Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bank Wage Revision : SBI employees' association threatens indefinite strike

Update on 28.11.09 : SBI Officers not happy with wage hike, may go to strike.

The State Bank of India (SBI) Staff Association has threatened to go on indefinite strike in mid-July after observing a two-day strike if the Centre failed to concede its just demands. This was stated by association chief secretary O N Bindroo after attending the Central Executive Committee meeting of the association here on Sunday. Talking to mediapersons here, he said that the bankmen would observe a day long strike on June 12 in support of their demands, including pay revision, job on compassionate ground and pension-related issues. The association is also opposing privatisation of bank and outsourcing. Bindroo said that PM Manhohan Singh had announced that recession had nothing to do with India. "The entire credit for this goes to the different banks operating in the country," he pointed out. He, however, lamented that despite all hard work by bankmen, they were denied their due. While maintaining that the employees of the Central government and public sector undertakings got 45 per cent wage revision, Bindroo said the Centre has offered only 15 per cent wage revision to the bankmen. Regarding job on compassionate ground, he said that the association had held talks with the Indian Bank Association (IBA) and it is the responsibility of IBA to implement it.

Source : The Times of India.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Haryana govt releases enhanced DA for pensioners

Haryana Government today decided to release Dearness Relief (DR) to its pensioners and family pensioners with effect from January 2009 thus benefitting them to the tune of Rs. 86.60 crore during the current financial year.

While stating this Monday, Haryana Finance Minister, Mr Birender Singh said that those getting revised pension and family pension would get enhanced DR at a rate of 22 per cent instead of existing 16 per cent.

Mr Birender Singh said that those getting pre-revised pension and family pension, the DR would be given at a rate of 10 per cent thus raising it from 54 per cent to 64 per cent.

Source : Punjab Newsline Network.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Special allowances extended for Central Govt Employees in Kashmir

The union government has extended the package of special concessions and facilities to employees of the central government and its PSUs working in the Kashmir Valley till the yearend. In a circular issued this week, the Defence Ministry says the allowances admissible to civilian employees till June last year have been extended after a review by the Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs of the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with the Department of Personnel and Training and the Ministry of Finance.

Among the slew of proposals, the employees posted to Kashmir Valley will continue to be entitled to additional HRA and messing facilities. Employees who have migrated from the Kashmir Valley would be accommodated to the extent possible in Delhi and its vicinity. The services of employees who were forced to migrate due to the disturbed conditions in the region were earlier regularized and his period of absence has also been largely restored.

View the Press Notification.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Annual Confidential Report is no more "secret".

Annual Confidential Report is now named as Annual Performance Assesment Report. As per the Supreme Court judgement, the Central Government has decided to make it communicated to the concerned employee. Earlier, as per prevailing practice, only adverse entries were to be communicated. Now the full APAR after the comments of Reporting and Reviewing Officers, it will be communicated to the employee concern and he will have the opportunity to make any representations to the entries. The representation to be given within 15 days of communication.

The new system will be effective from 01.04.2009, i.e. for the F.Y. 2008-09.

View the Office Memo.

Bank wage bipartite : United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) to launch agitation

United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is planning to launch an agitation in pursuit of their demand for wage settlement and other pending

issues including pension and compassionate appointment. S Nagarajan, deputy general secretary, All India Bank Officers' Association who addressed the D K district unit member here recently said this was inevitable given the failure of talks between UFBU and Indian Bank Association..

Giving a brief account of the outcome of the latest bipartite talks held between Indian Bank's Association (IBA) and the UFBU, Nagarajan said now that the talks had failed, members have to be ready for any agitation programmes to be launched by UFBU in pursuit of their above mentioned demands. He impressed upon the members that adamant attitude of the IBA and government had compelled the AIBOA to resort to path of agitation.

Under the circumstances there can be no gain without pain. Unions demand fair and reasonable settlement of salary and other issues at the earliest, he said. P R Karanth, general secretary, Karnataka Bank Employees’ Association and joint secretary of AIBEA urged the members to take active part in proposed strike on June 12 to make it a success. Ravindra Aithal, president, Karnataka Bank Officers' Organisation spoke.

B S Aggithaya, president, AIBOA, D K district unit presided over the meeting. K Raghava, general secretary, AIBOA, DK district unit welcomed the gathering.


Source : Times of India.

Govt okays pension for all in paramilitary forces

The Centre has accepted the long-standing demand of paramilitary forces to restore pension benefits to all jawans who have joined the ranks since 2004.

With this decision, at least 20,000 personnel serving in CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB would benefit.

"I am pleased to announce that the government has accepted our demand of restoring the old pension scheme. Now, everyone in the forces will get the pension," Director General of Border Security Force M L Kumawat said at a function here.

Government policies a few years back did not find those eligible who had joined the paramilitary forces after 2004 for pensionary benefits.

However, the three services of the Armed Forces were getting the benefits resulting in resentment in paramilitary forces.

The Sixth Pay Commission, however, endorsed such a pension scheme for the new recruits.

Directors General of CPOs also wrote to the government saying such a step would discourage the youth from joining the forces and lead to demoralisation.

Source : The Economic Times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Modified ACP scheme announced.

As discussed in the blog earlier, the Govt. has notified the modified ACP scheme for Central Govt. Employees as recommended by the sixth pay commission.

Highlights of the new scheme :-

  • There shall be three financial upgradations under MACPS counted from the direct entry grade on completion of 10, 20 and 30 years.
  • Financial upgradation under the scheme will be admissible whenever a person has spent 10 years continuously in the same grade pay.
  • The grade pay at the time of financial upgradation under MACPS can in certain cases where regular promotion is not between two successive grades, be different than what is available at the time of regular promotion. In such cases the higher grade pay attached to next promotion post in the hierarchy of the concerned cadre/organization will be given only at the time of regular promotion.
  • The financial upgradation under the MACPS would be admissible up to the highest grade pay of 12,000 in PB-4.
  • The pay shall be raised by 3% of the total pay in the pay band and the grade pay drawn before such upgradation. There shall be no further fixation at the time of regular promotion if it is the same grade pay as granted under MACPS.
The Order:-

"The Govt. has considered the recommendations of sixth central pay commission of introduction of a MACPS and has accepted the same with further modifications to grant three financial upgradations under the MACPS at intervals of 10, 20 and 30 years of continious regular service.

The scheme will be known as MODIFIED ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION SCHEME [MACPS] FOR THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES............"

..........READ THE FULL OFFICE MEMORANDUM.


BSNL STRIKE DEFERRED

After detailed discussions the following decisions have been arrived at:

1. Two months pay will be immediately paid as advance in addition to the 4 months pay advance already made.

2. New HRA will be paid immediately with effect from February 2009.

3. The wage negotiation will be expedited

4. 5 year periodicity for wage revision will be referred to DOT as required.

5. Pension orders issued as per VI CPC recommendations for BSNL retirees.. Management will make efforts to get the 50% IDA merger orders from DOT.

6. Contract Labour wage issue according to management is beyond scope of the BSNL. However we discussed the matter and asked the management to peruse the matter.


On the above basis, the United Forum has deferred the strike on 19th and 20th Strike.

It is only because of our strength, determination for struggle and support from all that the management has been compelled to agree as above.



Guwahati University staff threaten pay protest

Gauhati University is headed for turmoil with its teachers at loggerheads with the authorities over non-implementation of a “fat and attractive” pay package recommended by the University Grants Commission and the human resource development ministry.

While the teachers were planning a protracted agitation for non-implementation of the new payscale by Dispur from this week, the GU vice-chancellor’s office has maintained that it cannot put pressure on the state government for implementation of the payscale.

“The new payscale is basically meant for central universities. The state government can implement the same purely at its own discretion. After receiving a one-time grant of Rs 25 crore for the university’s development last year, the authorities are not willing to put further pressure on the state government. In case of implementation of the new payscale, the government will have to spend several crores of rupees from its exchequer,” an official told.

Not convinced, the Gauhati University Teachers’ Association (GUTA) has convened a general body meeting on Wednesday to chalk out its course of agitation.

Jogen Chandra Kalita, the general secretary of GUTA, said it was high time the university teachers got a pay package on a par with central universities.

“The teachers of the university deserve a better pay package in line with what was announced by the UGC and HRD ministry in 2007. The academic qualifications of the teachers are the same as those working in central universities. We are doing the same amount of hard work like our counterparts in the central universities to impart education. Being the oldest and the mother university of the region, GU deserves the new payscales and the state government must implement the same. If something is not done immediately, the teachers will be forced to resort to a long agitation,” Kalita said.

The general secretary said that in 2006, a delegation of the association had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and pressed for declaration of GU as a central university.

“Singh gave full assurance to concede to our demand. We met chief minister Tarun Gogoi thrice with the same demand and the latter assured of the needful. Now we are not going to wait any more and have demanded vice-chancellor O.K. Medhi’s intervention to put pressure on the government on the issue,” he added.

The existing basic pay for a lecturer of the university is Rs 8,000, Rs 12,000 for a reader and Rs 16,000 for a professor. According to the new payscale, the basic salary will be Rs 16,000 for a lecturer, Rs 37,000 for a reader and Rs 39,000 for a professor.

When contacted, the vice-chancellor maintained that the new payscales were meant for central universities and the state government would have to use its discretion while implementing them.

Source : The Telegraph.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lok Sabha Election 2009 : National tally – party-wise

Sl. No.

Party Name

Winners

Bahujan Samaj Party

21

Bharatiya Janata Party

116

Communist Party of India

4

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

16

Indian National Congress

206

Nationalist Congress Party

9

Rashtriya Janata Dal

4

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

9

All India Forward Bloc

2

All India Trinamool Congress

19

Asom Gana Parishad

1

Assam United Democratic Front

1

Biju Janata Dal

14

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

18

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference

3

Janata Dal (Secular)

3

Janata Dal (United)

20

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha

2

Kerala Congress (M)

1

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

1

Muslim League Kerala State Committee

2

Nagaland Peoples Front

1

Revolutionary Socialist Party

2

Samajwadi Party

23

Shiromani Akali Dal

4

Shivsena

11

Sikkim Democratic Front

1

Telangana Rashtra Samithi

2

Telugu Desam

6

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen

1

Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi

1

Bodaland Peoples Front

1

Haryana Janhit Congress (BL)

1

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)

1

Rashtriya Lok Dal

5

Swabhimani Paksha

1

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi

1

Independent

9

Total

543

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bank staff to strike on June 12

The talks between the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) over the issue of wage revision for the bank employees, held in Mumbai on Monday, remained inconclusive again over the quantum of hike acceptable to both.

Protesting about the development, the bank unions have decided to go on a day-long nationwide strike on June 12 which would be followed by a two-day strike in July the dates for which were yet to be finalised, a source familiar with the developments.

The negotiating committee of the IBA,which is headed by the Union Bank of India CMD MV Nair, was present on behalf of the IBA during the meeting .

While the IBA has revised its offer of increasing the wages of the bank employees to 15% from its earlier existing offer of 13.09% as part of the ongoing nineth bipartite talks, the bank union leaders think that the IBA's offer was far below their expectation of 25% and hence rejected the offer. The 15% offer means it would put a burden to the extent of Rs 4,125 crore on the banking industry. However, the bank union leaders are adamant on their charter of demands that they have already submitted before the IBA.

The other offer from the IBA which was also outrightly rejected by the bank union leaders during the talk was the implementation of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) for the fresh bank employees who will be joining after nineth bipartite wage negotiation.

The union leaders' contention was that NPS is not a pension scheme at all. Rather, it is a mutual fund operated and market-oriented investment scheme, hence it can't be termed as a social pension scheme. Also, the bank union leaders are demanding the implementation of one more option for pension for those 2,70,000 bank employees that could not avail themselves of the offer when it was first offered by the banks during early nineties.

Not to mention that the bank unions have already agreed to share 25% of the cost in case the second option of pension was implemented.

The source added that the unions are satisfied with the way the mass recruitment has been undertaken by the public sector banks despite the ongoing economic slowdown in the country.

Recruitment of permanent staff in the banks was one of the prominent demands of the unions, which was accepted by the bank managements during the early stage of negotiations. As more as 30,000 fresh bank employees are under the process of joining the banks currently. However, unions are opposing the outsourcing of activities like cash remittance and currency chests.

Source : Yahoo Finance.

Bank staff may have to bear at least 25% of pension cost

Over 250,000 public sector bank employees may have to bear at least 25 per cent of the cost of the second pension option that will be given to them as part of the wage settlement which is being negotiated.

Sources involved with the exercise said that the public sector banks and the unions have agreed on a second pension option that is estimated to cost around Rs 6,000 crore, but the extent of burden that is to be shared is being negotiated.

While the banks are pushing for the employees to bear 50 per cent of the cost, the unions are insisting that only 25 per cent of the cost be passed onto them. The sharing formula is expected to be thrashed out over the next few weeks, along with the final wage settlement.

In addition, around 60,000 retired bank employees will also be covered by a section of the plan, which is estimated to cost around Rs 4,200 crore. Of this, nearly Rs 3,000 crore is to come by funds which were a part of the provident fund corpus.

So, the total burden on the state-run banks would range between Rs 4,200 crore and Rs 5,700 crore, depending on the outcome of the negotiations.

First pension option for bank staff since 1993
Over the last few quarters, banks have been providing for a higher pension and salary liability in the wake of the wage settlement negotiations that are underway. This will be the first time since 1993 that bank employees will get the option for pension scheme.

For new employees who join the public sector banks, there will be an option to join the New Pension Scheme (NPS) where they will make a contribution, to be matched by their employer.

Central Government employees, who joined on or after January 1, 2004, have to set aside 10 per cent of their basic salary as their contribution to the NPS and a matching contribution is made by the government.

The corpus is then transferred to three public sector fund managers – State Bank of India, UTI and Life Insurance Corporation – which are allowed to invest up to 15 per cent in equities. In the first year, the corpus earned a weighted average return of 14.8 per cent.

Numbers expected to rise over 5 yrs
Over the next five years, with over 70 per cent managerial staff scheduled to retire, banks have stepped up hiring and the numbers are only going to rise. For instance, the public sector banks hired nearly 33,000 employees during the first nine months of the last financial year, as against around 22,000 in 2007-08 and around 6,000 in 2005-06. The unions have, however, rejected the proposal for a cost-to-company or variable pay structure proposed by banks.

Source : Business Standard.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bihar college and University teachers are going to get revised pay soon.

College and university teachers of Bihar are likely to get the revised UGC pay package soon. According to indications available, the state
government is in the process of implementing the pay package revised with effect from January, 1996.

In a letter addressed to vice-chancellors of different universities of the state, HRD principal secretary Anjani Kumar Singh informed that the department was making an estimate of funds needed for implementation of the pay package in order to get the required share from the Central government. The VCs have also been directed to clear pending cases of promotion of teachers to the rank of readers (and senior lecturers) under different promotion and career advancement schemes so that correct estimates of expenditure may be made and teachers may not be put to financial loss.

The state universities have been directed to notify before the commencement of the next academic session the promotion of all such teachers who have been duly appointed on the recommendations of the Bihar State University (Constituent Colleges) Service Commission and whose appointments are not under investigation of any agency.

So far as the enhancement of the age of superannuation of teachers from 62 to 65 years on the recommendation of UGC is concerned, the state government has already given its nod. Appearing before the court in connection with the hearing of a writ petition filed by some university teachers, the HRD department is learnt to have said that the same would be implemented after the parliamentary elections are over.

Meanwhile, Patna University Teachers' Association general secretary Randhir Kumar Singh has sought information under provisions of RTI from PU with regard to the government letter for according promotion to teachers and the subsequent action taken by the university in the matter.
Source : Times of India.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Following Lt Cols, govt approves higher pay for Lt Gens - Will be placed into Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus scales.

Three days after implementing higher pay for Lt Cols, the government on Friday night approved of higher wages for lieutenant generals under the Sixth Pay Commission putting them at par with director generals of police, a key demand of the armed forces.

The defence ministry conveyed the government's decision to the Armed Forces headquarters in a letter which comes nearly seven months after the union cabinet approved the Sixth Pay Commission implementation in August last year, sources in the services' headquarters told PTI here.

Nearly 50 three-star officers, who are Lt Gens in the Army, Air Marshals in the IAF and Vice Admirals in the Navy, would benefit from the government move to place them in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus scales.

About 33 per cent of the total number of Lt Gen-rank officers would be receiving the new pay scales at par with the DGPs of state police and central paramilitary forces.

There are approximately about 150 Lt Gen-rank officers in the three services. Among them, the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders, who are chiefs of the Service's Commands, and vice chiefs of the respective forces are already in a special category of pay scales equivalent to secretaries in the civilian services. The HAG Plus scales would be for Lt Gens who are not Commanders or Vice Chiefs.

"The armed forces are extremely happy with the government's decision to accord the HAG Plus pay scales to Lt Gens. With this, the government has restored the three-star rank officers' their status. This will surely help in resolving the seniority issue in areas where officers from the armed forces and the civilian services work jointly," a senior armed forces officer said.

By accepting this demand, the government has resolved three of the four "core issues" raised by the armed forces with Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the government approved the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations last year.

Other issues already solved to the satisfaction of the Services included according Pay Band-4 scales to 15,000-odd Lieutenant Colonel-rank officers, who form the backbone of the armed forces' fighting units and restoring 70 per cent weightage in pensionary benefits for the over a million-strong jawans.

While the government has already notified the amended pay order in the case of Lt Cols, the notifications for the Lt Gens and the jawans are yet to come, sources said.

Source : India Today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good News for Tripura : Pay Hike Notified.

The Tripura Govt. today notified the pay hike for employees and pensioners. The enhancement will be effected with effect from 01.01.2006, but the arrear from 01.01.2006 to 31.03.2009 will be credited in GPF. Hence there is no scope for any cash payment now. The amount such credited may be withdrawn from April 2010. The employees will get their enhanced salary of April in coming month.

Those who have retired before 31st Dec 2008, will not be eligible for any arrear. Persons retired between 01.01.2009 and 30.04.2009 will get there arrear in cash.

Under the new ACP scheme, employees will get three financial upgradation after 10, 17 and 25 years of service. Annual increment will be 2.5%.

Notification of ROP 2009 for Tripura Govt. Employees.


Notification of Pension Rules 2009 for Tripura Govt. Pensioners.

One Rank-One Pension : Govt. sets up panel

With a large number of ex-servicemen vowing to vote for BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, the UPA government on Monday set up a high-level committee under Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to consider their 'One Rank-One Pension' (OROP) demand and reduce the gap in pensionary benefits of the 1.5-million-strong armed forces.

The Defence Ministry also set up another committee under Secretary (defence finance) Indu Liberhan to sort out anomalies in the implementation of orders relating to armed forces pensioners.

"The government has set up a high-level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to reduce the gap in pensionary benefits to jawans and officers, and bring it as close to 'one rank-one pension' as possible," a source said here.

The other members of the high-level committee would be the Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, Secretary Personnel Rahul Sarin, Secretary Expenditure Sushma Nath and Secretary Ex-Servicemen Welfare S M Acharya, sources said.

The ex-servicemen organisations have been pressing for the long-pending demand for OROP and they did so during the Sixth Pay Commission, too. However, the Defence Ministry has held to its view that it would be difficult for it to accept this demand.

Source : The Hindu.

Monday, May 4, 2009

MASSIVE HUNGER STRIKE & WALK-OUT BY BSNL WORKERS

Hundreds of BSNL Workers sat on Hunger Strike in front of Bharat Sanchar Bhawan, Corporate Office of BSNL, protesting against the very meager amount of Interim Relief granted and also demanding Wage Revision, which is due from 01-01-2007. The ITS officers who are on deputation to BSNL and the other executives have already been granted wage revision and arrears also paid w.e.f. 01-01-2006 and 01-01-2007 respectively. But so far the two and half lakh non-executive employees are deprived of the Wage Revision. The management is not prepared to grant Wage Revision in the same ratio and firmament as given to top executives.


The Hunger Strike at Corporate Office was inaugurated by V.A.N. Namboodiri, Convenor, United Forum, It was addressed by S/Shri. K.K.N. Kutty, Secretary General of Confederation, P.Abhimanyu, Dy.General Secretay,BSNLEU, Suresh Kumar, General Secretary, BSNLMS (BTEF), N.D.Ram (President, SEWA BSNL).Hari Singh(General Secretary, BTU), G.L. Jogi ( Secretary General,SNEA), Prahlad Rai (General Secretary,AIBSNLEA) and other leaders.

More than two lakh workers in BSNL walked out from duty in all other places and demonstrated. At Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and other major centres, thousands walked out from duty and organized massive demonstrations.

The United Forum of BSNL Unions has already called for two days strike on 19th & 20th may 2009 demanding early Wage Revision.


Source : Press Statement of United Forum of BSNL Unions.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Punjab Pay Commission will be implemented entirely : Deputy Chief Minister.

Setting aside all apprehensions and speculations on the implementation of 5th th pay panel the recommendations, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said here on Saturday that the cabinet has already decided to implement it in its entirety.

Also, he assured the employees that any recommendation detrimental to the employees' interests would automatically be dropped in consultation with the employees' organisations.

Meanwhile, Badal urged the employees not to be misled by poll eve propaganda of the Congress which hitherto has remained anti-employees, especially during the tenure of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who freezed the recruitment which not only increased the work load on an average employee but the government work too suffered immensely.

Reminding the employees that invariably it was the Akali government that implemented the recommendations of all the pay panels and that too to the satisfaction of the employees, Badal said the present government would implement it too. On the other hand, the Congress has only played with employees sentiments and exploited them for their petty electoral gains and offered them lip sympathy and too only occasionally.

The first pay panel was set up by the first non-Congress government led by Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) under the chief ministership of late Gurnam Singh in 1967 and its recommendations too were implemented by the Akali government a year later.

Second pay commission too was set up under Parkash Singh Badal's second term in 1977 and its recommendations were notified nearly two yeas later in 1979, again under his government.

The third pay panel was constituted by SAD government led by Surjit Singh barnbala in 1986 but subsequently, his government was dismissed by the Centre and president rule was imposed.

However, the 4th pay panel report was submitted only five months after the SAD-BJP government came to power in February 1997 and it was implemented within six months after processing it in January next year.

Now, the story of the 5th pay panel is known to everybody, It was set up the Congress towards its fag end on December 19, 2006 , just few days before the implementation of the code of conduct by Amarinder Singh moribund government leaving the task of its implementation to successor SAD-BJP government

And despite the Election Commission of India had denied pay panel to submit tis report when the code of conduct was in operation , SAD_BJP government l pressed for it, even at the risk of annoying ECI and all this to just to ensure that the employees get their due at earliest.

[With Inputs from PunjabNewsline.com.]

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