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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Warm Greetings on Happy New Year - 2016


2016 New Year’s Pledge Urges United Struggle

 Secretary, AIPEU, Gr.-C

The clock is advancing relentlessly with its tick-tock music as a new year starts and old one ends reminding us the same customary attitude to contemplate all our agonies and ecstasies reviewing our resolutions made in the beginning of the year and  looking back on months gone by. While it’s no wonder to recall all the  happy times that enriched our lives, realize the fondest dreams which made us recognized, memorize the best rewards  of our deepest and finest feelings and great satisfactions, refresh and revitalize the pleasures with people, material and personal successes on one hand, it becomes, on the other  also inevitable to weigh our ignorance / mistakes to find out the hurdles for unachieved goals, to examine the reasons for failures and to establish the deviations from our promises and commitments so that we can greet the New Year with  a stronger attitude and a better commitment than ever.  

In this context, it is a proud moment for all of us to recollect the glorious journey of the Department of Posts from traditional to digital along with the historic Postal/Central Govt. employees Trade Union Movement through National Federation of Post & Telecom Employees (NFPTE) alias National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) which enters the 62nd year of its existence. During our long strenuous journey, we have not only experienced the Divide and Rule Policy of the British Government but also the administrative dilemma and miseries of Postal workers in particular and Central Govt. employees in general even during post-independent era without minimum wage, holidays, fixed duty hours, recreation, promotion, bonus, advances, overtime allowance, retirement benefits etc., They were badly treated, severally punished and personally abused. Corruption was rampant. The service of the employees was hopelessly insecure.

The P & T Trade Union Movement  which was initiated in the name of a Postal Club in Kolkatta GPO under the able leadership and guidance of Babu Tarapad Mukherjee during 1905 became recognized as National Federation of Post and Telegraph Employees (NFPTE)  on 24th November, 1954 after 50 years of uncompromised struggles and sacrifices. Com. B N Ghosh, popularly known as Dada Ghosh became the founder Secretary General of NFPTE. Till it was bifurcated in February, 1986 to National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) and National Federation of Telecom Employees (NFTE) consequent upon separation of the Department to Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications, NFPTE continued its struggle  to give its members the benefits they deserve in spite of formation of Federation of National Postal Organizations (FNPO) in 1968 and Bhartiya Post and Telegraph Employees Federation (BPTEF) in 1977 by the ruling party to weaken the movements reiterating the so called Divide and Rule Policy of the British Govt. In spite of hurdles and attacks by the Govt., NFPE has never looked back and is continuing its struggles as the biggest constituent of Confederation of Central Govt. employees and Workers not only to protect the interest of the postal and RMS employees in particular but also to give justice to the entire working class in general.

It is needless to reiterate that the benefits now we are enjoining as Central Govt. Employees are the gifts of the sacrifices of the leaders and loyal workers of NFPTE / Confederation without caring for brutal murders, mass scale arrests, termination, suspension and above all de-recognition of our Federation by the administration / Govt. The story of success and sacrifice of NFPTE/Confederation is too long to describe.

NFPE’s struggle movements in particular are not just confined to pay or leave etc. In the name of transformation of India Post, the problems of the postal employees have been multiplied during the last two decades. With formulation of National Postal Policy, Strategic Plan, Corporate Plan and introduction of Project Arrow and I T Modernization Project, the employees are now treated in similar nature prevailed during pre-independence era. With acute shortage of staff due to arbitrary abolition of posts, increased working hours due to down-sizing, additional pressure due unachievable targets for POSB, PLI/RPLI and business products, frequent system problems due to improper software, inadequate professionals and outdated accessories, compulsion of cent percent delivery in the absence of adequate staff and support system, introduction of new products and services without proper education and training to the employees and such other problems arising out of computerization and modernization, the employees are suffering like anything. In addition, corporatization/privatization of India Post through implementation of Task Force report is still a peril like the sword of Damocles. Over Time duty has already lost its concept due to non-revision of the allowance for more than two decades. Contradictorily, the promotional avenues in postal department have been twisted to be confused. The cadre restructuring proposal has been unnecessarily delayed for last five years. The fates of 3 lakh Gramin Dak Sewaks have remained unpredictable for decades together. Thus, we are still demanding to fill up all vacant posts, creation of new posts, to stop corporatization / privatization / down-sizing, to give five promotions, to give status and pension to GDS etc. The struggles have not yet ended.

In addition, due to rapid migration of Post Office to CBS Finacle and PLI McCamish in the absence of proper infrastructure, the sufferings of the employees of Department of Posts beggar description during 2015. The nature of fixed duty hours has now lost its concept. The employees are receiving irregular orders always not to leave office without permission of the CPC/CEPT. Till now we have 12109 CBS post offices all over India which includes 804 HOs and 11305 SOs. Odisha Circle got its first CBS post Office on 01.12.2014 in the name of Bhubaneswar GPO and during 2015 Odisha Circle has migrated all its 35 HOs and 347 SOs as on date. In Bhubaneswar Division, we have 32 CBS Post Offices including Bhubaneswar GPO as on date. Similarly, during 2015, PLI McCamish roll out has been completed in 21 HOs of Odisha Circle including Bhubaneswar GPO which was rolled out as first HO on 07.09.2015. The employees are regularly struggling for smooth connectivity, proper hardware and adequate manpower to render proper services to the customers. But all their efforts have fallen to the deaf ears of the administration. Responsibility is seen to be  shifted from Department to Infosys, from Infosys to Sify or sometimes from both to the Central Server / Data Centre etc. Due to no fault of the officials, they are falling prey to the anger of the dissatisfied customers.

Above all, 2015 remained a year of suffering for the postal employees in particular.

Adding salt to injury, the 7th CPC submitted its report with most disappointing, retrograde and worst ever recommendations to the Govt. on 19th November, 2015 restricting the pay hike to 14.29% without any change in the annual increment and promotional avenues even after a gap of 10 years and more importantly withdrawing all the 12 interest-free advances and 52 allowances and thus deceiving as many as 47 lakh Central Govt. employees and 52 lakh pensioners. The demands of the JCM Staff Side to implement the recommendations from 01.01.2014, to fix the minimum wage at Rs.26000/- with multiplying factor of 3.27, annual increment to 5%, 5 promotion during the entire service career, abolition of Grade Pay etc have been squarely rejected by the Commission. No change has been recommended for Casual Leave, Maternity Leave and Leave encashment. Rather, the Commission has recommended to reduce the HRA from 30/20/10% to 24/16/8% and 20% less pay in the 2nd year of Child Care Leave. Relating to our specific issues, the commission finds no justification for enhancement of minimum educational qualifications for Direct Recruits for Postal Assistants/Sorting Assistants from Class XII to Graduation and the entry grade pay from GP 2400 to GP 2800 and also no justification for upgrading LSG, HSG-II & HSG-I. Similar is the case of Postman, Mail Guard and MTS. The demand for separate cadre for S As / B Es has been denied straightway. The issues relating to GDS remained untouched.

In protest against such retrograde measures of 7th CPC, we have already hold protest demonstrations throughout the country and JCM Staff Side has already submitted a notice to the Cabinet Secretary with suggested modifications. If our demands are not settled amicably through proper negotiation, the National Joint Council of Action comprising Confederation, Railway and Defence Federation has already decided to go for nationwide indefinite strike from 1st week of March, 2016. The processing of Strike Ballot among the constituents of the NJCA will soon be on move so as to complete by end of January, 2016.

Thus, the revolution has just begun which needs the effort of every single individual for retaining the hard-earned benefits we have achieved through our struggle movements. Human revolution, in just a single individual can help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further in the destiny of all human kind. So unfettered by narrow nationalist or sectarian concerns, it should be considered that every individual is equally empowered with inner brilliance of life and however small the effort, every individual effort certainly makes a definite difference. The thing is that everyone should be loyal to the voice of conscience that issues forth from deep within. When one is affected by wrath, his mind will not be correct, when one is affected by fear, his mind will not be correct, when one is affected by fondness, his mind will not be correct or when one is affected by worries and anxieties to any extent, his mind will not be correct. When the mind is not present, we look but we do not see, listen but we do not hear and eat but do not know the taste of the food. As a result, we fail to serve whole-heartedly. No progress is possible unless we have a mind free from anxiety and sufficient leisure for the development of our higher nature.

Workers are not beggars. So, to make ourselves free from all worries and anxieties, to live with a status and to serve our nation whole heartedly on one hand and to retain the hard-earned benefits already achieved through rigorous struggles and sacrifices on the other, we have to go for united struggle only under one umbrella which needs just a promise by every individual on the eve of this new year. To be more active and more progressive, let’s promise to be more militant and aggressive on our issues.

Together we can move the world. One, who can’t be taught by reason, shall be taught by force. And our force is our togetherness and unity. We have already proved it through our several rigorous struggle programmes from pre-independence era till date. We have fought and achieved. The glorious history of P & T Trade Union Movement tells us that nothing can stop us.  We can achieve all our demands through our unity and agitation, through one platform and one voice. We have just to carry forward our glorious traditions with additions of new ideas that will suit our future needs with an eye to the current transformation. And it is quite possible in the era of digital world. Just a commitment is required. A recall to our historic struggles in the past will definitely add to our future success.

Let the New Year unite all under one umbrella to fight for common causes and welfare of the society and bring peace and prosperity for all.

Happy New Year, 2016. 

Right to health is a human right: Himachal High Court

Giving the government six months’ time to seek options, the bench said all central government pensioners residing in non-cghs areas would be covered either by cs(ma) rules, 1944 or CGHS as per the option they choose.


In a landmark judgment, the himachal pradesh high court wednesday directed the central government to provide full medical benefits, including reimbursements of medical emergencies, to employees post-retirement.


A division bench comprising justices rajiv sharma and sureshwar thakur passed the orders while dismissing an appeal filed by the central government, challenging an order of the central administrative tribunal (cat) in favour of shankar lal sharma who underwent heart surgery post-retirment and incurred an expenditure of rs 1.80 lakh  – which the government declined to reimburse.


In a 101-page order handed down by justice sharma, the court ruled that right to health is a human right and questioned as how could the government, a principal employer, abdicate the responsibility of taking care of the health of its retired employees.


Denial of reimbursements of medical expenses amounts to violation of rights of the employee, the court added. The order observed that “a socialist state, as the preamble depicts, is the basic structure of the constitution of india “. “Similarly, the welfare state is the basic feature of the constitution. There is a difference between basic structure and basic features of the constitution. The action of the union of india not to reimburse the medical bills to the respondent (shankar lal sharma) and also not giving option to him and similarly situate persons residing in a city not covered under cghs is illegal, arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory, thus, violative of articles 14, 16 and 21 of the constitution of india.”


Using the legal maxim salus populi suprema lex esto, the bench said “the health of the people should be supreme law.” The order further reads: “a serving employee, who enjoys benefits under the cs(ma) rules, 1944, cannot be left high and dry immediately after retirement for want of medical care. His medical issues are required to be looked into with more sensitivity, compassion and sympathy. His genuine requirements for medical treatment cannot be permitted to be buried in the labyrinth of red tapism.


The court further held that it was the prime responsibility of the state to protect the health and vigour of retired government officials, this being their fundamental right under article 21, read with articles 39(3), 41, 43, 48-a of the constitution.



Source :

S B Order No. 17 / 2015 : Further clarification of S B Order No. 12 & 15 / 2015







(M. Krishnan)
Secretary General

Discontinuation of Interview at Junior Level Post in the Government of India-recommendation of Committee of Secretaries (CoS).

Consultation with UPSC while framing Recruitment Rules of Group A and Group B posts in Appellate Tribunals-reg.

Proforma promotion to the Junior Time Scale of Indian Postal Service, Group 'A' - order dated 18.12.2015

Ananlysis of complaints handled and instructions for monitoring of mails at mail offices/NSHs/ICHs/POs


India Post ATM inaugurated at Angul H O (Dhenkanal Division)


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cabinet may give go-ahead to labour ministry proposal of extending maternity leave to 26 weeks

The Union Cabinet may soon give its go-ahead to a labour ministry proposal to extend maternity leave to 26 weeks from 12 weeks. Mothers who use surrogates to bear a child and women adopting a baby could also get 12 weeks of maternity leave.

Extending maternity leave is in sync with benefits available to central government employees and has been done to enable mothers breastfeed their child for at least six months and help reduce high rates of child malnutrition in the country, a senior government official told ET.

"We have substantially enhanced benefits under the Maternity Act. This is likely to be approved by the Cabinet soon, after which it will go to Parliament as it requires amendment in the Act," the official told ET on condition of anonymity. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, presently entitles women to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

According to the official, the amendment bill is unlikely to face resistance in Parliament as the ministry has held consultations with stakeholders for such sweeping changes that would benefit a large number of working women. 

Women with government jobs in India get a six-month maternity leave, as per the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules, 1972. The last circular in this regard was issued in 2008, when it was increased from four-and-a-half months. 

The International Labour Organisation recommends a standard maternity leave of 14 weeks or more, though it encourages member states to increase it to at least 18 weeks. At 26 weeks, India is set to join a league of 42 countries where maternity leave exceeds 18 weeks. It, however, falls behind several East European, Central Asian and Scandinavian countries, which have more generous paid maternity leave. 

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies up to six months old, saying it reduces child mortality and has proven health benefits that extend into adulthood. Yet, only 47% of Indian mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, compared with 70% in neighbouring Nepal and 76% in Sri Lanka. 


No. CONF/NE/2016                                                                      Dated: 30-12-2015



An urgent meeting of the National Executive of the Confederation of Central Govt. Employees & Workers will be held at ITEF Head Quarters (Rajouri Garden), New Delhi on 12-02-2016 (12th February 2016 - Friday). The meeting shall commence at 10.30am and continue till close. National Secretariat members, Chief Executives of the affiliated Organizations, General Secretaries of all State level C-o-Cs and main Office bearers of the Women's Sub Committee are requested to attend the meeting.

The following shall be the agenda of the meeting:


1.   7th CPC related issues and proposed indefinite strike by NJCA.
2.   Two days All India Workshop of Confederation at Dehradun (Uttarakhand) – Finalisation of dates & Programme.
3.   All India Conference of Confederation & All India Women Convention at Chennai (Tamilnadu) – Finalisation of dates.
4.   Financial position of Confederation – Decision for improvement.
5.   Issues relating to the affiliated Organizations.
6.   Any other item with permission of the Chair.
(M. Krishnan)
Secretary General
1. All National Secretariat Members.
2. Chief Executives of all affiliated Organizations.
3. General Secretaries of State C-o-Cs.
4. Main office bearers of Women's Sub Committee (Not Committee members)

Babus on foreign jaunts need to spell out outcome of such tours

NEW DELHI: Government officials undertaking foreign trips will have to clearly spell out the outcome of such tours. All those who undertook official foreign visits since 2013-14 need to submit details of the outcome of such tours in the next few days.

 The move comes against the backdrop of persistent feeling in many quarters that the trips, ostensibly for gaining experience and insights, often turn into pleasure jaunts. There have been cases of officials traveling abroad in numbers more than necessary, stretching the duration of stay and visiting and stopping at places irrelevant to the stated purpose of the trip.

In keeping with the new work culture, the NDA government has created a website under its Software Management Information System for uploading details of foreign tours and visits by officials. Ministries and departments have set a December-end deadline for its officials to upload details on this portal.

 Moreover, every ministry and department has been directed to prepare a "rolling plan" for future foreign visits to be undertaken by officials. "The idea behind the rolling plan is to submit the proposed trips of officials in the next quarter. This can be updated and amended. Government wants foreign trips by officials on government expenditure to be result-oriented," said a senior government official.

According to sources, cabinet secretary P K Sinha recently called a meeting to ensure that officials and departments comply with the decision.

 "In certain cases, it's difficult to get the details of foreign visits by officials, who have already gone back to the states or are retired. But the message has gone to one and all to provide the outcomes of their visits since they must be keeping some details. We are also trying to get the records kept in departments so that some details can be uploaded," said a government source. 
Source :

Labour ministry may soon move cabinet note on labour code on wage and Small Factories Act

ET Bureau | 30 Dec, 2015, 07.05PM IST
Labour ministry may soon move a cabinet note on labour code on wage and the Small Factories Act after an inter-ministerial committee on labour headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley broadly endorsed the proposals.

"There is no in-principle objection to the two bills that we discussed today," a senior labour ministry official told ET after the inter-ministerial committee meeting on Wednesday.

"The idea was to get views of larger audience before we finalise it. Once approved  by the Cabinet the two legislations would be laid in Parliament in the next session," the official added.

The meeting, chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley, was convened following directions from the Prime Minister's Office that the two important legislations be finalised at the inter-ministerial level before taking it to the Cabinet for approval.

"Labour ministry made an initial presentation on the two bills. More meetings could be held on this if need be," Jaitley said.  

While the wage code bill aims to amalgamate four labour laws related to wages and lay out a common definition for wages, the Small Factories Bill seeks to exempt units employing less than 40 workers from 14 labour laws.

Other than Jaitley, power minister Piyush Goyal, labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya and minister of state for home Jitender Singh attended the meeting.

The committee was set up in May this year after trade unions alleged that the government was unilaterally going ahead with changes in the labour laws that they said were anti-worker.

The Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, 2014, would mainly combine provisions of various labour laws applicable to small factories, facilitating ease of compliance and reporting. The bill also proposes that very small factories employing not more than five workers would be exempt from the compliance burden related to shifts, attendance and late attendance, responsibility to issue appointment letters and provisions on unfair labour practices.

The draft legislation proposes payment of wages through bank accounts and continuing provisions of social security without dilution. It also has a provision for compounding of offences, except for those resulting in death and serious body injury.

Under the code on wages, the labour ministry plans to streamline the definition of wages by amalgamating four wage-related statutes. These include the Minimum Wage Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

At present, there are about half a dozen definitions of wages in various acts across the Centre and states, which employers have to grapple with.