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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Indefinite Strike : NC JCM Staff Side writes to Cabinet Secretary

NJCA
National Joint Council of Action
4, State Entry Road, New Delhi – 110055
No.NJC/2015/7th CPC
December 10, 2015

To
Shri. Pradip Kumar Sinha
Cabinet Secretary
Government of India
Rashtrapati Bhawan Annexe
New Delhi-110001

Sir,
Subject:- 7th CPC recommendations and Charter of Demands – Reg.
We send herewith our suggestions and demands on the recommendation made by the 7th CPC. As indicated when the undersigned met you on 20th November 2015 the central government employees are extremely agitated over the totally retrograde recommendations of the Commission.
The meagre increase of 14% recommended by the 7th CPC is the lowest ever any pay Commission has made. It was the similar recommendation, we would request you to recall, made by the 2nd CPC that triggered a confrontation of an unprecedented nature, leading to a strike action which lasted for five days in the year 1960. In the background of the fact that the 5th and 6th CPC recommendations had resulted in the wage rise of 31% and 54% respectively, the anger, anguish and frustration of the employees are the natural outcome. Unless the minimum wage is re-determined with all consequential benefits, the discontent will not be capable of being addressed effectively.
It is, therefore, necessary that a meeting of the members of the Standing Committee of JCM NC is convened under your chairmanship immediately to discuss the issues we have incorporated in the enclosed charter. Settlement through bilateral negotiation has become the urgent need and requirement.
I have been directed by the meeting of the NJCA held on 8th December 2015 to convey to you the disappointment and resentment of the employees over the recommendations of the 7th CPC. We expect a bilateral negotiated settlement of the issues without delay from the Government. We request you that a mutually agreeable settlement on the issues are brought about latest by the first week of February 2016. I have been asked by the meeting to inform you that the entire Central Govt Employees under the auspices of National JCA will be constrained to go indefinite strike in the first week of March 2016 if the desired settlement through bilateral discussions is not brought about by the first week of February 2016. To facilitate an early resolution of the issues, we expect the government to set up a Committee of Group of Ministers to negotiate with the NJCA immediately.
We earnestly hope that the Government will effectively intervene and bring about a satisfactory settlement much before the first week of February 2016 and avoid an otherwise inevitable confronation.

Thanking you.

Yours faithfully,
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)
Convener






Analysis Assessment by  on the recommendation of 7th CPC


MINIMUM PAY : Though the Commission claims to have adopted Dr. Aykroyd formula in calculating minimum wages, the rates of commodities based on which the recommendations of the commission is made is significantly deviating from the rates mentioned in the National Council of JCM proposal. The JCM proposal in this regard should be reiterated. A comparison between existing and proposed VII CPC minimum pay is given below. The retrograde nature of the commission’s recommendations in this regard can by understood by this table.
Pay Elements
VI CPC
VII CPC
Difference
Basic Pay
7000
18000
11000
@125%DA
8750
0
-8750
Transport Allowance
1350
1350
0
Total
17100
19350
2250
HRA
1400
2800
1480
Total (With HRA)
18500
22230
3730
NPS deduction
-1575
1800
-225
CGEGIS deduction
-30
-1500
1470
Total deductions
-1605
-3300
-1695
Net Pay after deductions (with HRA)
16895
18930
2035
Net Pay after deductions (with out HRA)
15495
16050
555

From the above picture, it is clear that the VII CPC recommendations are not giving fair wages and the total pay increase is meager for next 10 years. Therefore, the minimum pay needs to be increased accepting the proposal of National Council JCM.
NEW PAY STRUCTURE: The present system of pay bands and grade pay has been dispensed With and a matrix has been recommended. The New system is an extension of system Of Pay Scales, albeit, with a progressive Increment of 3% instead of fixed Increments. Unlike VI CPC, Minimum pay fixed on promotion is at par with the initial pay fixed direct recruits in the same grade. However, the fixation benefits on promotion, particularly from Level 2 to 3, 3 to 4 & Level 4 to 5 is significantly less compared to VI CPC Structure. National Council JCM demand of fixation benefit of two increments should be reiterated or at least 5% should be ensured. A comparison of the promotion benefit for the after 10 years of service in their respective grades is given below.



Existing benefit on promotion
% to VI CPC Basic Pay
Benefit proposed by 7th CPC
% to VII CPC Basic Pay
MTS to LDC
340
4.0
1000
4.1
LDC to UDC
830
6.8
1100
4.1
UDC to OS
1830
11.4
1100
3.2

FITMENT: The fitment of the pay in the new pay structure is recommended at 2.57 times of the Basic Pay drawn, which has been arrived based on the Minimum Pay of VI CPC and the proposed Minimum Pay by VII CPC. The NC JCM proposal of Minimum Pay and Fitment ratio should be reiterated.
Annual Increment: The rate of annual increment is being retained at 3 percent. The Demand of 5% should be reiterated. Further, it is seen in the Pay Matrix recommended by the commission the increment is below 3% in certain stages. It appears that the commission has rounded the value to the nearest 100. It is demanded that at least 5% increment can be ensured.

Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) : The continual of upgradations in 10, 20 and 30 years is disappointing and improvement as demanded by NC JCM should be reiterated. The demand of granting MACP upgradations in the promotion hierarchy has been recommended. Implementation of the same is to be ensured. The retrograde recommendations of enhancing the benchmark for MACP has been ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’ and withholding of annual increments in the case of those employees who are not able to meet the benchmark either for MACP or a regular promotion within the first 20 years of their service is to be withdrawn totally.

CADRE REVIEW : The commission has recommended a new system, supposedly to hasten the process of cadre reviews and reduce the time taken in inter-ministerial consultations. It may be demanded that as soon as the concerned department finalizes a proposal in consultation with representative members from the DoP&T and the Dept. of Expenditure, a provisional recruitment rule may be published with the assent of the President of India (excluding any increase or decrease in the total number of posts in the cadre) such that the provisional Rule satisfies statutory requirements. Therefore, the concerned departments or the cadre review committee may assess the proposal in detail and initiate proceedings for a permanent recruitment rule.

COMMON CATEGORIES:

DRIVERS: The Commission has refused to recommend any changes in the cadre structure.
It may be demanded that at least Drivers who have completed 55 years of age and in the special Grade holding Rs.4200/- GP may be allowed transfer to any other administrative grade such as charge man (NT), OS etc.

.WORKSHOP STAFF: The Demand of the NJCA to upgrade the pay of semi-skilled workers form GP Rs.1800 to Rs.1900 and consequent upgradations of other higher posts have been rejected by the Commission on the grounds that VI CPC has stated that the posts of skilled and highly skilled workers have an established relativity with the posts of
LDC’s and UDC’s respectively and had recommended retention of this relativity. This is an erroneous argument since one can never equate the qualifications, skill level etc. required for these posts. A semi-skilled worker is paid at least the pay of an LDC and the skilled & highly skilled workmen paid correspondingly higher pay. The HS II & I grade has to be merged and should be treated as a feeder grader for charge man.
The commission has also further misguided the government that master craftsman is a feeder post of charge man. As per the SRO of charge man, its feeder grade is highly skilled Grade I, falling which highly skilled Grade II. The master craftsman grade was created during the 3rd CPC period equivalent to the chargeman post to avoid loss of skilled workmen. This whole history has been conveniently ignored by the commission.

NOTE: with regard to fire-fighting staff and workshop staff it may be demanded that a sub-committee of the national council JCM may be instituted to study the demands and finalize the pay structure of these cadres within three months.

ALLOWANCES:-

1.HRA:-
Reduction of the percentage of HRA for X,Y,Z classified cities from 30,20,10 to 24,16,8 to be withdrawn and at least the existing percentage should be retained.

2.RISK ALLOWANCE:
The commission has wrongly understood that the Risk Allowance paid at present is only Rs.60/- Risk Allowance is at present paid @ Rs.120/- per month to compensate employees for performing work involving serious health hazards, which might also lead to the death of the employee. Risk Allowance should be retained and included in at least R2H3 cell of the Risk and Hardship index.

3.TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE:
The commission has rejected any increase in Transport Allowance and has only recommended a merger of the DA component with the Allowance. The ground that since TA is fully indexed with DA for refusing any increase is illogical. By extending the same logic, it can be said that since the pay of employees are fully indexed to the consumer prices by way of grant of DA, there is no requirement of pay commissions. Attempts may be made to reduce the slabs from the present three to two, i.e., one slab for level 8 & below and another for Level 9 and above. In this regard, 1.5 times increase in the existing TA may be demanded as given below.

Pay Level
Higher TPTA Cities
Other Places
Level 9 & above
10800 + DA
5400 + DA
Level 2 & 3
5400 + DA
2700+DA
Level 1 & 2
2700 + DA
1350 + DA

4.Children’s Education Allowance:
The recommendation regarding simplification of procedures is welcome and implementation of the same may be ensured. Extending the benefit of CEA upto graduate/Post Graduate and professional courses to be taken up.

5.Dearness Allowance:
There is no detail regarding the base year for computing DA after 01.01.2016. The Base Year of 2001=100 to be taken up.

6.Family Planning Allowance:
The commission has recommended abolition of the same. It against the government’s policy of two child norms. At least 3% of the minimum of the pay level corresponding to the grade occupied by the employee during the Family planning procedure should be given. For example as per the recommended pay of the commission, if an employee had undergone the procedure when he was in highly skilled grade (Level 5 – Minimum Pay Rs.29200/-), he should be eligible for at least Rs.900 (876 rounded to Rs.900) as FPA, Double rate of FPA may be demanded for employees undergoing the procedure after one child.

7.Fixed Medical Allowance:
Status quo has been recommended by the commission for Fixed Medical Allowance. This allowance is an optional Allowance taken only when the pensioner opts to forego facilities under CGHS. This allowance has to be increased to at least Rs.2000/- per month as demanded.

ADVANCES:-
The recommendation of the commission to abolish all advances excluding HBA and computer Advance is an unwelcome gesture. It is very clear that the commission was driven by an urge to curtail benefits of the employees without any application of mind. It can be seen that the commission has also abolished critical advances such as Medical Advance and LTC Advance without understanding their significance. All the Advances have to be retained and fixed rate advances should be increased by at least by 2 times. As an alternative, it may be demanded that a General Interest free Advance of Rs.20,000/- every year and a General Advance of Rs.1,00,000/- with 9% interest every 5 years may be granted to all employees covering all reasons other than HBA.
About 52 types of Advances have been abolished including small Family Allowance which is an injustice.
With regard to HBA, the Commission has recommended increase in the ceiling of HBA, which would only benefit employees in the Higher pay level. The construction costs have skyrocketed and the employees are compelled to seek loans from other financial institution at higher interests. While the cost ceiling recommended for any employee newly recruited in Level 1 is more than 24 lakhs, the ceiling in the Amount of Advance eligible for the employees at 34 times the Basic pay is illogical. It may be demanded that the amount of advance payable for an employee be fixed based on the repaying capacity of the individual subject to his/her repaying capacity. Further, the loan may also be extended to purchase of plots even if construction is not planned immediately.

CHILD CARE LEAVE:
The retrograde recommendation of the commission to curtail pay for CCL by 20% during the second year is not in line with the CCL to the women employees. The status quo to be maintained if no improvement is possible.

CGEGIS:-
The recommendation of the commission to increase the monthly deduction, though the insurance amount has been substantially increased is problematic. When the monthly deduction is made compulsory, this further depreciates the take home pay, particularly for the employees covered under the New Pension Scheme. Compulsory monthly deduction has to be reduced to not more than Rs.150/- per month and a provision for an optional scheme on the lines of the recommendation of the commission may be introduced.

MEDICAL FACILITIES:-
The recommendation of the commission to introduce health insurance should be opposed tooth and nail. The health of the central government cannot be left at the mercy of insurance companies and their machinations. The strengthening of the existing CGHS and CSMA facilities is the need of the hour. The commission’s recommendations regarding empanelment under CGHS of hospitals empaneled under CSMA and the extension of

CGHS facilities to other cities is welcome. Further, it is seen that the rates prescribed for treatment under CGHS &CSMA are way below the prevailing market rates. It should be demanded that the same may be reviewed and brought at par with market rates and the same should be reviewed every 6 months to reflect the fluctuations in the market.

PENSION:-
More than 10 proposals were submitted before the commission on behalf of the employees, However, the commission rejected every proposal except parity between pre and post 7th CPC retirees, increasing the Gratuity ceiling from 10 to 20 lakhs, grant of death gratuity at the rate of 20 times monthly emoluments for employees dying in harness between 11 years and 20 years of service. Others demands has to be re-iterated. The recommendations regarding parity of pre and post 7th CPC retirees are welcome and implementation of the same should be ensured.

NPS:-
The demand of the NC JCM to scrap the scheme has been rejected by the commission and it has recommended certain tinkering with the existing scheme. We have to continue to oppose the scheme in Toto and demand to oppose the NPA should be applicable to all employees. In the mean time we have to forcefully demand that the pension and family pension which is eligible to employees appointed before 2004 should be ensured by the government to all employees at present covered under NPS, whether NPS is in vogue or not. We need to fight with determination to achieve this.

BONUS:
The commission has recommended a performance Related pay on the lines of performance Related incentivize employees performing well, the move to abolish PLB is not agreeable. PLB is equal to the Bonus paid under payment of Bonus Act. Historically, Bonus is considered as deferred wages and not an incentive and a minimum bonus is prescribed even for loss making companies under bonus act. Any incentive scheme, which abolishes the existing PLB, should be opposed tooth and nail Increasing/lifting bonus ceilings as demanded should be re-iterated.