Thursday, July 19, 2012

NATIONAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE ON MACP-PROPOSAL SENT TO LEADER STAFF SIDE

To


Sri Raghavaiah,

Leader Staff side ,National JCM



Sir,



Sub:- National Anomaly committee on MACP Anomalies-Ensuing meeting on 27-07-2012.



We submit the additional information on the notified anomaly for the meeting,as per your directions on 02-07-2012 at FNPO office New Delhi



The Postal Assistant constitutes the core of the Postal Administration. He executes the policies. He deals with the public not only at the counters but also at other branches, he is regarded as the symbol of 'Service Before Self!'



A committee appointed in the1940's headed by Sir Gurunath Bewoor while making his report on Time Test observed



"It is necessary to point out here the peculiar conditions of work in other offices. In an ordinary administrative office if the staff cannot finish the day's work, the unfinished work is left over for the next day……… in the post offices, the accumulation of arrears is not possible. Day's mail must be delivered the same day and despatched on the same day. The accounts and abstracts must be adjusted the same day and returns to the audit office must be sent on due dates.The staff of post offices cannot leave office unless all this work is completed. If the staff is inadequate it might work beyond the fixed hours of duty and late in the night to finish the work."



After considering the Bewoor observations, the P&T Department sanctioned relief exclusively for the Postal staff in 1946 vide letter No. A17-8/46 dated 04-08-46 which reads as follows:-



"Taking into consideration also the nature and conditions of work of the P&T employees, as special measure of relief for them, Government decided to increase the "Good Conduct Pay" and the quantum of this special pay was also enhanced subsequently."





Thus, it is very clear that the Postal Clerks were hard workers and better when compared to other employees in the Government of India and granted with special pay considering their hard work and responsibilities.





But the Retrenchment Committee headed by Sir Gowasjee Jehangir suggested a combination of graded pay and thus introduced the time scale system for clerical cadres. This was the initiation that led to the reduction of the status of the Postal Assistant as they were equated with other clerks in the Government service.





From the Bewoor observations it is clear that the pay of Postal Assistants should be considered separately from other Government departments.



The 1st Pay Commission has pointed out in its report, "that the work of the post office clerk which involves split duty, contact with the public and heavy financial responsibilities is of a more onerous character. The post offices clerks should be equated on a pay with the Civil Accounts and currency office clerks who perform more or less identical and similar duties."



The Postal Assistants are performing more volume of work as compared to the other Government Administrative Offices. The comparative figures between other Central Government Administrative Offices and post offices will prove that both should not be equated with the volume of work done qualitatively and quantitatively.





Operative staff in Post office Other Central govt Administrative

Holidays effective 18 18

Casual leaves & RH 10 10

Saturday 0 52

Sundays 52 52

Total in a year 80

132


Working days in a year 285 233

Working hours for Postal Assistant 285x8 = 2280 233 x 8.5 = 1980.5





From the above table it is clear that the excess man hours for a Postal Assistant is approximately 300 hrs, but no compensation is made by the pay commissions





The Fourth Central Pay Commission in its report observed in chapter 10 para 10.56 that the postal services and personnel management may be reviewed by a committee to be specially set up for the purpose so that it may be possible to achieve postal excellence and give satisfaction to those employed in the vast infrastructure of the department.



Government has set up an 'Expert Committee on Excellence in Postal Services in 1987. The committee in its report (December 1988) " Quest for Postal Excellence", observed the following main points that are to be mentioned

 almost 86% of the population is quite satisfied regarding timely opening of post offices.(5-1 Appendix IV).

 92% of the sample population being quite positively oriented as far as honesty of postal employees is concerned. Educational institutions and banks are more satisfied with honesty of employees than other Government institutions.(Appendix IV . 6 (a)

 it observed that "Postal employees are seen to be quite sincere in their work by the general public. Only 12% of the sample population has any serious doubts about sincerity of postal employees. (Appendix IV. 6 (b))





The said committee in its 'quest for Postal Excellence observed that' the postal service suffers from:-

 Failure to attune itself to the changing needs of the various segments of postal users;

 Failure to increase the productivity of postal employees in the context of increasing an power costs and availability of new technology

 Insensitivity to the low morale of the postal employees who do routine manual jobs which offer no chance for up-gradation of their skill and self development.(Chapter VI para 6.2)



Based on the recommendations of this committee, the department has launched for extensive modernization of activities like counter operations, mail, MIS SB, PLI, electronic transfer of Money Orders and for various business activities including money transfer service, simultaneously there was staff cut, but nothing was done by the department to boost the morale of the employees working it



Department of Posts in its memorandum to 5th Pay Commission has requested to consider higher pay to Postal Assistant at par with Bank and Insurance Organisations. It also recommend to grant pay scale at least at par with the employees of Postal Accounts Organisation. A few main excerpts of department are furnished to explain the poor plight of the employees working in the department .



"Both in terms of number of the personnel employed and cost, in reference to total establishment of the Central Government, the department has exercised strict economy in use of the manpower by optimizing human resources. During this period the staff has offered higher productivity, but for which it would not have been possible to handle higher work load with decreasing manpower base. At the same time, during this period there has been ban on sanction of additional posts, justified or in the basis of approved norms.



Introduction of technology for modernization of postal services has been taken place without offering any economic package to its employees, as has been done in the case of banking and insurance industries.



For computerization of banks, the employees were offered pension, wage rise and cash incentives. The staff side while accepting the need for modernization of the services to maintain its edge in the communication market have been demanding share of the fruits of technology induction for upgrading services. There is a force in the demand made by the staff side and the department submits to the commission for favour of sympathetic consideration of this demand."



"That apart, introduction of modern technologies and consequent all round up gradation of skills of the postal employees calls for re-categorization of the postal operative and supervisory cadres which were hitherto being treated as clerical cadres. Having regard to the nature of their functions, the postal employees in the front offices should be equated with EDP personnel in the Central Government and the back room operators with the employees of the banks / insurance companies or the employees of Postal Accounts Organization." (Para 3.6 of the report)





Thus the 5th Pay Commission had considered the status of the Postal Assistants on par with UDC and provided with starting pay scale of Rs.4000-100-6000. But the supervisory cadres were, treated on par with other supervisory cadres of other central government departments which led to





As on date a Postal Assistant in a Post Office apart from its traditional duties of transmission and delivery of articles, does the work of



 A 'Bank' involving huge monetary responsibility in the Postal Savings Bank, deals in savings certificates, time deposits, senior citizen schemes, public provident fund, monthly income scheme etc.

 A 'Insurance Department' as the department runs the PLI / RPLI

 'Pension Payment' work of other departments as well like Railway, Telecom, EPF etc.;

 Treasurer, Accountant, Counter clerk, Correspondence clerk, Auditor, Despatcher, Accounts clerk, Business excutive, Systems Administrator

 As Office Assistant attending to various duties of administration like Maintenance of the personal files of entire staff, grant of leave, issue of leave orders, leave vacancy arrangements, maintenance of gradation lists, appointment and confirmation of staff, arrangement for holding departmental examination, recruitment, matter relating to GDS, collection of pension papers, transfers, reservation roasters, various advances, proposals for opening and upgrading of offices, relocation of post offices augmentation of staff, review of establishment, MMS units maintenance, Budgetary allocations and maintenance, public complaints, investigation of frauds etc.



Clerical strength of Divisional office is evolved on the basis of SIU standard of 1986 but as on date after decentralizations of works many categories of work are being done which are left out of the said standards like, recruitments, PLI/RPLI, investigations in fraud cases etc.



Besides the above duties the department under Direct Post scheme is entering into MOU with various Billers like UTI, Oriental Insurance Scheme, TVS, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank, BSNL, for increasing revenues and this is putting enormous pressure on a Postal Assistant.



The Postal Assistant is made to work under unhygienic conditions. Post office buildings are mostly dilapidated conditions, suffer from inadequacy of space, no toilets and proper water supply.





The present 6th Pay Commission made efforts to reduce the number of scales. This was considered necessary for de-layering the Government with a view to hasten decision making and improving the existing delivery mechanisms for benefit of the citizens.



Doing so in reducing the number of scales it has inadvertently harmed the employee whose efforts or turn over of work was recognized by various Pay commission for example to this is the Postal Assistant Scale of 4000-100-6000 by the 5th Pay Commission & Bewoor’s Good conduct Pay.



This merging of scales has made the employees working in the scale of Rs.4000-100-6000 very much disappointed and this may lead to consequences like shirking of work and erosion in better services to the citizens.



Various Pay commissions and individual committees have well agreed to the fact that Postal Assistants are handling multifarious functions and the 5th Pay commission has rewarded this cadre with a separate scale of pay of Rs.4000-100-6000. But this advantage was deprived in the 6th Pay commission due to merging of scales



Sl.No 5th Pay Commission Scale Corresponding 6th Pay commission scales

1 2750-70-3800-75-4400 Rs.4860-20200 with various grade pay of

Rs.1800,1900, 2000,2400, 2800

2 3050-75-3950-80-4590

3 3200-85-4900

4 4000-100-6000

5 4500-125-7000





This merging has caused advantage to the employees in the scale at Sl.No.1,2.3(Gr-D and Postman cadre employees) and huge loss to the employees in the scale of Rs.4000-100-6000, Rs.4500-125-7000, which were now being occupied not only by Postal Employees but also by Postman and Gr-D employees which is nothing but downgrading the status of the Postal Assistant



The 6th Pay commission in para 7.6.21 has mentioned that the Postal Assistants are handling multifarious functions and this speaks of itself. Before to the introduction of 6th Pay commission , the department has not introduced the Assured Career Progression (ACP) to the staff (except to the IPO cadre) nor taken steps to reduce the promotion period for TBOP(16y years) and BCR(26 years) . This has caused large variation in the pay being received by a postal employee to that of any other other Central Government department who have joined on the same date.



6th Pay commission in para 7.6.21 has mentioned that “Postal Assistants assigned the jobs of System Administrators & Marketing Executives have demanded creation of a new cadre with higher pay scales. Creation of a new cadre in their case is not functionally justified. The Commission, in any case, is not looking into demands relating to individual cadre reviews. Status-quo may, therefore, need to be maintained especially because the existing scenario allows usage of available manpower for need based multifarious functions”.



One has to agree with the contention of the Pay commission and hope department will take suitable steps in this case.





Employee of this department is not even offered a post card free of cost whereas in Railways and other departments, their departmental service is provided to them either freely or on subsidy basis. XLRI Jamshedpur report clearly supports the above argument, it has in its report submitted to the 6th CPC clarifies that there is no separate costing of compensation for the postal employees. The employees are in receipt of function specific allowances and they are very similar to the general category of government employees with respect to pay.

This XLRI report has clearly mentioned that the employees were not satisfied with the pay and benefits. The report also clearly mentions the dissent for promotional avenues in the department.

6th CPC in its repot in page no 39 has clearly mentioned that the grade pay reflects the status of the cadre. A copy of the extract is as follows.



Grade pay will determine the status of a post with (apart from the two apex scales of Secretary/equivalent and Cabinet Secretary/equivalent that do not carry any grade pay) a senior post being given higher grade pay. Grade pay being progressively higher for successive higher posts, the employees on promotion will get monetary benefit on promotion in the form of the increased grade pay apart from the benefit of one additional increment.



From the above facts it is clear that the Postal Employee works for more than 300 hours when compared to other Central Government Departments but no separate pay, he does the nature of work of a clerk in a Bank, Insurance, Accounts, Audit, Office Assistants etc., he is not provided any separate costing of compensation for his work.





Presently the starting scale officered for Postal Assistant is in the Pay Band 1 with Scale of. Rs.4860-20200 and grade pay is Rs.2400/- where as the same scale is being attained by a Postman who has put in 10yrs of service and by a Gr-D of this department who has put in 30yrs of service. Thus it can be seen that there is clear erosion of status of a Postal Assistant in the 6th Pay Commission when compared to status given by the 5th Pay Commission.



Hence we demand the starting scale of a Postal Assistant to start in the Pay Band 2 with scale of Rs. 8700-34800 and Grade Pay of Rs.4200/-



Further a Postman continuing in the same cadre for thirty years will be placed in the Grade Pay of Rs 4200/-,but if he is promoted to the cadre of Postal assistant by the examination in the 50% quota will end in the Grade pay of Rs 2800/- This is because the erstwhile scales of Postmen and group D were merged in the VI CPC and the scale of Postmen is upgraded. This is due to the merger of Rs 2750/- Rs 3050/- Rs 3200/-. There is no additional advantage for the Postmen who passed the competitive examination and placed in the Grade Pay of Rs 2400/- and thereafter restricted to Rs 2800/- taking the promotion as Postal Asst as one promotion. The CAT jodhpur in its judgement dated 22-05-2012 pronounced that the promotion to the Postal Asst should not be counted as promotion and the official should get three promotions in the PA cadre after the promotion in to the cadre. Hence it is a serious anomaly to be considered by the National anomaly committee.



(D.Kishan Rao)

General Secretary,National union of postal employees Group C