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Saturday, August 20, 2011


1. Stop price rise and strengthen the PDS.

                The Economic crisis in nineties caused by the indiscriminate borrowings indulged in by the then Government of India from the world bodies like IMF World Bank etc. and the adherence to their conditionalities created a  conducive climate for the proponents and champions of market economy to advocate the globalization path of economic development. The State began to withdraw itself from various sectors and the least governance was considered as the virtue and synonym for good Government. In other words, the Government withdrew itself from the concept of welfare State governance and opted for faster economic development through privatization, liberalization and globalization. The agony and misery of common multitude, the consequence of adoption of market economy was considered by the rulers as the price to be paid in the process. The various subsidies provided to ensure that the essential commodities needed for human existence is made available to the common people was treated as
profligacy and concerted efforts were made to cut them drastically through budgetary proposals. The media, both print and electronic, which had gone into the hands of large corporate houses propagated the liberalization and globalization policies to the hilt and inside the Parliament various legislations were moved and enacted by the ruling class ably supported by almost all opposition parties, barring of course the Left parties.
                The Working class organizations except those affiliated to INTUC and BMS realizing the dangerous impact of the neo-liberal economic policies organized resistance through strike and other demonstrative actions. Between the period 1991 and 2010, the sponsoring committee of Central Trade Unions along with the different Federations of employees organized strike actions on 13 occasions which indeed made deleterious impact over the pace with which the Indian ruling class wanted to usher in these policies. Not only the common people, but also the intellectual and the middle classes had to admit, albeit reluctantly, that but for the consistent opposition of the left parties and the working class organizations, the global financial crisis that engulfed the American and European Continents and many other parts of the world would have destroyed the Indian economy. To tide over disastrous ripples it created in the Indian Economy, the Government had to make outflow of crores of rupees in the name of bail-out packages to Indian Industry and corporate entities. Once the crisis blew over, the Government went back to its good old ways of implementing these discredited policies with a vengeance.
                The unbridled accumulation of wealth in a few hands, the cardinal consequence of the capitalist economic development bring about a pyramidal society giving no room for the poor people at the base even to eke out an existence. This aspect became more and more pronounced over the years and reached a stage that it became impossible for anybody who is supposed to be representing the workers to continue to ignore this phenomenon. Those organizations which had taken a contradictory stand against the sponsoring committee had to come together to voice their concern against the marginalization of the working people. Both BMS and INTUC had to join in the concerted efforts of the workers to oppose, if not the policies, at least the manifestation of it, i.e the escalation of prices of essential commodities. The inflationary impact in the economy created by the pursuance of the neo-liberal economic policies rather engineered was conceived to effect transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. It reached an intolerable stage in as much as its incremental rate from quarter to quarter was in two digits .Never in the past has it assumed the dimension of today with the result that all opposition political parties in the country had to rally round inside and outside the Parliament to denounce the Government of inaction and the 5thAugust, 2010 Nationwide bandh became total and resonant. In the immediate years after independence, in order to ensure food security to the people of India, the Indian ruling class under pressure created the universal public distribution system for food articles. It became an effective instrument in the years to contain the artificial rise of market prices of essential commodities especially in the face of hoarding and black market operations of unscrupulous traders. The sweep and range of commodities made available through these outlets, known as ration shops in the common parlance even though beset with innumerable problems connected with leakages and corruption, was the most effective welfare measure of the Government of India, which in no small degree arrested and stopped the starvation death in rural India. The advent of neo liberal economic policies ensured that this singular welfare measure of universal public distribution system was discarded. Both inside and outside Parliament our Present day rulers advocated that the higher prices are inevitable given the shortfall in domestic production and due to prevailing higher prices of rice, wheat, pulses and edible oil in international market. Far from truth the statement of under production was, as the production of food-grains in 2006-07 in our country was 9.3 cr. tonnes, 9.6 crores in 2007-08 and 9.9 crores in 2008-09 despite the fact that our investment in agricultural sector in the last ten years was less than 2% of the GDP and constantly year after year the Government had been withdrawing subsidy to the farm sector. To ensure that the universal PDS is in operation, and the peasants do get remunerative price for their produce, the Government had created a buffer stock of food-grains through the FCI. The statutory norm fixed was to have 200 lakh tonnes of wheat and rice as buffer stock. Presently the FCI godowns carry 475 lakhs of food-grains. Of it 3 million tones are reported to be rotting for want of space in the warehouses and rats the beneficiaries. This made the honourable Supreme Court to ask the Government as to why that which cannot be stored properly be distributed to the poor. While dismantling of the PDS destroyed the food security enjoyed by the poor so far, the permission granted to speculators to indulge in forward trading in food articles with an intent to artificially boost the statistical growth of economy resulted in the soaring of prices in the market. The fervent appeals made by the informed public, intelligentsia in the society and the Parliamentarians belonging to the left parties to ban forward trading fell in the deaf ears for that would have entailed in the slowing down the reforms, which course the UPA II Government had vowed to intensify. The present FM is on record to state that taming inflation will lead to blunting the economic growth. Despite the reportedly enviable growth rate of 8 to 9% over the past few years and the consequent rise in the per capita income of our country, vast majority of our countrymen have become poorer while the number of dollar billionaires were doubled. According to Shri Arjun Sengupta report, 77% of Indian population have a daily income of less than Rs.20. And the Tax concessions, deduction and exemptions given away to those who can afford to pay the levies and taxes was of the order of Rs. 6 lakh crores.
                It is on the top of all these, the GOI hiked the petrol prices perhaps the nth time the UPA is in power on the specious plea of helping the Public Sector Petroleum marketing companies out of the under recoveries. In the context of IOL making a profit of 10998 Crores in 2009-10 and the respective figure for HPCL and BPL being Rs. 544 Cr and 874 crores and the Govt. of India making a neat additional tax of Rs.86,000 crores (Rs. 110000 Crores minus State share of Rs. 24,000 crores), an insensitive Government alone can allow the petroleum companies to again rise the prices. This being the general scenario which must be of concern to us rather of grave concern, it would be pertinent to note the erosion in our real wages brought about by the unprecedented escalation of retail prices of commodities of daily consumption. The 6th CPC determined the minimum wage on the basis of the retail prices of various commodities as existed on 1.01.2006. (Please see page 53 of the 6th CPC report). We are, unlike those in the unorganized sectors, in the company of those segment of the working class, who get their wages cost indexed, howsoever, defective, trivial and insufficient it is. Therefore, we get 45% addition to our wages in the form of DA (
raised to 51% by the recent hike). From the table given hereunder we can see that the average rise in the prices of those commodities which are taken for the computation of minimum wage has been of the order of on 1.9.2010, which is taken the present day rate might further escalate

Sl. No. Name of articles                        Price as on 1.1.2006              As on date                              %increase

1              Rice                                                           18                                          38                            120
2              Dhall 4 varieties; average                          40                                          87                            120
3              Raw vegetables                                         10                                          40                            400
4              Green veg.                                                 10                                          56                            560
5              Other veg.                                                  10                                          40                            400
6              Fruits                                                          30                                         100                           330
7              Milk                                                             24                                          32                             40
8              Sugar, jiggery. average                             24                                          43                             95
9              Edibleoil.3varieties.average                       50                                          95                              95
10            Fish                                                          120                                         300                           150
11            Meat                                                         120                                        240                            100
12            Egg                                                              2                                            3                               50
13            Detergents/soap                                     200                                         350                              75
14            Cloth                                                         80                                          120                              50

Average increase : 174

Item No.2 and 3- Stop outsourcing, contractorisation, corporatization and privatization of Governmental functions. Fill up vacant posts and create posts on functional requirements.

                The VI-CPC had recommended the abolition of Gr. D. posts numbering about 9.4 lakhs in the Government of India.. The CPC raised all the Gr. D employees existing in the Govt. sector to the status of a skilled worker and placed them in Gr. C pay scale. The suggested pay scale of the upgraded personnel is analogous to the pre-revised pay of Rs 2750-70-3800-75-4400. In fact the said pay scale was the fourth grade of pay suggested by the V-CPC for the unskilled workers. In para 3.7.7 of the Pay commission recommendations the commission has observed that:
                "Increasingly' basic work relating to cleaning, sweeping, maintenance etc. is being outsourced. This is a welcome trend that needs to be encouraged by bringing about systematic changing in the existing scheme so that the employees in Govt. are only utilized for requiring a certain levels of skills".
                It is a fact that majority of the functions presently carried out by the Gr.D employees across the Board is unskilled. What had actually been done by the Commission is to abolish the unskilled functions in the Governmental sector to pave way for more and more contractorisation of these jobs while the existing employees (whose working strength has become less than 50% of the sanctioned strength) might be classified as Gr. C. and assigned to do functions which are of skilled nature with lesser emoluments than what it could have been even as per the V-CPC recommendations. It is therefore, a disastrous recommendation. In the days to come the unskilled nature of jobs would be either outsourced or would be contractorised. This recommendation therefore, is not for the benefit of the existing employees who are recruited as unskilled workers. Now the recruitment will hereafter become unavailable in the Governmental sector for those who are in the lower strata of the society who could not afford or who are not provided even the primary education even though the universal primary education is stated to be the objective and goal of a welfare Government as per our constitution.. In fact they are being punished for the social inability or abdication of the responsibility on the part of the Government to provide them with a decent standard of living or the nascent requirement of primary education. The recommendation is therefore, a by-product of the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Govt. since 1991 which we have been fighting against all these years along with other segment of the working class. As has been feared, the Government has now decided to ensure that all unskilled jobs are contractorised. The guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel for the Multi-tasking staff
makes it mandatory that the future recruitees in government service must have a minimum educational qualification of matriculation. The recruitment will be done through the Staff Selection Commission. These personnel may not be deployed for the unskilled jobs like that of sweeper, farash, Mali, watchmen etc. These functions would naturally be contractorised. The Department of Personnel has already advised all concerned to go in for contractorisation of these functions. The workers so recruited by the contractors are not to have any job security as they will be liable for the hire and fire system.
                In the background of the continuing ban on recruitment, many of the Government organizations has resorted to outsourcing of their functions which are of permanent and perennial nature to agencies on fixed rates. The very fact that the Government has made available funds for the Departmental heads to resort to outsourcing establishes the policy being pursued by the Government. The functions hitherto being carried out by the Group C employees and the Group B Non gazetted are liable to be outsourced. Once the system is established, there will be no likelihood of any fresh creation of posts in these cadres. The large scale computerization has helped the outsourcing as a feasible proposition.

Item No.4 - Revise wages of CGEs with effect from 1.1.2011 and every five years thereafter.

                It is in the context of the ever increasing prices and the inaction on the part of the Government to tackle it for it might affect adversely the so-called economic growth and the dearness compensation being what it is, the National Council of the Confederation, which met at Mumbai on 2nd Dec 2010, decided to demand the next wage revision
immediately. It also took note of the fact that the Government did concede the demand of the workers in the Central Public Sector Undertakings, rightly so, to revise the wages every five years ( 2006-2011). In the absence of specific recommendation by the 6th CPC over the period in which the present Pay Structure should be in vogue, , it was the unanimous opinion emerged in the deliberations at the National Council that the wages must be revised without further delay. Besides, the expert body on wage revision of Civil Servants i.e the 5th CPC had categorically stated that an interim wage revision in the form of merger of DA with Pay must take place as and when the DA component in wages exceeds the 50% limit. As on 1.1.2011, the DA is 51%. This apart the Council rightly noted that the Pay Band. Grade pay system brought in the 6th CPC has created anomalies beyond correction and had been designed and devised to benefit the personnel in Group. A only services. In our submissions to the Government on the 6th CPC recommendations, we had categorically with facts and figures pointed out that the wage increase will taper off over a period of 6-7 years and thereafter the wages would begin to compare unfavourably with the one determined by the 5th CPC The Government must come forward to set up an expert committee with staff-side representatives to revise the wages of CGEs immediately.

Item No 5 - Stop the New Pensions Scheme and extend the statutory defined benefit pension to all CGEs irrespective of the date of recruitment.

                The present defined benefit scheme of pension was introduced replacing the then existing contributory system. As part of the neo liberal economic policies, the Government decided to reconvert the same into contributory and make the fund available for the stock market operations. It is the vagaries of the stock market which will determine the pension returns from this fund. Before the introduction of the PFRDA bill, the Government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of Shri Bhattacharya, Chief Secretary of the State of Karnataka. The bill has been drafted and presented to the Parliament disregarding even the recommendation of the said committee to the effect that the Govt. should consider introducing a hybrid system by which the employees will have a defined benefit, if they choose to be satisfied with the said return and can opt for a higher return through stock exchange investments. The Bill could not be passed in the Parliament as the Left Parties took the principled position that they would not support a proposal detrimental to the interest of the employees. Despite the non passage of the bill and the consequent
absence of a valid law to support the Pension Regulatory authority, the Govt. has converted the existing pension scheme into a contributory one and invested a percentage of the fund so generated from the employees contribution in the Stock market,
                Pension is earned by an employee by rendering service and therefore there is no requirement of any payment by the employee for earning pension. This statutory right of the employee is enforceable through courts. The Supreme Court has declared pension as one of the fundamental rights. The government should therefore retrace from its avowed position, which is detrimental to the interest of the employees and ensure that the employees recruited after 1.1.2004 is covered by the existing statutory defined benefit scheme. The bill which was earlier introduced in the Parliament got lapsed an d could not be passed for want of a majority as the left parties were opposed to the same. The Govt. has now sought and obtained the support of BJP and other allies of the NDA. The Bill was reintroduced in the Parliament in the last session. The introduction itself was opposed by Com.  Basudeb Acharya, M.P. and leader of the CPIM in the parliament. The bill's introduction has to be through voting. With the support of BJP and other parties the bill has now been introduced and would come up for consideration at the next session of the Parliament.

Item No. 6 - Regularize the Daily rated workers, GDS, remove ceiling on compassionate appointments end discrimination in the grant of bonus to GDS employees.

In the background of the continuing ban on recruitment, most of the departments resorted to recruit persons on daily wage basis. Many of them have completed more than a decade in Government service. They had been on the pay roll of the Government to carry out the functions of a permanent and perennial nature. The resort to recruitment of daily waged workers to carry out the functions which are clearly permanent and perennial nature is in clear violation of the extant instruction in the matter. Having elicited their service for the past several years, they should be regularized as permanent employees with all concomitant benefits. Retrenching them to be replaced with fresh daily rated workers is impermissible.
Similar is the case of GDS employees in the Postal Department. This system, a colonial concept ought to have been discarded long time back. The functions entrusted to the GDS in the Postal Department are of permanent nature. Some of them are required to do more than 8 hours work a day. Many of the post offices, especially in rural areas are manned by the GDS and the postmen are required to function continuously for more than 8 hours a day but still paid as a part time employee. There should be a system by which these employees who are recruited as GDS are absorbed as regular employees after a pre determined number of years of service. Another issue pertaining to the GDS is the unjust denial of the benefit of the raised quantum ceiling on bonus calculation. While the Bonus Act was amended by the Government, raising the emoluments ceiling for the purpose of calculation of bonus from Rs. 2500 to 3500, it was extended to all civil servants except the GDS. Most of the GDS has a monthly emoluments beyond the limit of Rs. 3500. There is no justification for denying this benefit to them.

Item No.7 - Remove restriction imposed on compassionate appointment and the discrimination on such appointments between the Railway workers and the other sections of CGES.

                On the pretext of the directive of the Supreme Court, Govt. introduced the concept of a 5% ceiling on the compassionate appointment. The fact was that there had been no such directive from the Honourable Supreme Court. There had been no rhyme or reason for this stipulation. Despite the repeated discussion on the subject at the National Council and its Standing Committee and the solemn assurance given by the Cabinet Secretary in the wake of the last strike action, nothing has been done in this regard to resolve the issue. It is pertinent to mention in this connection that the compassionate appointments in the Railways continue to be operated without any such ceiling. Moreover in the Department of Posts hundreds of compassionate appointment candidates selected by Selection Committee are being denied jobs and attempt to oust them is on. Through legal stay orders these candidates known as RRR Candidates are fighting the battle. The Government should withdraw the SLP filed against them and absorb them all as regular employees and withdraw the orders imposing and arbitrary ceiling of 5% and non-consideration of the case of candidates whose applications are pending for more than 3 years.
 Item No.8 - Stop the move to introduce the productivity linked wage system; performance related pay; introduce the PLB to all departments ; remove the ceiling of emoluments for bonus computation.

                The Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, the country's prestigious and prime business school was requested by the 6th Central Pay Commission to go into the question of the feasibility of introducing the performance related wage system in civil service. On behalf of the Confederation, a delegation had the opportunity to meet the persons in charge of the feasibility study and interact with them. The delegation drew the attention of the IIM Ahamedabad of the performance related wage system introduced in many western countries especially after the Thatcher led conservative Government took the initiative in this regard. She was of the opinion that the Government should not be in the business and the Governments must be run on business line. Over the years as was the case with many of the reforms she introduced in the U.K. the performance related wage system also failed. Same was the fate of many other western countries who followed the Thatcher Government. By the time the 6th CPC wanted to
introduce the said methodology of restructuring the wage system in Indian Civil service, the idea had already become discredited by its sheer non performance. Except stating that they were aware of what has been presented by us, they never made any comment either in support of in negative. The 6th CPC kept their report confidential as was the case with many such reports which they had commissioned. No mention is made in the voluminous report of the Commission of the pros and cons of a system which they wanted to introduce.
                Our main objection to the so called performance oriented wage system was that it would be seldom based on objectivity. That had been the prima cause of its failure elsewhere. It is mentioned on many occasions that the Grade pay attached to the PB must be seen in fact as a pay for performance of an individual employees. In other words, it can be withdrawn when it is felt that one has not performed well. It is also stated that the Grade Pay which is more or less 40% is the element of rise the 6th Pay Commission chose to grant to the civil servants taking into account various factors that had diminished the wage structure of the CGEs since the 5th CPC recommendations were implemented. There had been a reduction of staff strength in all departments of the Government of India across the board through an executive fiat which was issued in 2001 by the NDA Government. It continued till 2009-10. Only one-third of the vacancies were allowed to be filled up. The two thirds were to be abolished. In other words, the existing employees were asked to work more, perform exponentially as the workload over the period had tremendously increased and the ban on creation of posts ensured that the required hands are not allowed to be recruited from the market. This compelled many departmental heads to outsource the Governmental functions to private contractors i.e. the backdoor entry of an unfair labour practice in Governmental sector. The linking of Grade Pay to the so called performance is nothing but reduction of wages, which we cannot and must not countenance.
                The productivity linked bonus system was the result of the long drawn out struggles of Government employees, especially of the Railwaymen. The Railway employees under the banner of NCCRS braved all repressive measures of the Government in the indefinite strike action 1974 and the major issue projected through the struggle was the illegitimacy of denying Bonus to workers in Government establishment. It was granted to Railwaymen and Postal workers in 1979 and the others had to fight against the unjust discrimination till 1982-83 when the Government had to ultimately extend it to all. The 4th and 5th CPCs went into the matter and their recommendations are quite commendable. They had categorically stated that the PLB must be introduced in all Departments as it is feasible to measure it in almost all Government departments. The issue is still pending decision at the Department of Expenditure.. While they assure to discuss the issue to reach a finality whenever the matter is raised in the JCM fora, the Expenditure division of the Finance Ministry had been dilly dallying. The adhoc bonus for 30 days continue for the past two decades without any increase while the PLB wherever it is in operation register an increase every year. Some of the PLB covered employees were given more than two months bonus last year. Another issue connected with the bonus payment is the arbitrary emoluments ceiling fixed by the Government of India in the computation of bonus. While most of the employees receive salary far greater than the restrictive limit specified in the Bonus Act, the bonus is computed on the notional amount of Rs. 3500/- The oft repeated question is why must there be a ceiling on bonus when no such ceiling is thought of in the case of making profit,.

ItemNo.9 - Settle all anomalies including the MACP related ones raised in the Departmental and National Anomaly Committees and ensure the functioning of JCM in all departments.

                Ever since the 1993 recognition rules were promulgated the JCM as a negotiating forum stopped meeting in various departments and Ministries. The Official side takes one pretext or the other to see that the councils do not meet and the employees are denied any access of negotiations of their legitimate demands. The anomalies that had arisen over the recommendations of the 5th CPC were not subjected to discussion in the JCM at the Departmental levels of many Ministries. This consequently resulted in the non removal of the anomalies. The 6th CPC refused to consider any one of these issues and the anomalies were carried forward. These anomalies were reflected in the assigning of Pay Band and Grade pay in many cadres. The Department of Expenditure while setting up the anomaly committees defined the term anomaly differently from what was agreed upon by the Staff Side and the Government (with the Group of Ministers ) in 1997. As per the new definition the anomaly that has arisen from the  recommendations of the 5th CPC will not come within the ambit of the anomaly committees that are being set up after the 6th CPC. This apart there had been no functioning of the JCM at the Departmental levels in various Ministries and consequently no anomaly committee has been set up in such departments. Despite the issue being raised in the National Anomaly Committee, and the National Council or Standing committee meetings by the Staff Side, no steps are being taken to address the issue.. The National Anomaly Committee is yet to conclude though more than a year is passed and the way the deliberations are conducted therein, it is certain that no positive outcome could be expected from it, especially in the frame work of the definition of the very term anomaly itself.

Item No.10 - Make the right to strike legal

                Continuing with the colonial concept of denying the Civil servants the privileges enjoyed by the other  sections of the society is a matter of great distress. Article 309 of the Constitution makes it incumbent upon the Government of India and the Provincial Government to make enactments to regulate the service conditions of the civil servants. The Indian Parliament had no time to make such enactment. In fact the Indian ruling class wanted no such enactments. The transitory provisions empowering the President of India to make rules till such time the enactment is made has been employed to regulate the service conditions of the Government employees. Once recruited as an employee, the ILO's conventions provide all trade union rights. India is a signatory to those  conventions. Despite all these legal and moral obligations on the part of the Government, the Government employees continue to be denied the right to collective bargaining. No negotiation is worth the meaning, if the employees have no right to withdraw their labour in case of a non satisfactory agreement on their service conditions. It is this legal lacuna which was employed by the Supreme Court to justify the arbitrary dismissal of lakhs of employees by the Tamilnadu State Government when they resorted to strike action. In the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, it was observed that the Government employees do not have any legal, fundamental or moral right to resort to strike action. It is all the more an injustice especially when the Government considers that strike is a right of the workers in the Public Sector undertaking and that of the private enterprises in the country. It is paramount that the Government employees do have the right to strike in order to force upon an agreement for better wages and service conditions.

Item No. 11 - Implement all arbitration awards.

                It was in the wake of the indefinite strike of the Central Government employees in 1960, the Government thought of having a permanent forum for negotiation of the demands, problems and grievances of the employees. After prolonged discussion with the then existing Federations and Unions, the JCM machinery came into being On important issues like pay, allowances and leave, the Government offered to have arbitration through an independent body in case no agreement could be reached between the organizations and the Government after discussion in the JCM. Initially, the Govt. had been implementing the awards of the Board of Arbitration, which were in favour of the staff. The Staff Side was prohibited to raise the issue for a prescribed period of time, in case the same has been  found not acceptable by the Board of Arbitration. The scenario underwent a drastic change in the last two decades in as much as the Government refused to implement any award and began to refer the same to the consideration of the Parliament on the specious plea of adversely affecting the national economy. There were 16 such awards, which had
been referred to the Parliament but in the wake of negotiation, the Government agreed to withdraw these cases from the Parliament and further negotiate with the Staff Side with a view to reduce the financial implications. Several rounds of discussions were held thereafter at the level of the Secretary (Personnel). In most of the case the staff Side agreed to waive the arrear payments. Despite the said gesture, the Government did not think it fit to implement any one of them except in the case of stenographers, for which orders were later issued. Some of these awards have again come up before the Parliament. Give the majority in the Parliament for the ruling party, these awards could be got rejected by the Govt .which if done would be a mockery of the JCM scheme itself. Having lost the case before an independent body of juries, the Government should have the moral courage to implement the awards.

 Item No. 12. - Revise the rate of interest of GPF. Revise the OTA and night duty allowances and stitching charges

                It is ridiculous that the Overtime allowance of Central Government employees except those in the Railways and Defence to be reckoned with the pay structure that was obtaining in 1986 i.e. more than 25 years back. It is nothing but sheer exploitation of the workers. If an outsider is employed the same Government pays three times than what is given to a regular employee. If one refuses to work beyond office hears, the colonial rules comes into operation. He might face for disobedience even dismissal. The matter was as per the joint consultative machinery scheme before the Board of Arbitration. The Government pleaded fervently but so feeble was their argument that the honourable members of the Board of Arbitration ruled that the OTA must be based on the actual salary one received at the relevant point of time. Elsewhere we have narrated the story of the awards of Arbitration in the hands of the present Government. They are now seeking the Parliamentary mandate to reject this just and reasonable award in the name of national economy. The pittance given to the employees for extracting work is considered as a drain on the economy while they merrily go around indulging in profligacy. The same is the case with the Night duty allowance. The rate of interest in the case of GPF was reduced from 12% to 8% under the specious plea that the bank rate of interest had been reduced as part of the new economic regime. It was assured that as and when the bank rates are raised it would automatically follow. The Bank rates had to be raised. Presently an investment in any nationalized bank beyond 500 days fetches an interest of more than 10% and the GPF deposit is for the service life of an individual, spanning in many cases for more than 35 years. It is high time that the Government is compelled to restore the rate of interest on GPF back to 12% p.a.
                Another issue is the stitching charges. The Government refuses to recognize the need to revise the rates. The market rates are almost 4 to 5 time what the employee gets reimbursed from the Government. Given the fact that most of the uniformed personnel are at the lower levels of the hierarchy, it is cruel that the Government extracts money from them for being in service, the condition of which is they are to perform duties wearing the prescribed uniform.

Item No. 13 - Merge DA with pay for all purposes including pension as and when the DA rate crosses the 50% mark.

                As on 1st  January, 2011, the CGES are entitled to dearness compensation at the rate of 51% of their pay. As has been pointed out elsewhere in this memorandum the said compensation computed on the basis of what the Labour Ministry calls the All India average of consumer price index is miles away from the real prices that rule the market on commodities that goes into the basket of minimum wage. In most of the countries, the wages are price indexed on a year to year basis. However, we adopted a system of allowance called the Dearness allowance to compensate the wage earners for erosion of the real value of their wages through escalation of market prices. The successive Pay commissions have recognized the need for merging the DA component with the pay so that the allowances which are reckoned with reference to basic pay could be enhanced as otherwise it would be a drain on the wages of the worker. The 2nd CPC recommended for such merger when the CPI crosses over 272 points. The 3rd CPC merged the DA at 320 points and the IV CPC at 568. The 5th CPC suggested that as and when the DA percentage reaches the 50% mark, it must be merged and the allowances to be computed on Pay with the merged portion of DA. This recommendation was accepted by the Government and the DA was merged accordingly. The 6th CPC however departed from this principle and recommended that as and when the DA percentage exceeds 50%, all allowances are to be raised by 25%. There appears to be no rationale behind this decision except that they intended that no wage revision should be automatic and any compensation due to inflation must be beneficial to the employer and not the workers. No specific time frame has been suggested by the 6th CPC to revise the wages. Elsewhere in this memorandum we have detailed the rationale and justification for a periodical wage revision once in five years. Even if the DA is merged we could see that it would not compensate the workers for the great erosion that has already taken place in the real wages. So, the 25% compensation must not be acceptable and the least the Govt. Could do is to order for the merger of the 50% DA with the Pay, which would be in  consonance with the principle evolved through successive Pay Commissions.

Item No. 14. - Vacate All Trade Union victimization.

                Vindictive actions against the Trade Union workers are as old as the collective bargaining itself. In the post Independent India, the trade union history is full of such atrocious behaviour on the part of the employers. The Govt. Of India had been in the forefront of such uncivilized action in the Sixties and Seventies. There had been terrific repression of the Union activists whenever the CGEs organized collective actions. The indefinite strike action of 1960, the one day token strike of 1968 and the great Railway Workers strike in 1974 resulted in unprecedented brutal suppressive measures against the leaders. Thousands of employees lost their job, good number of them was brutally killed and thousands were proceeded against under various rules and regulations, conceived and put in the rule book by the colonial rulers. It is to the credit of those courageous comrades who sacrificed their life and career that the Trade Union movement is what it is today. It is the demand for vacation of all vindictive actions that is more important and more significant than any in the charter. Without resisting and defeating all nefarious attempts of the bureaucracy in this direction, we may not be able to sustain or build up a militant movement, which is the pre requisite for onward march. Presently one of the founding affiliate of the Confederation the All India Audit and Accounts Association is facing numerous vindictive actions initiated by the Audit bureaucracy. With the committed and united action of the entirety of the Central Govt. Em0ployees, we shall ensure that the vindictive actions wherever it takes place will be got vacated.
Courtesy: N F P E

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