Saturday 30 November 2019

Selected issues suggested to Federal Council by NFPE, Odisha

Dear Comrades,
We are thankful to our CHQ for giving us the opportunity to represent as Federal Councillor on behalf of AIPEU, Gr-C in the 11th Federal Council Meeting of National Federation of Postal Employees held at Mathura from 25.11.2019 to 27.11.2019.

The Federal Councillors, Circle Secretaries and General Secretaries discussed all the issues now prevailed in India and India Post. Apart from sectional issues of the postal employees including GDS, it was unanimously decided to make the forth coming one day nationwide general strike a successful one on 08.01.2020. 

The issues raised by us and suggested to the Federal Council for adopting resolutions are reproduced below for your kind information.

Circle Secretary

Issues Suggested to Federal Council for Resolutions

Suggestion – 1

Conversion of Single Handed SOs to double-handed

The Sub Postmaster of a single-handed Delivery Post Office who 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.

Under the Circumstances, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019 - 27.11.2019 to resolve for appraising the administration and CHQ for converting all the single handed post offices to double handed due to the reasons narrated above to redress the plight of the Sub Postmasters.

Suggestion – 2

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. They enjoyed neither any promotion nor financial benefit except meagre TA on tour. 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. Earlier, Postal Assistants were being promoted to PLI Development Officers through examination for a short term (3 to 5 years). Now they are re-designated as PLI Group Leaders. They 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.

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. Practically speaking, though these Postal Assistants do work with the above nomenclatures for a short term as Executive, Manager, Administrator, Officer etc, they don’t enjoy any such benefit in proportionate to these high sounding designations.

Under the Circumstances, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for drawing the attention of proper authority for creating such posts 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.

Suggestion – 3

Change of Nomenclature with each promotion
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
Under the Circumstances, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019 - 27.11.2019 to resolve for asking the competent authority to take appropriate action in this regard.

Suggestion – 4

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. While the operative staff are working 299 hours a year in excess calculated as follows, the logic behind not allowing them to avail 5 days week for treating them at par with the administrative staff is not understood.

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

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 is deprived of the benefit of 5 days week.  In spite of serious agaitational programme already taken by the higher forums, no action is being taken by the Govt. / Department in this regard.

Therefore it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019 - 27.11.2019  to resolve for drawing the attention of competent authority to accelerate the movement in true spirit for achieving 5 days week for postal operative staff.

Suggestion – 5

Gazetted Status to HSG-I 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.

As such, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for drawing the attention of competent for taking proper initiative in this regard.

Suggestion – 6

Financial / Administrative 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. The embarrassing situation the Postmaster has to face before the members of public beggars description. 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.

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 their 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.

As such, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for drawing the attention of competent authority for taking proper initiative for enhancement of both the financial and administrative power of the Selection Grade Postmasters to meet the exigencies.

Suggestion – 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.

As such, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for drawing the attention of competent authority for taking proper initiative for one time filling up of all vacant HSG-II and HSG-I posts

Suggestion – 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.

As such, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for drawing the attention of competent authority for taking proper initiative to delink MACP from regular promotion for welfare of the employees.

Suggestion – 9

Recognition for 5 years with effect from 19.07.2019

After waiting for more than 4 years, the membership verification result of 2015 could be released on 19.07.2019 only to which NFPE or other recognized federations / unions are no way responsible. Now, the Govt. may declare the next membership verification process in 2020 since due after 5 years.  It needs to be protested in the logic of counting 5 years from the date of declaration of the last verification result.

As such, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for drawing the attention of competent authority to take suitable actions.

Suggestion – 10

Corporatization move of the Department of Posts

The annual Heads of the Circles Conference was held at Srinagar from 29th to 31st July, 2019 where in a 100 Days Action Plan and a Five Year Vision was adopted  to align the Department of Posts with the Prime Minister’s ‘New India’ initiative. The important decisions taken during the conference with participants from across the country, inter alia includes converting the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) into a Small Finance Bank (SFB) to provide micro credit at the doorsteps to individuals and SME’s, targeting the milestone of one crore accounts for IPPB in 100 days and restructuring the Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance business of the Department into a fully regulated Strategic Business Unit (SBU) registered as a company as per the requirement of IRDA. (Complete Resolutions have been published elsewhere in the report)

The decisions taken in the HoCs Conference, 2019 are nothing but a policy of the Govt. for direct implementation of the retrograde recommendations of the Task Force Committee headed by Shri T.S.R. Subramaian Ex. Cabinet Secretary which submitted its report in Novemeber-2014 recommending to divide India Post in to six Strategic Business Units (SBU).

As we know, the 1st SBU has already come into floor in the name of IPPB since 01.09.2018. Now the 2nd SBU will be restructured with PLI and RPLI. Thus there is every point of apprehension that by the end of this term from 2019 to 2024, all the 5 SBUs will be constituted and the Department will be fully corporatized.

As such, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for adopting suitable agitational program to stop corporatization of India Post.

Suggestion – 11

Opening of CGHS Wellness Centres on Sundays / Holidays

Consequent upon merger of Postal dispensaries with CGHS Wellness Centres, Odisha Circle has now got CGHS Wellness Centres at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur. But due to closure of the Wellness Centres on Sundays / Holidays, the beneficiaries are deprived of getting the benefits.

Department of Post, being an operative organization and its employees hardly find any time to attending the Wellness Centres during working days, it is suggested to the Federal Council of NFPE, held at Mathura from 25.11.2019- 27.11.2019 to resolve for  drawing the attention of competant authority for opening of CGHS Wellness Centres on Sundays / Holidays to facilitate the operative beneficiaries of the Department.

Suggestion -12

Restoration of Pay Fixation benefit to the Post Master Grade-I and extension of the same to Fast Track LSG officials

It is quite unfortunate to witness that the 3% Pay fixation benefit already granted to the Post Master Grade-I officials vide Directorate Letter no. 20-27/2015-SPB.II dated 15/10/2018 has been ordered to be withdrawn vide Directorate Letter No. 20-27/2015-SPN.II date 21/11/2019.

Such type whimsical order is really harassing and arbitrary.

The Competent Authority while granting this benefit had clearly examined and approved thereafter. Instead of withdrawing the same, it needs to extended to the Fast Track LSG officials who have also promoted to LSG cadre by appearing Limited Departmental Competitive Examination in analogy with the  Post Master Grade-I and Inspector of Post.

While the benefit has not yet been withdrawn from I P Cadre, it is quite unfortunate to withdraw the same from the Post Master Grade-I.

As such it is suggested to the Federal council of NFPE held at Mathura from 25/11/2019- 27/11/2019 to demand for restoration of the Pay fixation benefit to the Post Master Grade-I and simultaneously extend the same to the Fast Track LSG officials.

Suggestion -13

Allotment of Adequate Funds under Building maintenance, TA and Medical Head

Due to paucity of funds the Civil and Electrical work are being hampered seriously.
The departmental building residential colonies and staff quarters are seriously damaged due to irregular or non-maintenance in due time. When the issues are discussed with the competent authorities by the Divisional and Circle secretaries, a routine reply is given to them that there is meagre allotment of funds under building maintenance head which stands against the periodical regular maintenance.

Similarly, huge amount of TA bills and Medical bills are pending for sanctions since 2014 in some circles and divisions.

Therefore it is suggested to the Federal Council held at Mathura form 25/11/2019- 27/11/2019 to appraise the Directorate for allotment of adequate funds under Building maintenance, TA and Medical head.

Suggestion -14

Proposed revision of Business Hours from Monday to Friday

Recently the Directorate vide its letter No. 27- 46 / 2015 PO (Pt.), dated 19.11.2019 has ordered for enhancing the Business hours of Post offices from Monday to Friday by half an hour.

In this regard the following points may be noted :

1.    Due hurried implementation of I T Modernization Project, 2012 with shortage of man power, inadequate hardware and improper software soon after Project Arrow in 2008, when the staff members are seriously suffering for last 10 years, the Department has not yet been able to bring timely solution to the technical issues so far compelling the entirety of workers especially those who are working in grass root level in operative offices to work for more than 12 hours a day. The concept of fixed duty hours limited to 8 hours a day has already lost its importance. As such, these staff members are already under serious mental and physical pressure. Their social and family relationships have already been affected.  At this moment, the proposed increase in Business Hours in no way will be helpful to increase the productivity but certainly will increase the staff resentment which will no doubt affect the productivity.

2.    (a).  The proposed revision of the Business Hours by 30 minutes with a limitation of 6 hours 30 minutes for S B Counter and 7 hours for POS counter is meaningless while Finacle / SAP remain down / slow for hours together and the poor Counter Assistants become the victim of the public anger.

(b). Secondly, after FSI / CSI with MPCM, all counters are performing financial transactions and thus to allot 30 minutes more to POS counter and 30 minutes less to SB Counters is of no logic since POS counters which have been assigned / overloaded with various products and services also collect cash at par with SB Counters now a days. 
( c ). Thirdly, in addition to collection of cash, generations of reports are also equivalent in both the counters and thus all counters need to be opened with equal business hours in the present scenario of digitization.

(d). In fourth, enhancing the counter transaction hours to 7 hours, it is not at all possible to close and dispatch the bags within the rest one hour with segregation of TD/NTD articles etc as per Due Mail and Sorting List and Mail Motor Schedule. More specifically, this is just next to impossible in case of ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Class Delivery Post Offices practically now running single-handedly in many circles / Divisions. Thus, such staff members will again be de-motivated with additional burden of unnecessary detention till late hours regularly.

3.    The provision of half-an hour lunch break is very much humiliating when it is ordered to avail without stopping the counter operation. While instructing as such, the Department has seriously failed to consider the situations of single-handed post offices. How can it be possible to avail the lunch break with rotation of staff without stopping the counter operation in such POs? The Department needs to modify such impractical orders.

4.    While already a discrimination is continuing in between the operative and administrative staff members in connection with 6 and 5 workings days in a week, enhancement of the Business Hours by 30 minutes for the operative staff will certainly a blot from the blue. First, the Department should pay a positive attention towards our demand for 5 working days in a week for the postal operative staff. The Postal Assistants are not born to suffer. They have also the right to live with dignity and status. The Govt. / Department should stop to do further experiment with this cadre.

Under the circumstances, it is suggested to the Federal Council held at Mathura form 25/11/2019- 27/11/2019 for appraising the directorate to stop the proposed revision of Business Hours from Monday to Friday in the Post Offices. Rather, it is also suggested for equal Business Hours both for S B and POS counters restricting to 6 hours in toto henceforth under the present environment of FSI and CSI. In addition, the proposal for 5 working days in a week for the postal operative staff needs to be prioritized.awn

No comments:

Post a Comment