Thursday, 6 July 2017
FALSE PROPAGANDA & UNFOUNDED CRITICISM BY SUPPORTERS OF NDA GOVERNMENT’S DECISION ON ALLOWANCES
Immediately on announcement of Govt’s decision on Allowances a well-orchestrated propaganda was unleashed by the NDA Govt through media and its political machinery and also through some organizations and employees who supported the Government’s decision. The crux of the propaganda is as follows :-
1) It has been decided by the Government that HRA shall not be less than 5400, 3600 & 1800 for X, Y, and Z category of cities respectively. This floor rate has been calculated @ 30%, 20% and 10% of the minimum pay of 18,000-. This will benefit more than 7.5 lakhs employees belonging to pay level 1,2, and 3.
2) It is because of the JCM Staffside Federations who opposed and rejected the HRA rate recommended by Pay Commission, the employees have lost one and half years arrears of allowances. Government was ready to implement HRA and allowances from 01-01-2016 along with Revised Pay.
3) Even in the past, Revised HRA and other Allowances were not given from the same date. HRA and other Allowances are implemented from a later date without retrospective effect.
The propaganda and criticism, though not succeeded, should not go uncountered. This is part of a deliberate attempt by the Govt. and its political machinery to misguide the general public and employees.
The following facts will reveal the hollowness of the propaganda of the Govt, and the criticism of those who supports the Govt’s decision.
(1) More than 7.5 lakhs lower level employees ( in pay level 1, 2 and 3) will be benefited due to the decision of the Govt. to retain minimum HRA of 5400, 3600 and 1800 as 30, 20 & 10% of minimum pay of 18,000-.
It will not benefit 7.5 lakhs employees in lower level 1, 2 and 3. It will benefit only few thousand employees.
In Pay level – I the starting pay is 18,000-. After getting eight (8) increments (eight years service) pay will become 22,800-. An employee drawing 22,800- will get HRA above 5400, 3600, 1800 even if the HRA is 24% (5472) 16% (3648) and 8% (1824).
In Pay level – 2 the starting pay is 19,900- After getting five increments (5 years service) pay will become 23,100-. The official will draw 5544 (24%) 3696 (16%) and 1848 (8%) even if the minimum 5400, 3600, 1800 is not retained.
In Pay level – 3 the starting pay is 21,700-. After getting 2 increments the pay will become 23,100- . 24% (5544), 16% (3696) and 8% (1848) will be above 5400, 3600 and 1800-.
From the above it can be seen that only those officials below 8 years service in Pay level – 1, below 5 years service in Pay level – 2 and 2 years services in Pay level – 3 will be benefited by the decision of the Govt to retain 5400-, 3600- and 1800- at level 1, 2 and 3 as minimum HRA at X, Y and Z class cities respectively. How many central Govt employees below 8 years service in level -1 and below 5 years service in level -2 and below 2 years service in level – 3 will be working in the Central Govt departments as on date. Only few thousands. All others in level -1,2 and 3 will draw more than 5400-, 3600- and 1800-even if HRA is 24%, 16% and 8%. This being the reality, Govt through its press release given to media made false propaganda that 7.5 lakh employees will be benefited by the Govt’s decision !!! And those who welcomed the Govt’s decision are repeating the same lies.
(2) It is because of the Federation leaders representing JCM National Council Staffside who opposed the HRA rate recommended by 7th CPC, employees lost one and half year arrears.
What is real fact?
Every time when Pay Commissions submit its report to Govt, Implementation Committee or Empowered Committee is constituted by the Govt to examine the recommendations of the CPC and submit report to the Govt for acceptance by Cabinet. The implementation Committee or Empowered Committee will call for suggestions / modifications to the CPC recommendations from all organizations including National Council JCM Staffside. This time also Govt and the Implementation Committee followed the same procedure.
Accordingly, National Council JCM Staffside submitted detailed memorandum to Govt and Implementation Committee / Empowered Committees, seeking 26 modifications in the recommendations including Minimum Pay, Fitment formula, Allowances including HRA, Transport Allowance, Advances, MACP conditions, CCL conditions etc.,. The JCM Staffside also presented their view points before the Implementation Committee headed by Joint Secretary and Empowered Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary. Suppose the JCM Staffside leaders / Federations decides not to submit any memorandum seeking modifications in the retrograde recommendations of the 7th CPC before the Implementation Committee / Empowered Committees and keep quite ( as argued by those who criticize the leaders and support the 7th CPC recommendations), what will be the reaction of the employees ? Will they not blame the leaders for silently supporting the Govt for implementing all the retrograde and negative recommendations of the 7th CPC ?
Inspite of JCM Staffside requesting for modifications the Cabinet meeting held on 29-06-2016 decided to accept the recommendations of the 7th CPC on Pay Scale without any modifications, rejecting the modifications requested by the Staffside. Cabinet also decided to refer all the allowances including HRA to a Committee headed by Finance & Expenditure Secretary.
Cabinet on 29-06-2016 has not decided to grant 24%, 16% and 8% HRA recommended by 7th CPC. Then where is the question of accepting or rejecting the decision of the Govt when there was no such decision by the Cabinet.
Not only JCM Staffside Federations almost all the Unions / Federations / Associations have submitted memorandum to Govt seeking modifications in the retrograde recommendations of 7th CPC. What is wrong in it ? The fact is that Govt deliberately constituted the Allowance Committee and referred HRA and other Allowances to the Committee to delay and deny the arrears from 01-01-2016. Instead of protesting against the Govt’s decision (that is what Confederation has done), those who are desperately trying to turn the anger and resentment of the employees against Unions / Federations who demanded modifications, are bound to fail, as Central Govt employees are not that much fools to believe that propaganda.
(3) Even in the past, HRA and Allowances were not given retrospective effect.
Govt and those who welcomed and thanked Govt for its decision on allowances are continuously repeating the argument that in the past also allowances were not given retrospective effect from the date of Revision of Pay. But what is the actual fact?
In the past, revised allowances including HRA were granted from the month / next month of notification of Revised Pay Rules. Even then JCM Staffside has not welcomed or thanked the Govt but strongly protested and demanded grant of allowances from the same date from which Revised Pay is implemented. Even if the old practice is taken as precedence, this time employees have every right to get revised allowances including HRA from 01-07-2016 as Revised (Pay) Rues was notified on 25-07-2016. Those who welcomed the Govt’s decision are consciously and deliberately hiding this fact as many employees do not know what has happened in the past. More over never in the past any Pay Commission has recommended reduction in HRA rates.
The NDA Govt and its political machinery has made this type of propaganda when the Cabinet approved the recommendations of Pay scales recommended by the 7th CPC on 29-06-2016 without any modifications. At that time the propaganda was “big bonanza” to Central Government employees. This time also the same method of propaganda is adopted and the unfortunate part of it, is that some of our friends representing employees too contributed to such a false and baseless propaganda.
PROTEST AGAINST BETRAYAL OF NDA GOVERNMENT
CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS DECIDED TO ORGANISE
MASS PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS AND BURNING OF HRA ORDERS ON 25th JULY 2017 AT MAXIMUM CENTRES THROUGH OUT THE COUNTRY
THOSE HANDS WHICH ARE AFRAID OF RAISING AGAINST INJUSTICES
THOSE TONGUES WHICH ARE AFRAID OF VOICING AGAINST INJUSTICES
ARE SYMBOLS OF SLAVERY AND SURRENDER.
Seventh Central pay Commission Report was submitted to Government on 19.11.2015. Most of the recommendations, especially in the case of Minimum wage, fitment formula, Pay scales of most of the cadres, Allowances, Advances, MACP, CCL, etc. are most retrograde. 7th CPC recommendations are the worst recommendations after the 2nd Pay Commission recommendations (1960). The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) comprising the National Council JCM Staff Side (mainly Railways, Defence and Confederation) gave notice for indefinite strike to Government on 09.06.2016, seeking modifications in the recommendations. Government refused to call the NJCA leaders for a negotiated settlement and unilaterally declared the decisions of the Cabinet on 29.06.2016. NJCA decided to go ahead with the indefinite strike. On 30.06.2016, Group of Cabinet Ministers including Shri Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Shri Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister held discussion with the NJCA leaders. It was assured that Minimum Pay and Fitment formula will be increased and a High Level Committee will be constituted to submit recommendations in this regard to the Government. It was also assured that all other issues arising out of implementation of 7th CPC will be considered favourably. Four months time limit was also fixed for implementation of the assurances. Based on the above assurances the indefinite strike was deferred for four months.
Evenafter four months time limit fixed, no high level committee was constituted and all other issues remained unsettled. Government constituted committees after committee – Implementation Committee, Empowered Committee, Allowance Committee, Pension Option-I Committee, NPS Committee, Anomaly Committee etc. – but till this day no High Level Committee for increasing Minimum Pay and Fitment formula is constituted eventhough a Group of officers headed by Additional Secretary (Expenditure) held two meetings with the staff side without any discussion on Minimum Pay and fitment formula.
Committees were constituted to delay or deny the demands placed by staff side.
1. Allowances Committee delayed its report for about ten months to deny increase in HRA rates and arrears from 01.01.2016.
2. Pension Option-I Committee rejected the one and the only favourable recommendations of the 7th CPC i.e; Option-I parity for pre-2016 pensioners.
3. NPS Committee categorically stated that withdrawal of NPS is not under the purview of the committee.
As the Government was not ready to honour its assurances given to the NJCA leaders, evenafter a lapse of four months, Confederation has requested the dominant organisations in the NJCA to revive the deferred indefinite strike. As there was no concensus in the NJCA regarding revival of indefinite strike or organizing any serious trade union action (for reason best known to all) against the betrayal of the Government, Confederation National Conference decided to organize independent agitation programmes. Accordingly Massive Parliament March with participation of about 15000 employees and pensioners on 15.12.2016, one day nationwide strike of about thirteen (13) lakhs Central Government employees on 16.03.2017, Mass dharna of about 3000 employees and pensioners in front of Finance Ministers office on 23.05.2017, Human Chain of Central Government employees and Pensioners at all major centres on 22.06.2017 were organized by Confederation for settlement of 21 points charter of demands which included the demands of all sections of employees and pensioners including Gramin Dak Sevaks, Casual Contract workers and Autonomous body employees and pensioners.
After more than eleven months from the date notification of Revised (Pay) Rules 2016 (25.07.2016), Union Cabinet approved the revised allowances on 28.06.2017 without any major modifications, including HRA and Transport Allowances applicable to all section of employees. HRA rate was not increased from 24, 16, and 8%. The date of effect was fixed as 01.07.2017 instead of 01.01.2016.
Some of our friends, who are welcoming and supporting the Government’s decision on allowances are arguing that never in the past Revived Pay and Revised Allowances were given from the same date and for HRA etc. retrospective effect was not given. They consciously want to hide the fact that in the past revised allowances including HRA were granted from the month/next month of notification of Revised Pay Rules. Even if that practice is taken as a precedence, this time employees have every right to get Revised Allowance including HRA from 01.07.2016, as Revised (Pay) Rules 2016 was notified on 25.07.2016. Similarly, never in the past HRA rates were reduced by Pay Commissions. Those who support the Government’s decision are deliberately hiding this fact to somehow justify their stand and misguide the employees, because of their guilty conscience.
As the dominant organisations of the NJCA have left from the path of struggle for realization of the 7th CPC related justified demands raised in the July 11th indefinite strike charter, Confederation has decided to carry forward the struggle against the betrayal of the Government and non-implementation of assurances given by the Hon’ble Ministers. We have made it open that we strongly disagree and disown the stand taken by the Secretary, National Council JCM staff side, (Who is also the convenor of NJCA) by welcoming and thanking the Government for the decisions on Allowances including HRA. Confederation represents the sentiments of entire Central Government employees pensioners especially grass root level workers. It cannot be a party to any statement or action which the ordinary workers feel as betrayal of their cause. Confederation shall continue its struggle against the injustices meted out to the Central Government employees and Pensioners (including Autonomous body employees and pensioners, Gramin Dak Sevaks and casual, Contract workers) by the NDA Government.
Descending to the level of submitting to the dictates of the Government, compromising on the basic principles of trade Union, leaving away the path of struggle ignoring the of principles of collective bargaining, getting addicted to the JCM machinery of never ending, no-result-oriented discussions and consultations --- is not the tradition of Confederation. Confederation is a different organisation which our critics and enemies cannot understand.
We are fighting against a Government which is aggressively implementing neo-liberal reforms and we know that struggle path is tough and difficult and require sacrifices. Eventhen, we prefer, that path than the path of opportunism, surrender and compromises. Eventhough we have not won our battle in full, we firmly believe that whatever achievements and benefits the NDA Government was compelled to grant (Example – enhancement of Bonus ceiling to 7000, eligibility for gratuity to NPS employees. 5th Pay Commission recommended parity to pre-2016 pensioners (option-3), microscopic modifications in HRA at minimum level and some other allowances including enhancement of Fixed Medical Allowance to Pensioners and retention of some of the allowances recommended for abolition etc.) is only because of the continuous nationwide campaign and struggle conducted by the Confederation and Confederation alone. Those who never participated in any strike or struggle and only enjoyed the fruits of the struggle and sacrifice of others can never understand the importance of struggle or strike. Empty vessels always go on making much noise, but we believe in action.
It is in this background, the National Secretariat of Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers has decided to intensify our struggle. To express the strong protest, anger and resentment of the employees, against the totally negative and indifferent attitude of NDA Government and also against the betrayal of the Group of Cabinet Ministers of NDA Government, Confederation calls upon the entire employees to organize mass protest demonstration on 25thJuly 2017 (25.07.2017 Tuesday) at all centres at centralized places and burn the orders on HRA issued by the Government. Wide publicity may be given to the programme through local print and electronic media and also social media.
The next phase of agitational programmes will be decided by the National Secretariat meetings of Confederation scheduled to be held at Bengaluru on 9th August 2017.
All affiliated organisations and C-O-Cs are requested to make the above programme a grant success.
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