Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Seeking the Kind attention of BSNL Pensioners

 

Seeking the Kind attention of BSNL Pensioners

I am happy like all other pensioners seeing the joint initiative of 9 pensioners' Associations  giving common Memo to Secretary DOT on 14th Sep 2022. The leaders are having very good experiences both in BSNL and MTNL when they led the Trade Unions of Executives. Some NE leaders’ brains are also shaping the memo.

My appreciation is always there for their genuine efforts in unison. I have no doubt about their sincerity. They are having every right to pursue the demand as per their wisdom having the backing of their respective associations.

The salient points in the Joint memo are listed below.

1. Thanking Secy for his efforts for sending the pension revision issue to DOPPW

2. Rejecting the DOT's proposal for zero % fitment which is not supported by any rule. No such precedence.

3. Entitled to get pension at par with C G pensioners

4. Reiterate the demand of 7th CPC fitment multiplication factor 2.515

5. Constitute a committee under the chairmanship of Member services involving all the wings of DOT responsible for Pension Revision. Hold discussion with us. Finalize it  in one or  two meetings and complete the entire process within a month

6. It is DOT to decide about pension and fitment issues and to prepare cabinet memo.

I am no one to comment upon the diplomacy that one cares when weaving a letter. These leaders are having vast experiences with the bureaucracy in their TU life. I think that TU life is different from the Pensioners’ Association life.

My prime difficulty is my understanding about the crux of the issue that is in the main demand. The demand is 7th CPC fitment 2.515 multiplication factor. The joint letter is silent about the problem of post 2017 pensioners. If the same factor is settled for them also - that is for all the  employees ( as on 1-1-2017) also then no problem.  Both pre 2017 and post 2017 BSNL concerned will be happy if that is settled uniformly from the date of 1-1-2017.

But the focus here in that letter is limited only to Pension revision for those retired on or before 31-12-2016 that is with pre 2017 pensioners. If there is no one apart from them, then there is no issue. But many were born as pensioners since Jan 2017 including the bulk born VRS pensioners and they may born till 31-12-2026 ( for the period of 3rd PRC)

What are the hurdles in settling the case as demanded by this joint letter? This question should be mooted and we all should break our head on that.

If that demand is settled for pre 2017 pensioners only, then there will be two track of pensioners one that is pre 2017 getting 7th cpc fitment from 1—1-2017 with pension revision and others that is post 2017 in the existing 2nd PRC as it is.  This is against the set principle  and spirit of Dec 17 the pensioners day.

OK. Leaders may suggest settling the same formula to those retiring after Jan 2017 that is for post 2017 pensioners also. Then the question is from which date for them- Whether it is from 1-1-2017 as pay enhancement notionally or from the date of their retirement pension enhancement.

If the 2.515 factor is from the date of retirement for the post 2017 pensioners- it amounts to two things. One is we reject any pay revision for them from 1-1-2017. The other thing is we demand pension enhancement to each of the post 2017 pensioners on a different date. In this case the magical 1-1-2017 date becomes a nonentity to them.  No administration to my limited knowledge willingly enters into this kind of web or entanglement.

Take the first one. That is enhancing pay with 7th CPC fitment of that post 2017 from the date of 1-1-2017. Here by this method we are creating two tracks of employees’ one track getting 7th CPC fitment and retiring with that enhanced pay benefit and thereby pension benefit. The other DR Employees of BSNL without 3rd PRC benefit and rotting in the same 2nd PRC . This sort of discrimination amongst the BSNL employees on a particular date 1-1-2017 may cause lot of irritants. No sensible management will invite this headache and act on the basis of discrimination.

I have narrated some of the hurdles that are troubling me on seeing the demand of 7th CPC fitment. According to my understanding that this demand is not suitable in today’s context as different types of stakeholders are involved in this process.

One is pre 2017 pensioners expecting pension revision from 1-1-2017,

 Second are post 2017 pensioners expecting the already fixed pension on their date of retirement to be enhanced on account of pay revision from 1-1-2017,

Third one is employees on roll on 1-1-2017 expecting 3rd PRC benefit from 1-1-2017 and still working and eligible for 37 A pensions

And the 4th one is DR employees on roll on 1-1-2017 expecting 3rd PRC benefits from 1-1-2017.

In all these 4 cases all are expecting their benefits only from 1-1-2017. On this date pension revision is possible for pre 2017 pensioners and for the other 3 cases they can get their benefits without discrimination only thro pay revision as per 3rd PRC.

Pay and pension revision simultaneously is the best way in today’s context. If all the  unions and associations jointly put their heads together in understanding the many-sidedness of the issue and focus  then DOT and GoVt  may yield for exemption to BSNL for 3rd PRC.

This is not to hurt the feelings of any one only to add my views on that letter.

14-9-2022   11 AM

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