An Appeal to GS AIBSNLPWA
Com SSG of Kovai sent me the pdf copy of the issue of Pensioners Patrika March- April 2023.
I have carefully gone thro the ‘GS Writes ‘ column in that issue. I should wish him and congratulate him as I am reading this as his first write up. He might have written earlier also, but this one is the first write up coming to my notice..
In that GS com Varaprasad writes the following and questioning the relevance or necessity of Non- Executive Scales.
“ We are unable to understand the need for seeking the pay scale after delinking pension revision with pay revision . Pay scales become relevant only in the context of pay revision. So linking pension revision with pay scales is nothing but a ‘cloak and mask’ method to link pension revision with pay revision”
Further GS reiterated the demand of fitment on the basis of 7 th CPC viz. 14.55 % and preferred an appeal to other associations to drop their demand of fitment as per 3rd PRC viz. 15 %. Nothing wrong to prefer an appeal for the unity of the good cause of the welfare of the BSNL absorbed pensioners.
I am unable to understand how the GS is telling about the non relevance of Pay scales for deciding pension revision and so I place my understanding regarding the issue and an appeal.
When DOT spelt the pension revision in the absence pay revision, there itself DOT presented (on Oct 17th meeting ) its methodology of revising pension to pre and post 2017 pensioners by taking 3rd PRC scales.
If pay scales are needed, then the question for Non Executive pay scales was raised and DOT clarified that the same would be obtained from BSNL. Officially it is not yet coming to light whether DOT obtained the same or not , without any joint recommendations of both the unions and the BSNL management.
Why DOT is in need of pay scales even though no pay revision is contemplated? Unless we deconstruct and bring sense to this question by getting the proper answer, it is difficult to understand the issue of pension revision in the absence of pay revision.
Basically all along for CG pensioners, their pension revision is linked with the pay revision of CG Employees on the basis of CPC with relevant terms of reference for both pay and pension revision. In the case of 7th CPC also the same pattern was followed- pay revision and pension revision and option is also given in the 12-5 2017 order regarding utility of pay matrix to the pre 2016 pensioners that is the pay matrix of post 2016 - the employees.
In our case during 2nd PRC there was no issue, though delayed our pension revision was done linking with pay revision and so the Pay scales of 2nd PRC.
Now DOT is actively considering the issue of pension revision in the absence of pay revision (also in the absence any guidelines for pension revision or any recommendations of either CPC or PRC). But DOT understood the issue of anomaly, a specific query from DOPPW in the case of absence of any pay revision, and came out with a solution and presented the same to all the associations.
The zero percent fitment was opposed by all in the 17th oct meeting and it seemed no ill feelings there on the proposed methodology taking the scales of 3rd PRC.
The main question we need to understand is the date of effect - it should be from 1-1-2017 for both pre 2017 pensioners and post 2017.
Pension revision is possible for pre 2017 pensioners on that 1-1-2017 but all the post 2017 pensioners were employees only on that date. If that is the case, how the anomaly created by pension revision of pre 2017 pensioners in the absence of pay revision can be solved for the post 2017?
This complex question was addressed by DOT and they arrived at a solution - the anomaly can be solved for post 2017 pensioners by changing their existing 2nd PRC PAY in the second PRC scales into PAY in the 3rd PRC scales on 1-1-2017 by notional pay fixation with subsequent increments etc. DOT is willing to do these things without pay revision and it suits to DOT.
This (virtual) notional PAY change in 3rd PRC scales with subsequent benefits will travel parallelly till the last pay drawn in the second PRC pay- till that post 2017 employee retires as pensioner. His Pension will be fixed on the basis of that (virtual) notional pay of 3rd PRC instead of the last pay drawn of second prc, and PPO will be written accordingly. As there is no pay revision, BSNL is not going to bear any burden for this notional new pay from 1-1-2017.
For post 2017 pension if any pension already fixed as per Pay of 2nd PRC, then that would be changed as per 3rd PRC PAY and scales. DOT should issue appropriate order for pension revision and guidelines for this to the BSNL also, and if an amendment in 37 A is needed for this, the same should be issued by DOPPw.
The above is my understanding and so only , in today’s context and situation the demand of 7th CPC fitment or 7th CPC scales are not possible. If at all any solution to the issue of pension revision can be, that can be only on the basis of 3 rd PRC scales and fitment. The pre 2017 ‘pension revision’ fate is greatly linked with post 2017 and their change is possible only with the change of PAY only.
There can be a day in which no post absorbed pensioner will be available, then in that context things and perception may change. Till that date the interconnectivity of all 37 A absorbed pensioners may haunt us all.
Kindly take heed of my humble understanding and put an end to the controversial demand of 7th CPC fitment and 7 th CPC scales in today’s context to build broader unity with all the associations to improve the track of negotiations already gone.
18 hrs 3-3-2023 - R. Pattabiraman