Tuesday, September 15, 2009




Com N T Sajwani Dtd 14-9-09

Dear Comrade!

Thank You very much for publishing two of our articles from our website in the CHQ journal regarding Wage Revision. Hope our CHQ Leadership has been watching Our Website continuously and viewing some of our useful materials.

As you are touring various Circles and meeting rank and file, you can be able to gauge the mood of ordinary workers better than me. They are in grief stricken mood and greatly disappointed because of the delay in reaching wage settlement. They are in hurry to see some agreement for getting their pay fixed in new scales, of course with their limited resources but with great common sense. We should not misunderstand their impatience because our economically better placed Executives (When compared to Non-executives) got their wage revision well in advance.

This letter is to request you to balance the sentiments of our employees with the required benefit and coming in terms with the reality. Some concrete suggestions are the need of the hour and the same to be worked out to create an atmosphere that is favourable for early and fair settlement.


1 Date of Effect: No problem- the matter is well settled by Government itself.

2 Rate of Increment: 3% has already been in practice and it seems difficult to improve the same at this stage

3 Minimum - Maximum: It is better to upgrade the scale of GrD to the level of MTNL’s 4400. If found impossible, then we should strive for 4250 (at least equivalent to CG Employees). The maximum may be the scale of E2A that is SDE scale- instead of 9850 as accepted by BSNLEU in the promotional policy. This would help our TTA to get their 4th promotion, if any chance to get the same.

4. Pay Scales: The set pattern of NE1 to NE11 may be reduced to the extent possible and to the need of requirement suiting promotional aspects. At least one scale up would help our TMs to get TTA scales within 11 years. Similarly at least one scale up to SrTOAs (if we feel difficult to get 7100) would help them in getting some more benefits as CG Employees scales of 5000, 5500 are merged with 6500. We should concentrate on scale building in such a way to maximize the benefit through promotional aspects.

5 Pension: We should ensure 37A and should not allow any dilution on it as BSNL is pushing through the ‘September ‘03 order’ in the wage negotiations with BSNLEU. We should properly study the issue and protect 37A. BSNL has to contribute on the basis of FR116. We should see the end scale in its optimum. We need not allow 2.77 or 2.8 times of old end scale as our new end scale, as done to our Executives. This would cause BSNL a liability. We should restrict it to the level of 2.2 or 2.3 and this would help to reduce the burden of BSNL. We should be a bit more vigilant in this aspect when the scales are constructed.

6. DA Points for Fitment: Our Executives got 68.8 as per Rao recommendation. After ONGC struggle, the same was corrected and DPE issued order for 78.2% for the Executives. We should pursue the same (as 68.8 with 30 % fitment would cause us 12% loss comparing 78.2 with 30%). We have to clinch the issue to avoid loss of 12 for every 100 per month as on 1-1-07 basic.

7. Fitment and periodicity: Unfortunately the whole confusion lies in this area only. The guidelines issued in connection with 7th Round of PSU wage negotiation speaks nothing about DA merger points or Fitment percentage or any mandatory link of both, but our management is firm on linking them. For periodicity also the only mandatory guideline is not below 5 years.
The options put forth by the management are known to all- 30% as that of Executives with 10 year periodicity or 9.96% fitment with 5 year periodicity. Of course we can discern, that on negotiation BSNL may agree for 30% without mentioning Periodicity (i.e. de-linking periodicity). But for 5 years they are emphasizing reduced fitment. Unfortunately no negotiation or bargaining is held on that line, fearing workers’ sentiment as they are not in a mood of getting less than 30%. Even if any negotiation, to bring 23 or 24% as that of Port, Coal with 5 years (though advantageous to 2 lakh juniors in the long run- but disadvantageous to 50000 seniors), the process would be time consuming and can be achieved only through united hard struggle. But the atmosphere is not congenial to that position.

Now BSNLEU has been spreading the news that 30% fitment is clinched with the staff side’s suggestion of reviewing the wage revision after 5 years. If the minutes of the management (the one to be issued) confirms the same, then it is good - Suppose if it is other wise, then again the stalemate may continue. BSNLEU smelling the same now started writing its defence line-and advocating struggle. But they are still hesitant to consolidate the entire bargaining strength and they may even avoid united struggle for their future election gains.

The moot question is - What should be our role? Can we able to create an atmosphere by unleashing all our energy that suits and binds all to come to some consensus without any further delay? The psychosis (fear of blame game) is the main hurdle. Some bold initiatives are needed to settle the wage revision in its broader aspects and not simply harping on one particular issue. There are many areas to concentrate.

I will be thankful if some efforts are made to bring consensus amongst all sections including BSNLEU for bringing wage settlement at the earliest.

With affection
R. Pattabiraman
Circle secretary, Tamilnadu.

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