AIPRPA CWC DECISIONS FOR APROGRAMME OF ACTION ON POSTAL PENSIONERS CHARTER OF DEMANDS
THREE STAGE PROGRAMME OF ACTION
(i) Demonstrations shall be held at all places by the AIPRPA on 19th September, 2016 and Memorandum will be forwarded to Health and Finance Ministers
(ii) Mass Dharna by Postal & RMS Pensioners on 21st October, 2016 to demand implementation of the Charter of Demands.
(iii) ‘Chalo Delhi’ by Postal & RMS Pensioners to conduct a ‘Mass Demonstration’ in front of Parliament on 21st February (Date will be subject to finalisation in consultation with NCCPA to synchronize with the National Convention against NPS proposed by NCCPA) and to submit the Memorandum to the Prime Minster of India.
All District / Divisional Secretaries are requested to organise the Demonstration on 19th September, 2016 either at morning or lunch hour or in the evening and submit the following Memorandum by Speed Post to Honourable Finance Minister Government of India New Delhi – 110001 and to the Honourable Health Minister Government of India, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi – 110108.
MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO HONOURABLE FINANCE MINISTER - HONOURABLE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & IT; & HONOURABLE HEALTH MINISTER AS PER THE DECISION OF THE CWNTRAL WORKING COMMITTEE OF ALL INDIA POSTAL & RMS PENSIONERS ASSOCIATION:
We, the Members of All India Postal & RMS Pensioners Association ______________________________
District / Division under ________________________________ State, submit this Memorandum for the consideration and favourable action of Government of India.
1. Grant of Universal Pension @ 3000/- to all Senior Citizens:
The Senior Citizens of India, irrespective of their industry including agriculture or any other unorganized sector should be protected in their old age. The OASIS project under Shri.Atal Behari Vajpayee Government stated that all the workers in their old age must get social security. It is the responsibility of Government to take care of all the senior citizens even though they are not retired from pensionable service like Government jobs. The demand for a universal pension to all senior citizens is gaining ground in all countries. India should take the lead and enact a law to protect all senior citizens above age of 60 and not covered by any pension scheme with at least a pension of Rs.3000/- per month by the Central Government.
2. Scrapping NPS for Central Government Employees:
The decision taken by the Government to bring all Central Government Employees recruited on or after 1.1.2004 under New Pension Scheme, now renamed as ‘National Pension System’ is violative of Constitution, as it discriminates one section of Government employees against another. The introduction of NPS through PFRDA Act against the recommendations of 6th CPC constituted Expert Committee headed by Doctor Gayatri of Bangalore Institute of Economic Studies was a retrograde step taken by the Government. The NPS does not guarantee any minimum pension and everything is left to the vagarities of the share market. There is no guarantee that a Government Employee after serving for three or four decades will get at least half the basic pay of his last pay drawn as his pension like the employees recruited before 1.1.2004. Contrast this with the fact that even after a single day holding the position of a Member of Parliament; every M.P is eligible for a guaranteed government pension! The 7th CPC has in detail narrated the weaknesses in the system of NPS, which goes to prove that there is no guarantee to any minimum pension after retirement for a Government Employee entering service after 1.1.2004. While the NPS should have been restricted only to those employees and workers for whom no other pension system is in vogue as originally thought out in OASIS Project, the implementation of NPS to a section of government employees also was a step in wrong direction. The NPS has to go as far as all Government Employees without any discrimination.
3. Full Parity in Pension between past and present pensioners:
5th CPC had recommended that all pensioners must be notionally brought on to the new pay scale implemented prospectively by treating them as though as they were in service before refixing their pension at the rate of 50% of pay of the post or cadre from which a pensioner had retired. This recommendation had been diluted by 6th CPC by denying the notional fixation and also the Refixation based on the new scale of pay granted to the same post or cadre. The 6th CPC had only recommended for calculations in the replacement scale of pay corresponding to the pre-revised scale of pay in which the pensioner had retired. The 7th CPC even though had conceded to take into account notionally the number of increments earned by the pensioner, has not recommended for basing it on the pay scale recommened for the cadre or the post but only on the pay scale corresponding to the pre-revised scale of pay. The grant of OROP to the Pensioners of Armed Forces by the Government ensures the fixation of pension based on the pay scale granted to the same rank and the number of increments earned by the retired pensioner. This factor is rejected to the Civilian Pensioner. This is discriminatory treatment between one class of pensioners and another by the Government. All the Civilian Pensioners also should be granted ‘Pension Refixation’ based on the scale of pay of the post or cadre granted by the 6th and 7th Pay Commission instead of replacement scale corresponding to the replacement scale only.
4. Grant of Option Number 1 of Pension Refixation by 7th CPC:
The 7th Pay Commission had granted two options to all Pre-2016 Pensioners on the Refixation of their pension from 1.1.2016. Option No.2 is application of 2.57 fitment factor. Option No.1 is to take the number of increments earned by the Pensioner notionally in the last pay scale before his retirement and fix the pension based on the appropriate cell in the Pay Matrix corresponding to the Level of Pay Scale. Many Pensioners may be benefited by Option Number 1 method. Unfortunately the stand taken by the Pension Ministry that Option Number 1 is not feasible as the number of increments earned by pensioners cannot be verified with non available records. Actually the averment of the Pension Ministry is untenable as the PPO of Pensioners carry most of the details besides other records to verify the number of increments earned by the Pensioner before retirement. On several occassions pension records had been reconstructed based on court judgments and therefore it is not tenable to say that the Option Number 1 is not feasible. Denying Option Number 1 is like denying a step taken towards pension parity between the past and present pensioners, even though it is not full parity between the past and present pensioners. Therefore Option Number 1 recommended by the 7th CPC should be extended to those pensioners for whom it is more advantageous than Option Number 2.
5. Changing from nearest level to next level in Pay Matrix for increments and linking the Pay Matrix for Option No.2 to Pensioners:
A Pay matrix is recommended by the 7th CPC with appropriate level of starting pay for the corresponding pre-revised scale pay. But all further stages corresponding to incremental stages are worked out in Ms Excel format with the ‘nearest level’ instead of ‘next level’. This causes loss at many levels as the sum so worked out by the command of ‘nearest level’ does not guarantee the actual rate of increment of 3% in many places. The rate of annual increment has been recommended as 3% but the calculation in the Pay matrix denies the same 3% at various stages. The preparation of Pay matrix is contradictory to the accepted recommendation of 3% annual increment. The Pay Matrix is to be redrafted with ‘next level’ instead of ‘nearest level’ applied to work out the incremental stages of pay scales. This anomaly is causing a loss to Pre-2016 Pensioners also as their pension option Number 1 is to be based on the Pay Matrix only. Therefore ‘The Pay Matrix’ is to be redrafted with ‘next level’ instead of ‘nearest level’ applied to work out the incremental stages of pay scales’. It is also demanded to Link the pension refixation under Option Number-2 with the Pay Matrix to the next level on par with the employees. This is on lines of Option Number-1(where Pay Matrix comes into picture) as well as spirit of the recommendations of 7th CPC. It may be noted that Option Number 1 is linked to Pay Matix whereas Option No.2 is not linked to Pay Matrix even though for serving employees pay fixation by applying Fitment Factor 2.57 is linked to Pay Matrix. Thus correcting the Pay Matrix with ‘Next level’ for incremental stages and linking Pay Matrix for Pensioners to Option Number 2 are necessary to prevent any loss to Pre-2016 Pensioners who opt either for Option Number-1 or Option Number-2.
6. Refixation of Pre-2006 Pensioners of Postman, HSG-1 Postmasters, IPOs, ASPOS etc:
The Refixation of Pension for Pre-2006 Postman, HSG-1 Postmasters, IPOs, ASPOS etc based on their pre-revised scale of pay only instead of their pay scale granted and implemented by Government from 1.1.2006 is an injustice. After OPOP acceptance by the Government to Armed Forces Pensioners, denial of pension fixation to Pre-2006 Pensioners in the Civilian side based on the scale of pay of the same post or cadre is discriminatory. They should also be ordered for Refixation of pension based on the scale of pay granted to the cadre of Postman, HSG-1 Postmasters, IPOs and ASPOs etc from 1.1.2006.
7. Injustice to Pre-2006 HSG-1 Postmasters in pension fixation:
The denial of Refixation of pension in case of Pre-2006 HSG-1 Postmasters on 4600 Grade Pay level is totally an injustice. The HSG-1 is a promotional cadre to HSG-2; After HSG-2 Postmaster cadre is granted a replacement scale of 4200 Grade Pay by amalgamation of several pay scales into one, the grant of 4600 Grade Pay level to HSG-1 is naturally a replacement scale of pay to them only. The interpretation taken by the Government that the scale of 4600 grade pay given to HSG-1 is an upgraded pay is basically wrong as both the feeder cadre and a promotional cadre cannot be the same scale pay. The net result of misinterpretation of the issue by the Government is that even the BCR Postal Assistants who were supervised by the HSG-1 Postmasters are fixed in the same level of 4200 Grade Pay for their pension calculation. This has to set right by considering the 4600 GP scale of pay to HSG-1 Postmasters granted from 1.1.2006 as the replacement scale of pay and all Pre-2006 HSG-1 Postmasters are to be fixed their pension appropriately.
8. Refixation of Pension to Post 1.1.1996 Pensioners of Postman cadre:
The Supreme Court had accepted the position proposed by the Department of Posts that the grant of two advance increments will be taken into calculation for pension purposes for all post 1.1.1996 postman retirees. This position has not been translated into practice by the Department of Posts. No orders are issued as per the direction of the Supreme Court even after months. Necessary orders are to be issued for refixing the pension of all Post 1.1.1996 Postman pensioners as per the direction of the Supreme court without further delay.
9. Grant of FMA @ 2000:
The Fixed Medical Advance is at present given @ 500/- per month. It was 300/- only and the Pay Commission should have gone into it naturally, but the Government had unilaterally raised it as 500/- and prevented the CPC from going into the issue. The cost of medicines and consultation fees has gone up in the recent times; most of the pensioners are suffering from different illness and even the diabetic medicines are costing more than 2000/- per month. Expecting a pensioner to manage all his family’s out-patient medical expenses within a paultry sum of 500/- per month is by any standards unjustified. The employees in EPF department are being drawn a sum of 2000/- per month right from 1.1.2006 is also a fact to prove that already the rationale for grant of 2000/- is recognized by the Government in other place. Notwithstanding the fact that this issue is under the consideration of the High Level Committee headed by the Finance Secretary and the Expenditure Secretary, the FMA has to be revised from 500/- to at least 2000/- per month.
10. Accepting the recommendations of 7th CPC on Medical Treatment:
The 7th Pay Commission had recommended some basic issues related to medical treatment of pensioners. Importantly it had categorized the discrimination being shown towards Postal Pensioners in the matter of denial of entry into CGHS medical system as untenable and recommended to allow all pensioners into CGHS system without conditions. The stand of the Health Ministry that Postal Department has its own Postal Dispensaries and therefore unless the postal pensioner was a CGHS beneficiary while in service, he or she cannot be allowed into CGHs is utterly discriminatory as Postal Dispensaries are not covering all the Postal Employees or Pensioners. The 7th CPC has recommended to merge Postal Dispensaries also with CGHS. It has also recommended for a comprehensive Medical Insurance for employees and pensioners to get treatment in a cashless and hassle free manner. Merger of CGHS with Railway and Defense Hospital systems also is recommended by the Pay Commission. These recommendations are left to respective Ministries / Departments for taking appropriate decisions instead of Cabinet taking a positive decision regarding their implementation. These recommendations are made after going in depth into the medical issues of pensioners and therefore the Departments or Ministries should not be dealing them only on the basis of expenditure to either dilute them or deny them in a casual manner. These recommendations are vital for the health care for thousands of postal pensioners all over the country who are out-of the CGHS coverage areas and hence are to be urgently accepted for implementation.
11. Revision of Pension by treating the period of training as eligible service for grant of TBOP/BCR upgradations:
The Postal Employees were granted TBOP/BCR promotions before 1.9.2008. It had been ordered to treat the period of training undergone prior to 01-01-1986 by direct recruits Postal Assistants/Sorting Assistants as eligible service for grant of their TBOP/BCR upgradations. . Accordingly the date of TBOP / BCR were revised for many employees. This order should have been extended to pensioners also who would have been eligible for their TBOP or BCR upgradations but for denial of treating the period of training to them also. Grant of TBOP or BCR would have elevated them to them to the next upgraded scale to facilitate higher fixation of pension. The application of these orders for one section of employees and denial of extending them to the retired employees is unjustified. The eligible pensiones are to be extended with the benefit of Refixation by applying the above orders to them also and by granting them the financial up gradations who were otherwise missed their TBOP/BCR.
12. Rent free BSNL land line phones to erstwhile P&T Employees:
The issue of grant of rent free land line phones of BSNL is pending in the SCOVA also for a pretty long time. Several Courts have ruled against the discrimination shown towards one class of people against the other. The cut off date fixed by the DoT is most discriminatory as it disallows other erstwhile P&T employees from getting the benefit. All the erstwhile P&T employees irrespective of their period of service in the combined department of Posts and Telecommunications shall be granted the benefit of a rent-free land line phone by BSNL.
13. Allotment of vacant Postal Staff Quarters to Postal Pensioners:
Several Postal Staff Quarters are lying not only vacant but also getting corroded due to non-occupation for a long time. The Staff Quarters which are not occupied by the willing employees can be allotted to willing pensioners of Postal Department so that the buildings will be comparatively maintained by occupation besides some rent is collected by the Department also. The vacant postal staff quarters may be granted to Postal Pensioners on nominal rent.
14. Extension of benefit of delinking 33 years for full pension to Compulsory Retirement:
14. Extension of benefit of delinking 33 years for full pension to Compulsory Retirement:
Government had accepted the Apex Court direction and issued orders for removing the condition of 33 years qualifying service for grant of full pension to Pre-2006 retirees. Subsequent to issue of this order, by way of clarificatory orders the Departmet of Expenditure had excluded the compulsory retired pensioners from getting this benefit. The compulsory retired were already punished with forfeiture of their future services to earn more and to get more pensions. The preclusion of compulsorily retired pensioners from getting even the minimum pension guaranteed by the orders of Government acts harshly on them as a second punishment. It is requested that a reconsideration is necessary to grant minimum pension by delinking the condition of 33 years of qualifying service to compulsorily retired employees also w.e.f 01-01-2006.
District / Divisional Secretary AIPRPA