staff Side has requested several times in different forums for one-time filling up of all HSG-II and HSG-I posts which has not yet got any response. Due to no action of the Department in this regard, while the existing employees in LSG / HSG-II Cadre are deprived of their future promotions, the Postal Assistants are also deprived of getting promoted to LSG Cadre.
Onetime filling up of all vacant posts in HSG-II and HSG-I cadre will not only motivate the employees to give their best but also help smooth management of post offices increasing the revenue earning.
Request for kind intervention by my Hon’ble Member (P).

8.            Delinking financial upgradation from regular promotion: The employees who are unable to get any promotion are entitled for three financial upgradations during their entire service career under MACP Scheme after 10, 20 and 30 years of service. But unfortunately such employees having below bench mark on APAR are deprived of the financial upgradations.

Secondly, another hurdle in this connection is that during the course of time, if any official refuses to accept the regular promotion, he is now debarred from getting the financial upgradation under MACP which is highly illogical and undemocratic. Acceptance of regular promotion need not be linked with MACP which is given in case a employee gets no promotion.

Such conditions need to be eliminated for the benefit of the employees to achieve more productivity. Therefore, it is requested kindly to take up the issue with DoPT to delink financial upgradation from regular promotion.

9.   Constitution of Screening Committee for writing APAR

Several examples are there where the sincere and hardworking employees get below / average bench mark and flatterers close to the administration get ‘Very Good’. It is needless to bring to the kind notice of my Hon’ble Member (P) that APAR is seen commonly to be evaluated on the whim and ego of the authority and not on the performance of the official.

As it is suggested to constitute a Screening Committee for writing APAR to maintain transparency.

10. Creation of New Posts: For correct and smooth implementation of I T Modernization Project, our Postal Assistants possessing technical qualification were nominated from the existing establishment as System Administrator without creation of new posts. Further, during Core Banking Solution (CBS) and Core Insurance Solution (CIS) rollouts, CBS CPCs in every Postal Circle and PLI CPCs in every Head Post Offices were opened with diversion of Postal Assistants and System Administrators from the existing establishment without any new creation of such posts. After establishment of Business Directorate, no post of Business / Marketing Executive was created. But again the Postal Assistants were diverted from the existing establishment. Similarly, PLI Group Leaders are also from the existing establishment and there is no creation of new post in this regard. Further, during launch of India Post Payments Bank, a large number of Postal Assistants are now on deputation to IPPB. In this way, the sanctioned strength of Postal Assistants is decreasing day by day and the workload of such diverted staff members are shouldered by the existing staff with undue pressure.

This is one aspect.

Another important aspect connected with the above diversion/deputation is that after working for so many years as Business / Marketing Executive, PLI Group Leader, System Administrator / Manager etc. when these Postal Assistants earn expertise in the field of business, marketing and technology, their talent in not exploited for the benefit of the Department since there is no such defined / created post and thus again they are returned back to their parent post of Postal Assistant. Their efficiency and experience becomes meaningless.
Such posts need to be created for keeping the sanctioned strength of Postal Assistant intact on one hand and to utilize the efficiency and experience of the Postal Assistants gained in the field of business, marketing and technology for the benefit of the Department on the other.

                With profound regards,
Yours faithfully,
(Bruhaspati Samal)
Circle Secretary

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