Friday, November 28, 2008

Injustice of the Committee headed by Sri, Nataraja Murti.

No.GDS/CHQ/1-5/2008 Dated: 02-12-2008

All Circle/Divisional/Branch Secretaries,

Sub: - Injustice of the Committee headed by Sri, Nataraja Murti.

Dear Comrade,

A very crucial moment has come. We have to enlist support of every quarter struggle has become unavoidable.

We are enclosing a draft of a letter to be addressed to the Member of Parliament of the area. The letter should be signed by all G.D.S. employees of the constituency and handed over to the concerned Member of Parliament. Additional sheets may be attached as required. The contents of the letter may be translated into the local language. The signature campaign process should be complete by 10th December positively.

With greetings,
Yours faithfully,

S.S. Mahadevaiah
General Secretary.

No. dated 12-2008


Sri, -----------
Hon'ble Member of Parliament,
Sub; - Injustice with and exploitation of Gramin Dak Sevak ¼GDS½ of the Department of Posts – cry for justice.

Respected Sir,
Respected Sir,

We, the Gramin Dak Sevaks providing Postal services to the Gramin people of your constituency, place before you the following facts and crave your indulgence in ensuring justice to three lakhs of us.

We serve the rural population with sincerity in providing Postal services, ranging from delivery, collection and dispatch of letters to issue and payment of money orders, providing and promoting small savings, Rural Postal Life insurance registration and V.P. service and of course sale of postage stamps and stationeries. We have undertaken maintenance of S.B. accounts pertaing to NREGS. We have also undertaken the responsibility of payments through money orders/S.B. accounts of old age pension. We have also undertaken the collection of Telephone and Electricity bills along with any other product/ service introduced by the department.
But we have been overly neglected and are the most exploited Postal employees who are denied all benefits of Pay scale, leave, retirement benefits and the like despite the fact that the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in P.K.Rajamma's Case ¼1977½ (3) SCC has declared us "HOLDERS of CIVIL Post" further clarified in Theyyam Joseph's Case (1997)8 SCC 489 that ED Agents are civil servants.
The Government appointed 6th Central Pay Commission for Central Civil Servants. We demanded, as per the observation of the 4th C.P.C, that out issues be referred to the 5th C.P.C. This was flatly refused. WE PRESSED THAT AT LEAST A COMMISSION UNDER A RETIRE HIGH COURT JUDGE BE APPOINTED FOR THE GDS, as was agreed and done at time of 5th C.P.C. This was arbitrarily and obstinately denied. The Department of Posts insisted and appointed a one man committee under a retired bureaucrat and that too none other than one Sri, R.S.Nataraja Murti; a recently retired Member of Postal Services Board. Probably Sri, Nataraja Murti was found to be most prejuced person against the G.D.S. employees and also pliant to the dictates of working bureaucracy Sri, Nataraj Murti has given the most damaging and negative report ever, which has generated serious resentment and dissatisfaction amongst the G.D.S. employees. A spontaneous wave of protest and demonstration of anger broke out.
4. Sri, Nataraja Murti, has denied all benefits and suggested serious curtailment of the existing ones. He has also suggested curtailment of Postal services to rural people and has advanced unrealistic and laughable norms.
5. Our All India Union, reacting to report has suggested and demanded the following improvements in the negative report of Sri, Nataraja Murti:-

(i) In view of the judicial pronouncements, the G.D.S. employees be declared as Central Civil Servants.
(ii) Consequently, all rules and regulations applicable to Central Civil Servants be made applicable to G.D.S. employees (scrapping the discriminatory separate rules).
(iii) No curtailment of rural Postal facility and rejection of impractable and ridiculous norms suggested by Sri. Nataraja Murti. The work hours of Branch Post Masters should be between 4 to 6 hours (i.e the Post office should be kept open for 4 hours at least and upto 6 hours).
(iv) E.D.S.O's should be kept open for 5 to 7 hours.
(v) Duty of all other outdoor staff should be between 5 to 7 hours.
(vi) In keeping with recommendations of 6th C.P.C. Pay bands with grade Pay corresponding to departmental counterparts be prescribed.
(vii) Annual increment of 3% as suggested by 6th C.P.C.
(viii) All Allowances/benefits at par with full time employees.
(ix) All retirement benefits as are due to Central Civil Servants.
(x) P.L.B as per formula and no curtailment.

We collectively appeal to you to raise your voice against the injustice and for a justice to the Civil servants of the rural people. You may kindly enlist the support of other Hon'ble Members of Parliament in favour of justice to the G.D.S. employees.

With high regards,
Yours faithfully,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Letter to Comrade K. Raghavendran Secretary General NFPE.

DO No: GDS/CHQ/10 / 4/2008 Dated: 18-11-2008

Dear Comrade Raghavendran,

This is with reference to your letter No. PF-1(e)/12/2008 dated 31.10.2008 regarding organizing a Convention at Guntur. You are aware that the report of Nataraj Murti Committee is running riot with the G.D.S. employees. The negativities of the Committee have not come only as a rude shock but have created a situation so tense and grave that we are required to be on our toes to meet any situation that consequently arises.

The G.D.S. sector is burning and under this situation we cannot have the luxury of sitting in a seminar to decide which course to adopt and when. There is no other course left for us than to fight on E.D. issues exclusively, nor it is possible to wait for some struggle to come about the general elections. We donot wish trade union struggle to mingle with politics nor we have time to wait till April or May by which time everything would be a fait accompli; and the futility of beating about the bush is not hard to understand.

Further, we very sincerely feel that any mixing of the burning G.D.S. issues with some passive issues would rob the issue of its urgency and gravity. Your circular letter, clearly indicates that in this situation too the Nataraja Murti Committee report will assume secondary position and importance.

We shall have to take instant decision any time as the situation may demand. More over our programme of massive campaign from 20 to 26.11.2008 and preparation made will require analysis and evaluation to galvanise the spade work. Under the situation we along with our CHQ office bearers and Circle Secretaries as also all grass root activists and workers will be required to stay put to their respective jurisdictions to ensure action to meet the situation.

We sincerely hope that you will appreciate out position and urgency of the issue and take a decision to extend all help, rather organise a relentless struggle including indefinite strike, exclusively on G.D.S. issues. For this necessary modalities may be worked out. We assure you that we shall participate in all common struggles. That will be coming.

With fraternal greetings,

Yours fraternally,
(S.S. Mahadevaiah)

General Secretary

Friday, November 14, 2008

लैटर एंड NOTE ON GDS कमिटी.

लैटर तो मिनिस्स्टर
: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcwj224x_99dvh37xg5


at: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcwj224x_100gvgq8h45

Summary of the note on report of G.D.S. Committee submitted by AIPEDEU

GDS/CHQ/41/1 /2008 Dated: 14-11-2008

Sri. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia,
Hon’ble Minister of State for Communication & IT,
Government of India,
Electro Nikethan, 6 C.G.O. Complex,Lodhi Road,
New Delhi-110003

Subject: Retrograde and negative report of the GDS Committee under the Charmin ship of R.S. Nataraja Murthi committee of officer constituted to examine implementation of the report.
Ref: Directorate letter No. 6-1/2008-PE II Dated 07.11.2008.

Respected Sir,

We are encouraged and extend our hearty thanks to your on your announcement in the meeting held with the Union on 11.11.2008 that you will leave no stone unturned to see that justice is done to the GDS employees.

But certain actions taken by the Directorate appear to be confusing and are ominous. These are:-

(i) A committee has been constituted by the competent authority vide the letter under reference. We are not aware if draft and contents of the letter were brought to your notice. We are also not aware as to who is the competent authority to constitute the said Committee. But the letter of the draft denotes that emphasises is on implementation. Thus the constitution of the committee under such conditions appears to be rather an eye-wash; and if so the attempt is likely to boomerang.

(ii) Two officers who were actively and directly associated with the G.D.S. Committee and naturally have an inclination and inherent prejudice towards the report are holding important positions and power with respect to implementation. The officers, who were associated with the recommendations, as a matter of natural justice, should not be associated with implementation. They cannot be the prosecutor, judge and jury at the same time.

The second paragraph of the report is ominous. It indicates as if the emphasis is on implementing the report rather than removing the anomalies and rejects the offending recommendations. It is suggested that the Committee "may" not "shall" or "will" "look into" not "examine" or "consider" the representations received form the G.D.S. union. This makes the constitution of the Committee simply look like an eye wash. We enclose a copy of the letter for your ready reference,

We suggest that the second paragraph of the letter may be revised as follows;

"The Committee has submitted its report to the government. Before steps are taken as to how far and with what improvement the report may be implemented, it is necessary to examine the same to see what the anomalies which should be resolves are. Therefore, the competent authority constitutes a department Committee of senior officers for the purpose. The Committee shall examine as to what recommendations require to be implemented or improved or rejected. The Committee shall take into consideration the representation received from the G.D.S. union and will also hear the said union'.

We have already submitted a note on the negativities of the recommendation. However we enclose a summary of our note as Annexure to this letter.

We, therefore, request you kindly to consider the issue and take necessary steps to issue a corrigendum to the letter under reference and that the officers who were associated with the committee are shifted from implementation positions.

Yours faithfully,

(S.S. Mahadevaiah),
General Secretary


Summary of the note on report of G.D.S. Committee submitted by AIPEDEU

2/2.5 In view of judgements of the Supreme Court in P.K.Rajamma's case (1977) (3) SCC that E.D. employees are holders of Civil Post and Theyyam Joseph's Case (1997) 8 SCC 489 that EDA's are Civil Servants, the status of civil servants should be recognised for all purposes. General Manager vs A.Srinivasa Rao case simply deals with Industrial Dispute Act and definition of Industry and does no deal with the declaration that G.D.S. are Civil servants. Therefore, the observation of the Committee in Para 2.10 that G..D.S. and regular employees belonged to two and distinct and separate group must be totally rejected.

3/3.8 (i) Recommendations in Paragraphs 5.16, 5.20 and 5.22 suggesting almost abolition of Posts of G.D.S. Stamp Vendors, Packers and mail men must be scrapped.

(ii) Recommendation in Para 6.11 for down gradation/abolition of EDSO's is disastrous and must be rejected.

(iii) Recommendation in Paras 7.14.2 and 7.14.3 regarding radial distance and digital map are ridiculous and unscientific. These recommendations in totality along with those in Para 7.14.5 should be outright rejected.

4/4.7 (i) We have suggested time factors on practical experience which should be accepted.

(ii) Consequently fixing working hours below three hours or suggesting pay-scales for less than three hours is not only preposterous but also departure from set norms. This should be rejected.

(iii) Minimum working hours of BOs in view of enhanced business should be 4 hours which should be extended upto 6 hours, minimum working hours of EDSOs should be 5 hours which may extend to seven hours.

(iv) The minimum duty hours of deliverer and other G.D.S. employees should be five hours and pay fixed from the pay-band -1 suggested by us for five hours work. The minimum of pay band -1 suggested by us is for 4 hours of work.
(v) Work hours of G.D.S. Packers should not be less than 6 hours.

(vi). Distance to be measured on foot.

4.8. Pay-scales suggested by the Committee are unscientific and without any base. We have suggested the following Pay Band and Grade Pay based on 6th CPC recommendations.

Pay Band (PB)-1: 3500 – 12000 for other G.D.S. employees other than BPMs & EDSPMs.

Grade Pay Rs 1000, 1250, 1500, 1750 according to grade or work hours.

Pay- Band (PB) 2: 4000-14000 for BPMs/EDSPMs

Grade pay: Rs 1000, 1200, 1600, 1800 according to grade/work.

4.9 (i) Fitment formula suggested by the Committee is unrealistic and without any scientific base. In view of later revision of 5th CPC scale the fitment formula should be:

Basic Pay plus 98 percent of basic pay plus 40% of the maximum of the scale subject to minimum of the PB + Grade Pay.

(ii) Annual increment: 3 percent

4.11 (i) DA, HRA and other allowances: At par with whole time employees.

(ii) Transport allowance: in towns etc - Rs.300
in other areas - Rs.200
which will earn D.A.

4.12. ACP – three ACP on completion of 10,20,30 years of service.

4.13. There will be no need for combined duty allowance as combination will not be possible.

4.14. Seasonal Pos: 50% of emoluments as retainer.

4.15. Recommendation of the committee in respect of lowering bonus calculating ceiling to 50% is not justified. EDA are covered under PLB scheme. No change or retrograde recommendation acceptable.

4.16. PRI – No need.

5.1,5.2 & 5.3; In view of GDS being civil servants, all retirement benefits, welfare health measures and applicability of rules should be at par with whole time employees.

6.1& 6.2; No need for separate rules. All rules as applicable to regular employees to be applied to G.D.S. employees who are civil servants.

5/5.4. Promotions:

(i) To multi skilled group 'C' – 85% from GDS ,15% from casual labours by seniority. Retraining where required.

(ii) To Postmen; 50% from multipurpose group 'C '
50% from GDS (37½% by examination and 12 ½% by seniority).

(iii) To PA's/SA's cadre: 20% vacancies should be reserved for G.D.S.


GDS/CHQ/41/1 /2008 Dated: 14-11-2008

Ms. Radhika Doraiswamy
Department of Posts
Dak Bhawan
New Delhi – 110001

Sub; Productivity linked bonus for the year 2006-07 and 2007-08.
Ref; Your office letter No. 26-04/2008-PAP dated 15.10.2008, and 26-04 2008 – PAP dated 21.10.2008.


Despite your positive intervention and orders in respect of payment of productivity linked bonus to G.D.S. employees, the G.D.S. employees are being subjected to pin-pricking and provocation. We would relate the issue in brief.

(i) The Department of expenditure, Ministry of Finance, vide O.M. No. 7(23)/E.III-A/2007 dated 10.10.2008 to raise the ceiling on pay for calculation of bonus from Rs 2500 to Rs 3500 to take effect from 1.4.2006 i.e from the year 2006-07 onwards. The enhanced ceiling is applicable to all those central Government employees eligible for payment of Bonus.

(ii) Similar orders were issued by the Government when the ceiling was raised from Rs 1600/- to Rs 2500 and the G.D.S. employees have been receiving bonus upto the chanced ceiling as they are covered by PLB scheme.

(iii) That the Department of Post issued a discriminating order for raising the ceiling for regular Central Government employees only, though this was nothing like this in the orders of the Department of expenditure. At that time you were out of India. This discriminatory orders created serious resentment.

(iv) When you came back, you ordered that the discriminatory letter be superceded and another letter issued and fresh letter was issued superceding the letter dated 15.10.2006 vide letter No 26-04/2008-PAP dated 21.10.2008.

But in quite a few Circles the payment of bonus at enhanced ceiling to G.D.S. employees has been with held despite the letter 16.10.2006 restricting payment at enhanced rate stands superceded. This atrocious and provoking. We donot know how this is happening like this in some Circles.

We, therefore, request you kindly to cause instruction to be issued that bonus to G.D.S. employees are paid at the rate of enhanced ceiling.

Yours faithfully,

S.S. Mahadevaiah,
General Secretary.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NOTE ON Report G. D.S. Committee headed by Sri. R.S. Nataraja Prepared and submitted by A.I.P.E.D.E.U. (CHQ)

GDS/CHQ/41/1 /2008 Dated: 10-11-2008

Shri A. Raja,
Hon'ble Minister of Communications & IT,
Government of India,
Electro Niketan, 6, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi 110003

Subject: - Report G.D.S Committee headed by Sri, Nataraja murti.

Respected Sir,

Kindly refer to our letter of even No. dated 03.11.2008 on the above subject. The recommendations of the G.D.S. Committee are retrograde and damaging and have generated serious dissatisfaction, resentment and sense of indignation in the G.D.S. employees. These recommendations require wide ranging improvements and correction.

We, therefore, submit a brief note based on judicial pronouncements and meaningful assessment.

We hope that the note will receive your active consideration and the suggestions accepted.

With regards,

Yours faithfully,
S.S. Mahadevaiah,
General Secretary.

Copy for warded to;
NFPE & affiliated unions.
FNPO & affiliated unions.
All office-bearers of All India Union.
All Circle Secretaries।
Note discussing the negative and arbitrary approach and recommendations of one man Gramin Dak Sevaks Committee under the chairmanship of Sri। R।S। Nataraja Murti, Retired Member, Postal Services, Board।
1. Introduction
1.1 At the initial point of time when the Sixth Central Pay Commission was appointed by the Government, this All India Postal G.D.S. Employees Union which is the only recognised union of Gramin Dak Sevaks and thus the sole representative of these employees insisted that the issues of the G.D.S. employees also be referred to the 6th CPC. Our contention was based on the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in superintendent of Post offices Vs P.K. Rajamma case (1977) (3) SCC that the Extra Departmental Agents, as the G.D.S. were then called, are holders of Civil Post. The 4th CPC had also observed in Para 1.18 of their report that the E.D. Agents were in the purview of their terms. However, the Department did not agree.
1.2 This being disagreed by the Department of Posts, the union demanded that a Committee under a retired Judge of a High Court be appointed so that an independent view of the issues could be taken. Our demand was based on a Commitment of the Government given in 1993 that E.D. Committee would not be appointed under a bureaucrat – retired or serving, and it was under this Commitment that when the 5th CPC was appointed, an E.D. Committee under Justice Charanjit Talwar a retired Judge of Delhi High Court was appointed which was known as "Justice Talwar Committee."
But the department remained adamant for appointment of G.D.S Committee under chairmanship of Sri. R.S. Nataraja Murti and Sri Nataraja Murti alone. The department might have its own reasons for insisting on Sri. Nataraja Murti committee.
1.3 But this union and the entire G.D.S. Employees had their own doubts that a retired bureaucrat of the department of posts like Sri. Nataraja Murti, who had retired with all the prejudices in his mind against the G.D.S. employees, could not function as an independent tribunal to discuss and decide the issues with a judicious approach. It is why this union had decided not to associate with the said Committee. On persistent direct and indirect persuasion, we conditionally associated with the Committee.
1.4 Our apprehensions have come true. The Committee has explicitly demonstrated its bias, has twisted Judicial prouncements, has confused the matters more than it has solved, tried to overturn the obligations and policies of the government and has given a self contradictory, negative report which not only hits at the interests of G.D.S. employees, but also at the root of the services and government policies. While we don’t intend to discuss the report threadbare. We would discuss certain important issues and salient points and offer our own suggestions which have relevance with policies and consistency with higher bodies. We have added emphasis at certain Points.

2. Extra Departmental System in the Department of Posts
(Chapter – II of the Committee's Report)
2.1 The Committee makes some ridiculous observations in the concluding paragraphs of this chapter. In Para 2.9, 2.91 and 2.10 the committee has referred to following Judgments of the Hon'ble Supreme Court:
(i) Bangalore water supply & sewerage Board Vs Rajappa & others (1978) 2 SCC 273;
(ii) Sub-Divisional Inspector of Posts vaikam and others vs Theyyamm Joseph & others (1997) 8 SCC 489;
(iii) Bombay Telephone Canteen Employees Association vs union of India ..
(iv) General Manager Telecom vs A. Srinivasa Rao and others (1997) Supreme Court cases 767; and
(v) Superintendent of Post offices Vs P.K. Rajamma (1977) (3) SCC.
2.2 It appears that either the Committee has not gone through the Judgments minutely or it has not appreciated the Judgments in their true spirit or the Committee has deliberately tried to twist the Judgments. The following facts are pertinent:-
(a) In Rajamma's Case the Hon'ble Supreme Court has declared that E.D. Agents are holders of Civil Post.
(b) In Theyyamm joseph case, the court had (i) further Clarified the earlier declaration of the Court in Rajamma's Case as " It is now settled law of this court that these employees (E.D.A's) are Civil Servants regulated by these Service rules; and (ii) ruled "Therefore by necessary implications, they don’t belong to the category of workmen attracting the provisions of the Act." The Act meant "Industrial Dispute Act."
(c) The Supreme Court did not over-rule the Judgment in Theyyamma Joseph's Case vide the Judgment in General Manager Telecom Vs A. Srinivasa Rao and others as such. The word 'over-rule' is nowhere mentioned. In para 4 of the said Judgment the Court has clearly said, "The only point for decision in this appeal is whether the Telecom Department of the Union of India is an industry within the meaning of the definition of "industry" in section 2(J) of the Industrial Dispute Act,1947." And in this respect the Court in this particular Judgment observed that the Theyyamm Joseph's Case did not lay down "Correct law" in respect of deciding whether a particular organization is an "industry". In this connection the Court referred to Para 143 of the Judgment in Bangalore water Supply case and observed that these standards are the correct law to determine whether an organisation is an "industry" and a particular class or group of employees holding a Civil Post is not the sole criterion to decide that the organisation is not an industry.
(d) Thus the declaration in Rajamma's Case that the E.D.As are holders of Civil Post and further declaration in Theyyam Josephs case that it is now settled law of the supreme court that the E.D.As are Civil Servants hold good.
2.3 Thus the observation of the G.D.S. Committee that G.D.S. and regular employees of the government belong to two distinct and separate groups and that there is no parity (para 2.10) is not only the depiction of a prejudiced mind of a bureaucrat but also a misadventure with judicial pronouncement.
2.4 It is judicially declared that G.D.S. employees are Civil Servants even though the bureaucracy has framed separate rules for G.D.S. employees with different nomenclature which in essence are similar to those applicable to regular employees.
Our Definite suggestion.
2.5 In view of these, a correct comparison and balance has judiciously to be struck to admit the legal status to the G.D.S. employees as central Civil Servants.. It would now be, thus, in complete Justice and fitness of things to make all rules as are applicable to regular employees also to cover the G.D.S. employees.
3 Categories of Dak Sevaks; Extra Departmental S.O's; Rural Postal Network and viability of Branch Post offices (Chapters V,VI,VII & VIII of the Committee's Report.)
3.1 We discuss the observations of the Committee in chapters V, VI, VII, & VIII together because a peep into the observations of the committee will show that the committee has been confused, contradictory and often over-steps its brief to over-rule the government policies. It appears that committee has lost its role as an independent body and has been entangled in the web created by the prejudices of a retired bureaucrat of the Department.
3.2 The committee recounts the process of planning adopted by the government over the period of time to ensure provision of postal services in the rural areas as one of its sovereign functions. It is to mention that the powers to relax, one or more conditions for opening of Branch Post Offices were vested in the Heads of Circles in consultation with the IFA on demand of public or public representatives including M.P's as a conscious decision of the government. It is no wonder that some Branch Post Offices, might have, therefore, been opened in relaxation of the distance conditions. The committee has sought to reverse the Government's policies when it recommends a review of the Post Offices to fall strictly within the prescribed norms. This, if implemented is bound to have adverse reaction of the public and public representatives who had worked for opening of the P.O's.
3.3 In Paras 7.12, 7.12.1 and 7.12.2 the Committee deals with "Fresh approach to Postal Planning which underlines the policies of the government. We would reproduce the Paragraphs to be considered vis-à-vis recommendation of the Committee which are contrary to the avowed policies of the Government:-
"7.12 Fresh approach to Postal Planning:

Post offices are non Commercial Enterprises, play a vital role in many communities, especially rural, and deprived urban ones, keeping the society together, provide social community cohesion and prevent psychological and economic isolation of the rural dwellers. The Post offices give the people access to mail, cash, social security benefits and insurance as also collection of bills. The Branch Postmaster being important representative of the community can play an important role in disseminating information, educating the people in respect of the financial needs and also information needs converting the Branch offices into information centres. Post office is the last life line in the rural areas which enables the rural people to live independently.

7.12.1 While Post office has to look after the point of view of social benefits of the community, it goes without saying that wherever possible the income of the Post office is augmented through entrepreneurial management by popularisation of variety of services relevant to the people at large. Such a course will put less burden on the national exchequer and in turn extra funds would be available for the Government to provide other important services to the people in the rural area.

7.12.2 The Post offices’ main concern is to fulfill the needs of the people and not profitability alone. Long term future of the Postal network depends on the entrepreneurial flair of the Postal system which has been conspicuous in the past. It has been realised that no entity offers benefits comparable to the coverage of Post office. The Service of the Post office when expanded in relation to disbursement of social benefits and also other financial services, bills collection, mail order business, Information centres could really bring about substantial benefits to the rural communities. ".
3.4.1. In Para 7.1 the Committee observes and desires:-
"The following services and products need to be covered while defining the USO as the provision of these services by other players is non-existent or not available up to the desired level".
Post card/letter card/letter/Packet
Blind literature
News paper & periodicals
Money order up to Rs. 5000/-
Bill payment facilities.
The above products and services are considered necessary to be provided to enable fulfillment of social role of the Post Offices in rural areas".
3.5. In addition the Branch Post Offices provide the following services:-
(a) Banking services (SB, TD, RD accounts etc) and also Postal certificates;
(b) Insurance (especially PLI);
(c) and Government services like NREGS old age pension etc.
3.6. All business taken together, the rural Post Offices or Post Offices in deprived urban areas provide all facilities and benefits to the public of the area. The Post Offices have generated sufficient business and work and also income if calculated properly is sufficient in spite of the fact that tariff has not been revised for the last several years. If in view of the fact that Postal tariff has been kept, consciously, much below the cost in view of the social utility, it something asking for too much to expect that the Branch Post Offices in rural areas can earn profit.
Our Considered Suggestion.
3.7. In view of the above the suggestions of the Committee regarding abolition/down gradation of EDSO's abolition or drastically slicing the Posts of GDS Stamp Vendors, Packers and mailmen are catastrophic and dangerous and must be out right rejected. The suggestions of the Committee to assess viability and review all Post Offices to see whether all three conditions are met must be out right rejected as these run counter to the very motto of the rural postal services. The suggestion of the committee to take into account radial distance and not distance by road is not only ridiculous but suggests the destructive nature of Committee. One does not understand how the radial distance between Rishikesh & Badrinath will compare with the actual distance by road.
3.8. Accordingly the suggestions of the Committee Contained in Para 5.16, 5.20, 5.22 regarding posts of stamp venders, packers, mailmen etc be totally rejected. Similarly the suggestions regarding abolition/down gradation of EDSO's contained in Para 6.11 should be totally rejected. Similarly recommendations in Paras 7.14.2 regarding radial distance and extension of franchisee/outreach arrangements which are fraught with several dangers of security and disruption and the suggestions in para 7.14.3 regarding digital map must be scrapped. The suggestions in Para 7.14.3 and 7.14.5 regarding P.K.S.S must be rejected as these recommendation seek to destroy the rural Postal system and its credibility.
3.9 Correct and reliable yard stick to assess work and income/cost of the EDSOs/BO's should be evolved taking into account all business done.
4. Assessment of workload of Branch Post offices General Recommendation on wage-structure fixation of wages, and performance related incentives: - (Chapters IX, X, XI, XII & XIII.)
4.1 The Committee has adopted double standards adopting less beneficial factor to G.D.S. employees even by drifting from the principle. The Committee has often referred to 6th CPC and at the same time refused to adopt the pay scales and other standards and principles as enunciated by the 6th CPC. The Committee has, according to its convenience and prejudices, tried to draw a comparison with the departmental employees and at the same time has offered differential and discriminatory recommendation without any basis or scientific assessment.
4.2. In Para 9.9 and 9.9.4 the committee tries to draw a comparison in cash handling by a Treasurer in a Sub or Head Post office and recommends that point system in respect of cash handing be raised to Rs.20,000 per point from the existing Rs.1000 per point. The committee takes the help of standards drawn by the department for assessment of cash handling in treasury and also that G.C. notes of higher denomination are in circulation. The committee loses sight of the fact that very few transactions in G.C. notes of Rs.500/- or Rs.1000/- denomination take place at BO's. The old age pension, R.D./CTD transactions, PLI premia, electricity/Telephone bills and even NREGS transactions are made in G.C.notes of Rs.100/- or below with broken amounts in coins. This factor has been completely lost sight of by the committee. The suggested amount of Rs.20,000/- for one point is exorbitantly high.
4.3 The committee suggests is Para 9.9.5 that cash received from or remitted to account office should not be considered to determine the amount of cash handled; and suggests that the existing 14 points for accounts preparation, closing of bags receipt/remittance of cash should continue. The BOs have undertaken several new services/products and accounting system, receipt/remittance of cash etc has increased several folds. The committee should have taken this factor into consideration. But the inherent bias prevented the committee from doing so. There was and is an urgent need to enhance the existing 14 points for accounting etc to be realistically commensurate with work especially when the committee itself has accepted that the cash handling work has increased very substantially.
4.4 In Para 9.9.6 the committee has again drawn a parallel between SPMs/PAs and ED BPM or ED Stamp vendor for allotting time factor for sale of stamps; which is unrealistic when looked upon in rural perspective. But all the same a parallel has been drawn.
4.5 The work profile of an ED.SPM/BPM does not vary much so far as transaction of particular business is concerned. This is why form Madan Kishore Committee to Justice Talwar Committee each has drawn a comparison with the departmental counterpart and comparison has progressively been improved to culminate into 100% relation adopted by Justice Talwar Committee on scientific and judicious assessment. Since a slew of new services/products have been undertaken by ED SOs/BOs, the working hours deserve judicious and scientific improvement and fixation.
4.6 In Para 9.15.6 the committee has again drawn a parallel between Postman/Group 'D' and GDS MD/GDS MC the work load of the Mail Deliverer or Mail Carriers has to be calculated on cycle beat formula provided the beat is cycleable. In case of distances which are partly cycleable, the cycleable distance will be calculated at cycle beat rate and foot beat on foot beat rate. The distance traversed for delivery work in main village with a population of less than 5000 be fixed at 3 kilometres and in fairly big villages with a population of more than 5000, the distance in cusba may be fixed at 5 kilometres. The actual distance between the BO village and attached villages by shortest route be taken for workload purpose. The Committee suggestions in this regard not acceptable formula this was unscientific also unpractical. If distance traveled should be measured only on foot formula. Working hours deserve judicious and scientific improvement and fixation.
Our Studied Suggestions.
4.7 It is, therefore, scientifically, socially and judiciously justified that.
(i) The existing 14 points given for accounting etc be raised to 30 points, atleast.
(ii) The suggested time factor of Rs.20,000 of cash handing for one point being exorbitant, it should be modified as one point for handling Rs.4,000 per month in view of rural perspective.
(iii) Since there has been no revision in tariff over several years, the existing norms for stamp sale in B.O.s should continue.
(iv) A time factor of 45 minutes for a new PLI Policy and 5 minutes for premium transaction should be allotted which may be reduced to 15 points in respect of each new policy and 1 point for 5 premia transactions per month.
(v) Time factor as in respect of money orders should be adopted in respect of bills payment.
(vi) One point for each 2 pension payments per month should be allotted.
(vii) In view of the enhanced new business an E.D.S.O. should kept open for a minimum period of 5 hours which may extend up to 7 hours.
(viii) A Branch Post office should be kept open for a minimum period of 4 hours which should extend upto 6 hours.
(ix) The duty hours of a G.D.S. Packer should not be less than six hours in view of his attendance in the P.O.
(x) The minimum duty hours of an G.D.S. mail deliverer and G.D.S. mail peons etc should be minimum of five hours which may extend to seven hours. If distance traveled should be measured only on foot formula.
(xi) The duty hours of a G.D.S. Stamp vendor should be for a minimum period of five hours which may extend to seven hours.
4.8 Pay Scales:
(i) Based on Sixth CPC scales the pay bands should be as under:
(a) For G.D.S Mail peons/packers/mailmen/mail deliverer/stamp vendors:
PB-1. Rs.3500–12,000
Pay to be progressively increased according to work
(Grade Pay for G.D.S Mail peons/packers/mailmen: Rs. ; 1000; 1200;1400)
(Grade Pay For G.D.S Mail deliverer/stamp vendors: Grade Pay: Rs. 1250; 1500. 1750)
(b) For G.D.S. Sub-Postmasters/Branch Postmaster etc –
PB-2. Rs.4000–14000.
(Grade Pay: Rs.1000; 1200; 1600; 1800).

Fitment in the new scale.
4.9 (i) Since the 5th CPC Pay Scales in respect of several cadres were subsequently improved which benefit could not accrue to the G.D..S. employees at the time Justice Talwar Committee report the fitment of the pay in new scales should be as follows:
Basic pay + 98 percent (in view of D.A. up to 86% and restoration subsequent improvements of scales) + 40 percent of the maximum of the existing pay subject to the minimum in the pay band. For example, an employee drawing Rs.1220 in the existing scale of Rs.1220-1600 may be fixed as:
1220 plus 98 percent of 1220 plus 40 percent of 1600
i.e.. 1220+1200+640 = 3060 i.e. Rs.3500 plus grade pay.
(ii) In case of bunching one increment for two years of service may be allowed.
4.9 Annual Increment should be 3 percent of the pay in the pay band + grade pay.
4.10 Dearness Allowance as per the formula for other employees.
4.11 Other allowances:
(i) Hill allowance, special duty allowance, project allowance etc all allowances should be paid as per the rate paid to other employees.
(ii) House Rent:
30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent in cities/town/other areas as recommended by 6th CPC.
(iii) Transport allowance:
Rs.300 in other towns and
Rs.200 in other areas.
This allowance will earn D.A. as announced from time to time.
(iiv) Payment of other allowances viz CEA, T.A. etc may be considered.
4.12 A assured career progression. Three assured career progressions on completion of 10, 20, 30 years of service.
4.13 Combined duty allowance there will be no need for this allowance.
4.14 Seasonal Post offices:
A retainer fee of 50 percent of the allowances should be paid to the G.D.S. employees of seasonal post offices for the period they are not on duty for reasons beyond there control.
4.16 Productivity linked Bonus:
(i) This is a settled issue and the PLB formula is in place. There is no scope for any revision. The Committee has shown utter bias and discrimination by suggesting departure from the set track.
(ii) Bonus should be calculated on the basis of monthly pay and allowances, subject to the maximum of the ceiling as fixed by the Government form time to time under the payment of Bonus Act..
4.17 Performance Related Incentives:
The G.D.S. Committee has taken a leaf from the report of the 6th CPC. Our strong and considered views are:
(i) There is no need for any kind of incentive or honorarium which is a cheap method of exploitation. We are therefore, opposed to this scheme.
(ii) Time factors should be prescribed for canvassing procuring new PLI business or for collection of renewal premia as suggested earlier by us; and for sale of Prasadam tickets etc. The working hours of the BO's/ED.SO's should be fixed taking into account the consolidated work.

Retirement benefits welfare Measures and Conduct Rules (Chapters XIV, XV and XVI of the Report.)
5.1 We have dealt with the legal status of the G.D.S. employees in chapter I of our note that the G.D.S. employees have been declared as Civil Servants, may be with shorter span of duty hours. Shorter duty hours not withstanding, the fact remains that they are civil servants of the Central Government. Hence there is no place in this egalitarian society of India for differentiatial or discriminatory rules and benefits. Hence it becomes imperative that Retirement benefit be at par with other Central Civil Servants. The retirement benefits include pension/family pension, Gratuity and Encashment of leave etc.
5.2 Similarly welfare measurers and health schemes are not required to be spelt out. The G.D.S. employees should be provided welfare measurers at par with other Central Government employees and should also be Covered by C.C.S.(Medical Attendance rules.)
5.3 There is no need for a separate service or conduct rules for the G.D.S. employees. All rules including C.C.S. (Conducts) rules,1964;CCS (CCA) Rules 1965; F.Rs & SR's; pension rules and Leave rules should be applicable to the G.D.S. employees. The G.D.S. (Conduct & Employment) Rules should, therefore, be scrapped.
5.4 As for promotion to full time employees, we suggest that:-
(i) 85 percent promotion to multi-skilled group 'C' Posts from G.D.S. by re-training those who are not matriculates; and 15 percent form casual workers, (in view of numbers of each of these categories) by seniority.
(ii) Promotion to Postman cadre: 50 percent from multi skilled Group 'C'; 50 percent form G.D.S. (37.5% by examination and 12.5% by seniority).
(iii) Promotion to PA/SA cadre: - 40% from Postmen/MM/multi skilled Group 'C'; 40 percent form outsiders and 20% from G.D.S. by examination from those possessing 10+2 qualification and age relaxation up to 40 years.
6. Recruitment, Penalties & Conduct rules and Trade Union facilities (Chapter XVII, XVIII & XIX of the Report)
6.1 As discussed in chapter I of this note and the preceding chapter, there is no need for separate Recruitment rules or classification, control and Appeal rules or conduct rules or Recognition & Trade Union rules and same rules should be applicable to the G.D.S. employees also as are applied to other employees.
6.2 In view what has been thoroughly explained in chapter I and preceding two chapters, these employees require legally and Judiciously to be DECLARED As CENTRAL CIVIL SERVANTS GROUP 'D'. We suggest this classification in view of the recommendation of the 6th CPC that there would be no Group 'D' in full time Central Services which has been accepted by the Government.
7. Financing and Public facilities
(Chapter XX & XXI of the Report)
7.1 The Government may make proper arrangement for financing of ED SOs/BOs to restore confidence of the public. Similarly proper arrangements for public as also for the staff and security of government property in Branch Post offices should be made.

A glance at the report reveal:
That it has failed to understand ground realities of 3 lacs of GDS who are the back bone of this country and producing wealth in the department.
That the Committee has no assessed arduous nature of work of rural Mail
Deliverer, Mail Carrier etc.
That has made unscientific and unrealistic recommendations e.g.,Distance traversed in a village below 5000 population shall be 3 kms and above 5000 be 5 kms only. Points system is also defective. Our demand for actual workload is not recommended, why?
That our demand for absorption in the dept. Is not taken seriously with an intention to regularization of their services in the dept. On the other hand there are adverse recommendations viz.,
A) In urban areas GDS officials are working more than regular employees. Their work as GDSMP, GDSMP JUSTIFIES FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT.
B) There are good many GDS lot working more than 5 hours daily, for e.g., in malnad/hilly/forest areas where the work is very hard to cope with. There is scope or regularization of these GDS officials. High cost of living, traveling from distant places to the work spot etc, is not kept in mind.
C) In cases of combination of duties mere grant of allowance of Rs.250/500 is quite unjustified and amounts to exploitation of labour too. Actual work rendered should be assessed for fixation of Pay. There is no rationale behind such recommendation.
D) That the GDS Stamp Vendors are much useful at counters service. Due to ban on creation of posts since 1983, the abnormal work is being managed by most of the GDS officials only. Their assistance in almost all areas such as Speed, Bulk bookings, operations of computers etc., are undermined. Their skill and efficiency need to be taken properly.
That there is defect in assessment of work of Group D officials, which affected GDS packers also. Their actual work, detention in the office(idle wait) for general assistance e.g., stamping of bulk RD, money orders booking etc., are not assessed/studied properly. They are denied of their dues.
That the concept of CYCLE BEAT should go. Realistic time standard should be framed to assess the work load of GDS staff of out door duty.
That the Committee has merely ascertained/collected information from the RO/COs than actual and in-depth study of the nature of work/life style of GDS. It lacked realistic study at their work places.

That a GDS official getting transfer to his place of convenience is put to financial loss. His service increment is also snatched which is illegal. A good gesture if pay is protected would fetch efficiency and income. A regular employee on transfer to his place of choice under Rule 38 transfer will retain his pay last drawn. What a discrimination to this section.
Misuse of the facilities may be rare.
Pay and other benefits are not given at par with deptl. Employees and such discrimination is opposed everywhere.
SINCE MOST OF THE G.D.S are conditioned for such low pay, lacking facilities, treatment etc., IT IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR TO UPLIFT THEM. Justice Talwar Committee HAD MADE AN ATTEMPT IN THIS DIRECTION. But Sri.R.S.Nataraja murthi committee has thrown GDS back to 100 years.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Report G.D.S Committee headed by Sri, Nataraja murti

GDS/CHQ/41/1 /2008 Dated: 03-11-2008

Ms. Radhika Doraiswamy
Department of Posts
Dak Bhawan
New Delhi – 110001

Subject: - Report G.D.S Committee headed by Sri, Nataraja murti


Our apprehensions about a Committee under a bureaucrat and especially Sri,Nataraja Murti have come true. The recommendations of the Committee are totally negative, retrograde, damaging and as such unacceptable in the present form. Grave resentment in the staff prevails. We are afraid the resentment will explode into sustained struggle to get justice.

We are submitting a short view gathered at first glance. Under pressure from resentment shown by the members we have been obliged to finalise some programme of action. A copy of our circular letter No. GDS/CHQ/5/1/2008 dated 31/10/2008 is enclosed.

We are unable to accept the recommendations as they are so damaging.

We are submitting a detailed note with suggestions shortly for your consideration and acceptance which will soothe the wounded feelings of the G.D.S. employees.

We are hopeful that your good self will kindly appreciate the gravity of the situation and take suitable action.

With regards,

Yours faithfully,

S.S. Mahadevaiah,
General Secretary.

Saturday, November 1, 2008