EDITORIAL POSTAL CRUSADER NOVEMBER 2013
VIITH CPC AND GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS
The intensive and continuous nationwide campaign conducted by Confederation of Central Govt. Employees & Workers, the unparalled mobilization of workers in agitational programmes culminating in massive Parliament March and one day strike on 12th December, 2012 , subsequent declaration of strike ballot for indefinite strike has compelled the Central Govt. to announce the constitution of 7th Central Pay Commission, ahead of the Assembly and Parliament election. NFPE being the major affiliate of Confederation has played a leading role in all these agitational programmes and hence we can proudly say that Seventh Pay Commission is an outcome of our struggle. Thus the first phase of agitation comes to a successful end.
Now the most important part remains. Govt. has announced the Pay Commission but has not disclosed its mind on other related issues such as date of effect, merger of DA with pay, inclusion of Gramin Dak Sevaks, Interim relief, pensionary benefits to those recruited on or after 1.1.2004 etc. Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DOP&T) has called the JCM staff side for a discussion on the terms of reference of the 7th CPC on 25th October , 2013 and heard the view points of the staff side. The leaders of various organizations of the JCM staff side met on 26 October, 2013 and formulated a consensus proposal regarding the terms of reference of the 7th CPC. In the case of date of effect, even though the stand taken by confederation is 1.1.2011, taking into consideration the view points of other organizations a compromise formula of 1.1.2014 as date of effect is arrived at i.e. from the 1st January after the announcement of 7th CPC by the Government. Regarding DA merger, interim relief, pensionary benefits to those entered in service on or after 1.1.2004 etc also an agreed formula has been worked out.
Regarding the most important demand affecting 50% of the employees of the Postal Department i.e, inclusion of Gramin Dak Sevaks under the purview of the 7th CPC, unlike in the past, this time there is total unanimity among the staffside. In the staffside proposal regarding terms of reference to be submitted to the Govt., it will be clearly mentioned that the three lakhs Gramin Dak Sevaks of the Postal Department should be brought under the purview of the 7th Pay Commission.
We are not demanding any mercy from the Govt.The Hon’ble Supreme , Court of India, in the case of P.K.Rajamma Vs Union of India, has made it clear without any ambiguity, that Extra-Departmental Agents (now GDS) are holders of civil posts and hence they are civil servants under Article 309 of the Constitution. Further, the Fourth Pay Commission in its report has also made the following observation:-
“The matter is, however, beyond controversy after the decisions of Supreme Court in Gokulanda Das’s case (also called as P.K.Rajamma’s case) where it has been declared that an Extra-Departmental agent is not a casual worker but ‘holds a post under the administrative control of the “state’’ and that while such a post is outside the regular civil service, there is no doubt that it is a post under the ‘’state” ’. In view of this pronouncement, we are unable to accept the contention that Extra- Departmental employees are outside the purview of the terms of reference of our Commission.”
Again, Justice Charanjit Talwar Committee, subsequently appointed by the Govt., recommended that ED Agents have to be included within the overall class of civil servants, being holders of civil posts. The committee further made it clear that there is no rationale to keep them separately as “a class within the class” of central govt employees which is against the provisions of Article 14 & 16 of the Constitution of India.
It is in this background, NFPE & confederation has demanded for inclusion of Gramin Dak Sevaks under the purview of 7th CPC and conducted one day’s strike on 12.12.2012. Now that the entire JCM staffside also agreed to raise the same demand, we hope that the govt. shall concede the demand of entire 30 lakhs central govt. employees and include the GDS under the terms of reference. In case, the govt rejects our demand, there is no other way but to go for indefinite strike.
The postal Joint Council of Action comprising all the unions/ associations affiliated to NFPE & FNPO, has met at Delhi on 19.10.2013 and has decided to go for indefinite strike, if the govt. refuses to accept our demand for inclusion of GDS under the purview of 7th CPC and also regularization and revision of wages of casual labourers.
NFPE calls upon the entirety of Postal and RMS employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks to be ready for an indefinite strike for the cause of three lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks and the casual, part time, contingent employees who are the most exploited and down-trodden class of the Postal Department and the entire Central Govt. Services.