Reading the letter and minutes of DOT and BSNL on Pension and Pay revision
DOT's letter to all Associations dated 17th Nov 2022
Three important points were clarified by the above letter.
1. 7th CPC recommendations are applicable to only to CGE who are getting pay/ pension on CDA pattern. As per 37(5) of CCS pension rules the absorbed employees ceased to be Govt servants.
I could not understand some leaders again and again claiming Govt employees status even after absorbtion , Citing SC judgement of 1995 saying that the above provision is invalid or null and void even after it is placed very much part of 2021 rules. If the leaders have very strong points on that they can very much contest for their position against DOPPW in the Supreme court for issuing 37 A of 2000 and 37A and 37B of 2012 and the present 37 of 2021 CCS rules with that provision.
2. On delinking, it is clarified that at present the proposal is to revise the pension by merging Basic plus IDA as on 1-1-2017 without any fitment factor for pensioners as well as future retirees, who are working at present. However, as and when pay revision as per 3rd PRC takes place in BSNL/MTNL the same fitment factor which is extended to serving employees will be given to pensioners.
Here DOT is for and ready to take Executive scales for pension revision but without any fitment and the same is postponed and linked to wage revision of the BSNL/MTNL if any in the future. That is fitment factor for pension revision means linking with pay revision of BSNL/MTNL. One good point here is they have mentioned no denial of pay revision as these PSUs are loss making and not within the affordability clause.
The question to DOT here is for wage revision of executives . This means who is going to be notify the same? Certainly not by these PSUs. Then why this postponing of fitment factor linking that to Pay revision. Why partial wage revision for Executives without fitment but taking 3rd PRC scales , taking IDA merger points on 1-1-2017 and date effect 1-1-2017 ( may be notional) for the future retirees that is the employees on 1-1-2017. Unless DOT clears this point with some fitment factor whether 5 % or 10 % or 15 %, the Psus BSNL/MTNL cannot address the call of fitment to their employees.
3. As majority of Combined service pensioners are Non Executives and DPE decides pay scales of Executives only, BSNL/MTNL have been requested to provide the pay scales of Non- Executives, if decision has been taken, so that total financial implications can be computed before sending the proposal to DOE.
Here for Pension revision, DOT is in need of Non- Executive pay scales which are possible only when the recognised unions have some agreement (recommendations) with the BSNL/MTNL. DOT is in the mood to send its computed financial implication for both Executives and Non executives taking only merger and no fitment factor. This is the Laxman Rekha for these PSUs. DOT is revealing here that in its computation sheet for Executives, it is not going to take any fitment factor and so this may compel the PSus to stand within the range of the administrative ministry.
If DOT is fair enough taking the financial positions of both PSUs, for pension revision, it should come out openly with the proposal of minimum 5 % at least. If DOT is for 5 % then PSUs will fall on that line without hesitation, though they may feel financial burden. It cannot be vice versa, that is BSNL decides some fitment and DOT following suit.
BSNL minutes dated 29-11-2022 for the meeting held on 28-11-2022
Two main issues dealt in that letter regarding the connectivity of Employees and pensioners
1. Pay scales
BSNL has given its revised pay scales after detailed discussion to staff side for seeking their comments regarding stagnation, anomaly etc so that new pay scales can be finalised by Joint Committee of wage negotiation in next meeting.
Unions are addressing the issue of Pay scales, especially about the issue of stagnation taking some experts into their confidence and by Dec 2nd they may be ready to put forth their views on the given pay scales. The real issue is stagnation and Pension contribution on the end stage of each scale. A balance has to be arrived at in these two issues. One should not be at the cost of the other.
My common sense is telling that the multiplication factor of the old end to new end may be not less than 2.75 in all scales and in some cases 2.9 etc ( in the case of Executives it is going above 3.25 in many scales) to avoid stagnation. Let experts opine on this issue.
Unfortunately this responsibility is only on the shoulders of NON- Executives, the lower staff. In the case of Executives this link of stagnation and the issue of pension contribution is absent.
So in such an artistic way, NOn Executive unions should resolve this issue taking care of employees and taking care of BSNL burden of Contribution. Let us wish success to them.
staff side demanded for minimum 5 % or at par with the fitment to be given to the executives on pay revision, whichever is higher...Since BSNL is in losses 5 % cannot be given. However DPE guidelines are silent about 0 % fitments.
Both of their positions are fairly reflected in the minutes as per my readings. Staff side is very fair in demanding 5 %. Management is fair in quoting affordability clause as well as there is no such 0 % in the 3rd PRC.
If affordability clause is the issue, then it should be an issue for merger and pay scales also. BSNL should not enter with any partial pay revision without fitment factor. If BSNL speaks about date of actual effect, then one can understand it honestly. It seems that BSNL expects DOT's green signal for 5 % fitment. If DOT reveals its mind of 5 % for Executives, then BSNL hands would be free to decide the same to Non Executives also.
DOT and BSNL both are having joint responsibility in deciding fitment factor. It seems, now they are together to travel with merger and no fitment factor.DOT should be little more honest in the case of Pension revision to pensioners with atleast 5 % and BSNL should honestly accept 5 % fitment , though some financial burden, to motivate its employees.
Now the task is before the Non Executive Unions. All burden is now in their shoulders. Unless they agree for pay scales, DOT cannot move for Pension revision. Unless the issue of stagnation is fairly solved, Unions may feel difficult to agree any pay scales. Secondly, on fitment issue it is the difficulty they are facing to bring the BSNL to accept 5 % fitment. Let us hope BSNL will also understand the ticklish situation and save its thousands of employees and their future.
I wish the Unions every success.
12 hrs 30-11-2022 - R. Pattabiraman
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