Sunday, July 31, 2022

A piece for BSNL Employees and Absorbed Retirees

 

A piece for BSNL Employees and Absorbed Retirees

 

As Employees you are all expecting wage revision, due from Jan 2017. As pensioners we are all expecting pension revision from the same Jan 2017. In this material world, the expectations and desires of both of us are not unfair.

 

Trade Unions and Pensioners Associations are trying their level best to settle the issue. Even the TUs have gone to the extent of telling the masters that Pension revision may be done delinking wage revision, may be spiritually correct but materially difficult.

 

The Administrative Masters from DOT and DPE (now from MOF ) are showing the guidelines issued for 3 PRC implementation. Those PSUs having profit started implementing the wage revision in the last 5 years. BSNL is not able to implement because of its loss making financial position.

 

In this scenario all unions and associations changed their approach in getting pension revision as it is being paid by GOI thro DOT Demands for Grants. The new approach is delinking. The main advocacy  is that BSNL  not at all concerned with the Pension Expenditure issue and DOT is the responsible apparatus.

 

Though they are all in unity demanding delinking, but started differing on the question of method whether 7th CPC or 3rd PRC. Those advocating 7th CPC fitment ( not from Jan 2016 ) are convincing the stakeholders noting the special privilege of absorbed employees retiring from BSNL, getting pension from GOI vide the special provision made in the Pension Rules at the time of formation of BSNL during 2000 viz 37A after great struggles led by a legendary leader O P Gupta and others.

 

CPC seekers are demanding the eligibility of 7th CPC recommendations and the same to be extended to BSNL absorbed pensioners , as they are doing in the case of Gratuity calculations, minimum and maximum ceilings on pension.

The other pensioners and TUs are following the same old PRC pattern and demanding 3 PRC eligibility, of course with delinking.

All are unanimous on the date of implementation that is from 1-1-2017 whether CPC or PRC. 

 

CPC changers are proposing new demands deviating from the path followed since 2000. One is changing to CPC instead of PRC which will help the BSNL pensioners to join the mainstream of Central Govt Pensioners. The other deviation is, they want the date of implementation not as per CPC date 2016 but from PRC date Jan 2017.

 

The ‘No changers ‘ of PRC have no such deviation, they want the same PRC implementation from the said PRC date 2017 but with delinking.

 

In all these demands, the unfortunate section that are left in lurch is those becoming BSNL absorbed pensioners  that is post 2017 pensioners by the same special provision 37A. If delinking is accepted, this section more than a lakh pensioners are going to be affected and confusion is created by all in their demand comparing the demand of pre 2017 pensioners.

 

For post 2017 pensioners, the demand is not from 1-1-2017 as they are not eligible pensioners on that date but employees on that date, subsequently becoming pensioners. How can there be a different date for them barring 1-1-2017, most of the activists missing this question.

 

If pay revision is not settled then the employees as on 1-1-2017 have to travel in 2nd PRC IDA pattern and Pension Revision is settled accepting delinking then these pensioners  have to travel in 3rd PRC IDA pattern after 1-1-2017. Again a sort of confusion amongst 37A absorbed folk entered in the BSNL on 2000.

Already 5 years over in the given period of 3 PRC. Only 5 more years we have in 3rd PRC period. 2027- 2036 will become 4 th PRC period.

 

Can we as employees go to 4th PRC and Its IDA without entering into 3 PRC and it’s IDA? This is a crucial question need to be taken seriously in this rest of 5 years. Make yourself fit into 3rd PRC becoming an urgent issue, as BSNL is expected to head into profit mode during 4th PRC period of eligibility.

 

Delinking means we are delinking our entire folk together entered from DOT to BSNL on 1-1-2000 thro the same special provision namely the magical 37 A after the great effort of the far thinking great leader Gupta. In the name of  delinking pay revision and pension revision from 1-1-2017, we are actually delinking pre 2017 pensioners from the post 2017 pensioners . This is most unfair and making our Dec 17 celebrations meaningless, creating a wedge in the folk of 37 A pensioners as a class.

 

Delinking means nobody want any pay revision, only pension revision, which is illogical regarding the employees of BSNL on 1-1-2017.

 

If delinking is accepted then pre 2017 may get the benefits, if at all anything from 1-1-2017 but post 2017 would miss that 1-1-2017 date. This is unfair.

 

 Then what is the solution in the given situation and context, though not a novel idea I just place my understanding.

There are 3 categories as on date. One is pre 2016 absorbed pensioners, the second is post 2017 pensioners but employees on 1-1-2017, the third one is BSNL direct recruited employees not connected with 37 A. For all these categories the magical date of benefit should fall on 1-1-2017. What to do for this. The  hitherto existing option is the way out in today’s context.  What is that option  ‘pay revision and thereby pension revision.’

 

 Nothing novel in it but that is the way out. Once we grip this as our focus, our energy will be channelised without any wastage.

The hurdle is DOT which one is yet to address the issue of making BSNL eligibility of 3 rd PRC, seeking exemption in the DPE guidelines. This is the dire need of the present situation.

Once the BSNL proposal for Executives is addressed ( whatever to enter into 3rd PRC and it’s IDA pattern) by DOT and sought approval is obtained by the efforts of DOT with the cabinet, then there will be solution to both Non Executives and pre 2016 pensioners.

 

In order get pension revision for pensioners,we have address the issue of Executive’s wage revision first and foremost. That is the way out. Pressing DOT ‘do pension revision for that do pay revision ‘ is the only best available option in the present context.

 

I hope wisdom will take all to this path, though late.

 

31-7 2022   - R Pattabiraman

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