Friday, October 21, 2016

EDITORIAL - DAK JAGRITI - NOVEMBER 2016

AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL 
THE WEAK  AND DOWNTRODDEN NEED PROTECTION
               The Government of India decided to extend the benefit of enhancement of bonus calculation celling from 3500 to 7000, to Central Government employees also, in the wake of 2016 September 2nd General strike, in which this was an important demand of the Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers and NFPE.  Orders enhancing the ceiling to 7000/- was issued by Government of India on 29th August 2016 with retrospective effect from 01-04-2014. i.e; from Financial year 2014-15.  Payment of arrears for the year 2014-15 was made to the departmental employees in the month of September 2016 itself.
          Unfortunately, the benefit of enhanced bonus calculation ceiling is not extended to three lakhs Gramin Dak Sevaks till this date.  They have neither been paid arrears for 2014-15 nor the enhanced bonus for 2015-16 also.  Each GDS employee has suffered a loss of Rs. 14,000 for two financial years on account of limiting the bonus to the old ceiling of 3500.  There is no convincing or valid reason for denial or delay in payment of enhanced bonus to Gramin Dak Sevaks.
          Last time, the Nataraja Murthy committee’s recommendation had resulted in denial of enhancement of bonus calculation ceiling from 2500 to 3500.  Nataraja Murthy has recommended that GDS should be paid only 50% of the bonus of regular employees, as their productivity is only 50% of full time employees.  Government accepted this recommendation and refused to grant enhanced bonus calculation ceiling of 3500/- to GDS, Against this decision of the Government NFPE, AIPEU-GDS and Postal Joint Council of action conducted series of agitational programes including strike and finally Government approved 3,500/- bonus calculation ceiling to GDS also.  Thus the issue was settled once for all and there is no need of raising any doubt by the Postal Board, this time.
          But, surprisingly, the Postal Board instead of issuing orders for grant of enhanced bonus to GDS referred the issue to GDS Committee.  Fortunately, unlike Nataraja Murthy (a sadist officer who snatched away many of the benefit of GDS through his most retrograde and inhuman recommendations), the present GDS committee Chairman Shri Kamalesh Chandra (Retired Postal Board Member) submitted a reasonable, balanced and judicious recommendation to the Postal Board.  In his recommendation Shri Kamalesh Chandrahas made it clear that the difference between the revenue generated by Branch Post Offices (GDS) and the expenditure incurred for running the BOs is only 200 Crores, where as the total deficit of the Department of Posts is more than 6000 crores.  That shows that major portion of the loss of the Postal Department is not due to GDS system.  He recommended that as the productivity of GDS is equal or in some cases more than departmental employees, GDS are eligible for enhanced bonus ceiling of Rs.7000/-.
                   Inspite of this unambiguous recommendation, the Postal Board refused to issue orders.  Instead, it has referred the file for approval of Finance Ministry.  Now the file is pending with Finance Ministry.  More than two months are over, after the Government issuing the enhanced bonus calculation ceiling order.  Three lakhs GDS are totally disappointed and their anger and protest is increasing day by day.  Grave injustice is done to the GDS and it cannot be tolerated. 
                   There are 5.5 lakhs employees working in the Postal Department, out of that 2.75 lakhs are Gramin Dak Sevaks.  Denial of enhanced bonus to 50% of the work force is a clear case of discrimination.  It is not a case of GDS alone.  In a family if somebody is affected, then it becomes the issue of all members of the family.  Every member of the family shall stand together to help the affected member and to resolve the problem.  Here also, the problem of GDS who are the most oppressed and down-trodden section of the Postal department is the problem of all.  An injury to one is an injury to all.

                   It is in this background, Postal JCA comprising NFPE, FNPO, AIPEU-GDS & NUGDS has decided to organise two day’s nationwide strike on 9th & 10th November 2016, demanding (1) enhanced bonus to GDS and (2) payment of arrears of revised wages from 01-01-2006 to all casual labourers.  NFPE and AIPEU-GDS calls upon the entirety of Postal employees including GDS and Casual labourers to make the two days strike a grand success.

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