Thursday, December 27, 2007

CIRCULAR - 4

Posted by Secretary General on 3:11 PM with No comments
CIRCULAR-4/07 DATE : .8.07

Dear Comrades,

On agitations as decided by the CEC at Bangalore

This circular has been delayed for the main reason that we have been waiting to launch agitations as planned in the Central Executive Committee Meeting held at Bangalore.

However, in an attempt to make the agitations broad based, we decided to approach other sister organizations in the revenue so that a combined agitation could be launched. Basically, the issues pertaining to LTU, pay scale revision, compassionate ground appointments and atleast three promotions in the career are common to all the organizations in the C-O-C of Revenue Federations/Associations. In respect of revision of the promotion ratio of A.Cs vis-à-vis the Customs, we have common ground with the Superintendents. By going ahead with an agitation on such demands, it was felt that we will be foreclosing the opportunity for other organizations to join, because we would have advanced on our own.

Towards this objective we have approached the C-O-C of Revenue Federations/Associations. The meeting of the C-o-C could be held only on 4.8.07 at Delhi. But even in that meeting most unfortunately the representatives of the Superintendents Cadre and the Ministerial cadre from Central Excise were not present.

With great effort we have been able to arrive at a decision that there would be a national convention of the C-O-C at Chennai on 6.10.07 to create awareness among our own members and to build public opinion against the ‘policies of the Government affecting revenue’ (mainly LTU).

All members of the CEC are requested to attend the above convention at Chennai on behalf of AICEIA. A short CEC meeting of AICEIA also could be conducted on the side lines of the Convention (on the day before or on the next day) provided the Chennai Branch could make arrangements for the same at the same venue of the Convention, so that we would be able to re-assess the situation and decide on the further course of action. ( All Officer Bearers and members of the CEC are requested to send their suggestions regarding when such a meeting of our CEC could be held).




One day strike on 30.10.07

In a grand convention of Central, State Government, State PSUs Employees and Teachers held at New Delhi on 13.08.07 more than 1000 Government Employees’ representatives participated from all parts of the country. The Convention unanimously decided to have a National Token Strike on 30.10.07 pressing for the 12 point Charter of demands. The Declaration adopted in the meeting and the charter of demands are appended.

AICEIA participated in the Convention and the subsequent Confederation National Executive meeting on 14.08.07.

The following points require specific focus and hence have to be highlighted to our members:

· Due to non-availability of any legislation on pensions for those who have joined after 1.1.04, a situation has been created where by 10% of the income deducted towards contributory pension but could not be repaid in cases where some deaths or resignations have occurred.
· Same type of pension scheme with the contribution amountncapable of being pumped into the stock markets, is being envisaged for the existing employees as well as former employees (pensioners). It is apprehended that the number of years for which a pensioner would be entitled for pension may also be restricted.
· There are indications that the existing medical re-imbursement facilities and the CGHS facilities are to be tampered with and in their place private medical insurance cover is to be suggested, thus undermining the health security of millions of Government employees. Due to this not only the 26 cities enjoying the CGHS facilities, including in-patient treatment, even after retirement would be withdrawn, the present re-imbursement facilities also would go and every one would be at the mercy of private medical insurance agencies.
· By non-payment of interim relief, what is at stake is the effective date of the implementation of the 6th CPC report since the 5th CPC had clearly stated that the next Pay Commission should take effect from 10 years of the implementation of the 5th CPC recommendations.
· Control over prices, increasing the interest rates in GPF and small savings are the basic requirements for the Government servants who belong to the middle class.
· Stopping privatization, contractorisation, lifting ban on recruitment, removing the cap on compassionate ground appointments, filling up of all existing vacancies, etc are demands which have a direct impact upon the working conditions of each one of us.
· Removal of quantum ceiling on bonus is very particularly applicable to our members.
· The restoration of right to strike is a fundamental requirement for the democratic functioning of the Government departments and to ensure that minimum levels of personnel management is resorted to atleast to the levels of profit seeking private employers though not to reach standards expected out of a ‘model employer’.
· The basic democratic set up for negotiated settlement also has been eroded by non-implementation of the arbitration awards in blatant disregard to the JCM regulations.
· The other demands in the charter are essentially humanitarian and merit attention from any sensitive government.

Hence members may be sensitized regarding the seriousness of the issues and may be mobilized to participate in the strike for which formal notice will be issued by us along with all other organizations on 19.09.07. Since the call for the strike emanates from a Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ platform, we need not expect the Superintendents to join the agitation. Efforts are on to mobilize the other Associations in CBEC also to join the Strike. However, not depending upon other cadres, we shall be fully prepared to strike work on 30.10.07 along with all other Central Government, State Government, State PSUs Employees and Teachers all over India. Wherever any difficulties are felt to mobilize the members for the strike, the Central leadership may be informed so that Central Office Bearers would assist the Branch/Circle Office bearers facing the difficulty.

All Circle/Branch Office bearers are once again requested to be in constant touch with the C-o-C of C.G Employees at the local levels and participate in all their programmes with full vigour.

Let us impress upon each and every member of our Association that it is not fair to expect other employees with lesser salaries and worse working conditions than ours, to fight for our benefits.


Developments related to the Cadre

The major development within the department has been that for the first time after implementation of Service Tax more than 10 years ago, some posts are being allocated for management of the new area of tax. Thanks to the efforts undertaken by this Association, (then Federation) the memorandum submitted to various agencies and Members of Parliament and the power point projections made in 2004 and 2005, the posts which had been created as per a decision of the Cabinet is understood to have been allocated by the Board in its meeting on 6.07.07.

The zone wise allocation of posts of Superintendents of Central Excise as understood is given below:

Zone C.Ex Cus Total State total
Kolkata 82 82 82
Lucknow 25 25 51
Meerut 26 26

Patna 15 10 25 25
Pune 29 29

Mumbai 90 12 102 131
Nagpur 28 28 58
Banglore 60 20 80 97
Mysore 17 17

Kochi 16 16 16
Delhi 88 21 109 109
Chandigar 30 30 30
Chennai 66 7 73 115
Coimbtore 42 42

Jaipur 16 16 16
Bhopal 30 30

Hyderabad 25 25 42
Vizag 17 17

Shillong 10 10 10
Bhubneswr 27 27 27
Ahmedbad 78 40 118 156
Vadodara 38 38


855 110 965 965

The remaining 145 posts out of 1110 have been allocated to Customs Preventive. However there have been objections from certain zones that the service tax and work load potential of those zones have not been taken into consideration in the above allocation. The AICEIA has addressed the Board on the above concern. It is learnt that the allocation has been made basically taking into consideration of the projections made by the local/zonal heads.

This is a repeat situation of the restructuring of 2001-02 where again proposals were finalized only based on the reports of the Chief Commissioners, who in turn, in most of the zones had submitted reports without consulting with the staff representatives or even against the proposals of the staff associations. The pattern appears to be deliberate so that the local associations could be kept under control by the local authorities. This trend of the CBEC being at the mercy of local satraps could be ended only with a strong unified organization with an all-India outlook. Let us be conscious of this factor in the building of the organization.

(Just as this Circular is to be issued it is understood that the Notification of the allocation of posts has been signed on 16.8.07 and promotions are to be made before 15th October 2007. Further details are awaited).

Another good thing that has happened for the benefit of the department and the cadres is that the necessity to abolish a certain number of posts for creation of the above has been done away with.


Developments related to Recognition of AICEIA

The representatives of this Association have twice met with the Joint Secretary (Admn), CBEC on the issue of delay in processing of our file related to the recognition. He has assured that the issue would be settled in a short span of time and is under his monitoring. It is learnt that along with our case, the case of the Gazetted Executive Officers Federation is also getting processed.


Agitations by Sister Organisations within CBEC

The Associations/Federations representing the Group ‘D’ of Central Excise and Customs and the Ministerial of Customs have embarked upon a mass rally and fasting with Dharna at New Delhi from 21st August 2007 on a charter of demands insisting for publication recruitment rules for Aos, DOS, change of RR for Sepoys, pay parity between the executive and non-executive, filling up of vacant posts, release of ministerial quota for promotion to posts of Appraisers, regularization of services of casual labourers as per directions of the Supreme Court, etc,.

As per the decision of the C-o-C of Revenue Federations/Associations, all Office Bearers of the Branches and Circles are to send telegrams to the Chairman, CBEC in support of the charter of demands on which the Group ‘D’ and Ministerial Officers of CBEC have been forced into agitations and calling for immediate negotiated settlement on the issues raised by them. The Telegrams may be issued on 21.08.07 or on 22.08.07 positively.

A report of confirmation of such a telegram having been sent may be sent to the undersigned by e-mail. A copy of the post copy of telegram may be handed over to the local office bearers of the concerned Associations (which are on agitation).

Mass middle year transfers in Hyderabad

The administration has once again indulged in mass transfers out of a station in the middle of the academic year, in breach of the guarantee against such moves given by the local Chief Commissioner. The events in Hyderabad which have been inviting our attention for quite some time now, on which the CEC at Bangalore also had passed a resolution, does not appear to be coming to a halt in spite of intervention at the level of Honourable Members of Parliament. The administration at Andhra appearing to be indulging in the very old game of divide and rule by pitting one set of members against others. AICEIA has called for urgent intervention by the Chairman to halt the current transfer orders whereby 22 Officers have been shifted out of Hyderabad this week to destinations approximating 600 K.ms. If such instances are left unchecked, uncertainty will become the hall mark of staff administration every where.

Fraternally yours,

Encl: Copy of the Declaration of 13.08.07 convention.
(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General
National Convention 13-08-2007

The National Convention, under the auspices of the Confederation of CGEs. All India State Govt. employees Federation and various teachers federation was held at MPCU Auditorium, Gujarathi Samaj Marg, Delhi on 13-08-2007. Presidium consisting of the following comrades conducted the proceedings:
1. Com. C.C.Pillai {Confederation)
2. Com.R.G.Karnik(AISGEF)
3. Com.Kartik Mandal(STFI)
4. Dr.V.K.Tewari(AIFUCTO)
5. Com.Sailo Bhattacharya (AIDEF)

Com.Sukomal Sen, General Secretary, AISGEF, presented and proposed for the adoption of the declaration. He proposed to call upon the employees to organize a day's strike on 30-101-2007. Com.S.K.Vyas, President, Confederation who seconded the proposal explained in details to why the date of strike had to be fixed on 30th October, 2007. Com.M.K.Pandhe, President, CITU inaugurated the convention. Com.Tapan Sen, MP., Com.Sailo Bhattacharya, Gl.Secy., AIDEF, Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Secy.Genl., BSNL Emp. Union, Com.Rajesh Menon, Secy.Genl., Confederation of Central Govt. Gazetted Officers Organisation were the leaders who accepted our invitation and addressed the delegates. 858 delegates representing various organizations of State and Central employees participated in the deliberations at the convention. The deliberation was finally summed up by Cpm.K.K.N.Kutty, Secy.Genl., Confederation of CGE and Workers. Earlier Com.M.S.Raja, Secy., Confederation had moved a resolution for the consideration of the house condemning the Indo-US nuclear agreement. The declaration with amendment and additions and the resolution moved by Com.M.S.Raja were approved by the house unanimously. Copy of the declaration and the resolution are enclosed.
The house decided to call upon all participating Federations to organize joint campaign and mobilization fortnight between 10 th Sept., 07 to 25th Sept., 2007 by holding joint convention/meetings etc and serve the strike notice on 19th September, 2007 on all heads of offices/Department after a massive demonstration eliciting the participation of all employees.

National Executive Meeting
The National Executive of the Confederation along with the Secretaries of the COC met today. While endorsing the decision of the Convention, the house discussed the various steps to be taken to make the strike slated for 30th October a grand success. It was decided that the COCs will be given the list of all affiliates; the CHQ will give them the list of organizations which have served the strike notice on 19th; the copy of the circular of the affiliates will be made available to all the COCs; the Secretaries of the State COCs or the COCs of the State capital to chalk out campaign programmes in the respective states to cover all employees working in moffusil stations; leaflets and posters would be printed and circulated by all the COCs on the basis of a centrally issued format; steps would be taken to get in touch with Defence and Railway organizations for eliciting solidarity and support action wherever possible; the need for interim relief and the ramification that might emerge from its denial would be explained to the employees in detail; the extreme danger that emanates from the decision to introduce the new contributory pension scheme would be explained as also the necessity to set up judicial committee for GDS; etc.
The Confederation CHQ in consultation with the AISGEF shall chalk out campaign programme and shall communicate the same to all affiliates/COCs. The affiliates and COCs will take necessary steps to organize the joint convention on the dates specified by the CHQ. On the conclusion of the campaign fortnight, the COCs will chalk out tour programme for mobilization to all moffusil station in the respective States.

With greetings,
Yours fraternally,
K.K.N.Kutty,
Secretary General


Declaration adopted at the National Convention of Central, State Government, State PSUs employees and Teachers to be held at MPCU Shah Auditorium, Delhi On 13th August, 2007

This National Convention of Central, State Government employees, teachers and State Public Sector Undertakings being held today, the 13th August, 2007 at Delhi while taking into account various burning issues confronting them adopts the following declaration:
2. At this moment the most dangerous issue that is confronting the employees in the government sector is the conspiracy to foist the IMF-World Bank dictated New Pension Scheme on them and denial of Interim Relief to the Central Government Employees pending final recommendation of the 6 th CPC as had been the practice on all earlier occasions.
The Central Govt. employees, the State Government employees teachers and the workers in the Central and State Public Sector Undertakings particularly, and the working class in general, had been the victims of severe economic offensive of the successive Governments that came into existence in the country ever since the new economic policies were ushered in 1991. While the Government of India had been modulating these policies on the advice and direction of the triumvirate viz. IMF/World Bank and WTO, the State Governments had been curtly directed to adhere to these policies. Some of the State Governments followed it willingly; whereas others under various pressures exerted on them.
Systematic downsizing and closure of Government departments and PSUs;; drastically amending the labour laws to facilitate the new entrepreneurs to indulge in hire and fire, lowering interest rate of GPF and other small savings like EPF, Postal Savings Schemes etc.; curtailing the social security benefits available for the Government employees; allowing the foreign and domestic monopoly capital to loot and plunder the indigenous resources; etc. had been the hall marks of these policies over the years. Acting upon the Expenditure Reforms Committee's recommendations, the Governments both at the centre and the States could close down many Governmental undertaking throwing thousands of workers surplus and redundant.
The Sponsoring Committee of Central Trade Unions and the National Platform of Mass organizations were spearheading the resistance against these ill advised economic policies. The Confederation of Central Government Employees and workers and the All India State Government employees Federation and most of the Federations of the Government employees, teachers and PSU workers were working closely with the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions and the NPMO and had been the participants in all the Strike actions organized against these economic policies.
In view of the continuing and unabated offensive unleashed by the Government of India and various State Governments and especially in the background of (i) doing away with the existing statutory defined benefit pension scheme;(ii) the denial of interim relief despite the setting up of the Pay Commission,(iii) the continued contractorization of regular employment in the Governmental Sector, (iv) reduction of interest rates of the Provident Fund accumulations despite the rising market rates of interest,(v) the refusal to fill up the existing vacancies in various departments of the Governments despite the increasing unemployment;(vi) the refusal of many State Government to merge the DA with basic pay (vii)the spiraling inflation, the Central and State Government employees, teachers and workers of some of the State owned PSUs have jointly decided to mobilize the employees and workers for a decisive action and to hold a convention to discuss and deliberate upon the issues confronting them.
To bring about the so called pension reforms and make available the pension funds for stock market operations had been one of the significant directives of the World Bank. In December, 2003, the then NDA Govt. notified the new contributory pension scheme to replace the existing statutory defined benefit scheme of pension for Central Govt. employees who join service on or after 1.1. 2004. Almost all State Governments adopted the new scheme enunciated by the Govt. of India. In order to give statutory effect to the said notification of the NDA Govt, the UPA Govt. brought about an ordinance in December, 2004, which was later replaced by the PFRDA Bill. However, the Bill could not be made into an Act, due to the principled objection of Members of Parliament belonging to the Left Parties. The Conference of the Chief Ministers and State Finance Ministers convened by the Prime Minister on 22 January, 2007 also met with stiff resistance to the contemplated pension reforms. However, this did not deter the Finance Minister of the UPA Govt. to go ahead with the Pension reform process in a most undemocratic manner. The new Pension Scheme was rejected by the West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura Left Front Finance Ministers. On the strength of the support rendered by the other State Governments, the UPA Govt. has now appointed the Fund Managers and has also decided to make available 5% of the accumulated contributions from the employees recruited on or after 1.1.2004 to the Stock market for which there is no legal sanction.
The very concept of a defined adequate pension ( being a deferred pay) capable of providing socio-economic justice to the employees at their old age, as proclaimed by the Supreme Court of the country, now stands dismantled as Pension under the new dispensation would be a fluctuating or vanishing phenomenon, dependent upon the vagaries of the Stock market. The terms of reference of the study group set up by the 6th Pay Commission to go into the pension structure amply indicates a possible migration of the existing employees to the new contributory pension regime.
Moreover, overzealous with the motive of aiding profit generation of the International and Domestic finance capital, the Central Government has allowed the PSUs to invest upto 30% of their surplus cash in equity of mutual fund resulting the flow of about Rs. 70,000 Crores to the share market
It was in the face of the Supreme Court decision in August, 2003 denying the right to strike to the working class and especially to the Government employees the All India State Government employees Federation and the Confederation of Central Govt. employees jointly took the decision to organize a one day strike on 11 th Feb. 2004, which was shifted to 24th Feb. 2004 at the instance and insistence of the Central Trade Unions to make it a much bigger trade union action against the atrocious judgment. What was the most disturbing aspect of the apex court decision was the iniquitous and democratically unsustainable position taken against the internationally recognized basic right to strike for the workers. It was absolutely in contrast with the International Labour Organization's conventions on "Freedom of Associations and Protection of the right to organize ( No.87) and the application of the principles of the right to organize and bargain collectively (No. 98) neither of which India has unfortunately ratified. To bolster the demand for making the right to strike an invaluable and legal right through an Act of Parliament under the provision of Article 309, ( which the Parliament and the State Legislatures were ordained to do so) a memorandum signed by the 40 Million people was submitted to the Speaker Lok Sabha by a delegation of the Central and State Employees organizations. In response to several queries that were raised in the Parliament later, the UPA Govt. took the condemnable position that the right to strike is uncalled for as the Govt. employees are highly protected and have ample scope for effective bargaining.
In a bid to intensify the downsizing and privatization and outsourcing of Governmental functions, the UPA Govt. Continued with the Policy of ban on recruitment and abolition of posts imposed by the NDA Govt. in 2001. In November, 2006, they have further introduced a total ban on recruitment to be operative for the next three years. The Central Govt. health scheme is on the anvil of being replaced with the Medical Insurance scheme for the benefit of the multinational corporations. All catering, watch and ward, scavenging related jobs have been contractorised in almost all the Departments of the Central and State Governments. The faculty members of the Educational Institutions are now contract workers. Even the sovereign functions of the Govt. viz. Tax collection, mint and printing currency notes are either privatized or outsourced.
Many State Governments who follow the Central pattern of DA have not merged 50% of DA, though such a decision was taken by the Government of Indian as early as in April, 2004. Some of the State Governments are yet to make payment of various instalments of the Dearness allowance to their employees.
In departure to the conventions and principles, the UPA Govt. did not sanction the Interim Relief in October, 2006, when the notification was issued setting up the 6 th CPC, but referred the same for the consideration of the Commission itself of the need and desirability of Interim Relief. The 6th Pay Commission declined to submit any report on the grant of Interim Relief. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government of India to immediately announce the grant of interim relief to all Central Govt. employees at the rate of 15% of Pay + DP subject to a minimum of Rs.1000 with effect from 1.1.2006, a demand the Central Government employees raised.
The other issues included in the charter of demands appended to this declaration viz. setting up of Judicial committee for GDS; removing the 5% cap on compassionate appointments; regularization of contingent, daily rated, casual workers; implementation of Board of Arbitration awards; raising the ceiling on bonus; hiking the interest rates on provident fund accumulation on par with the prevailing market rates etc. had been the subject matters of discussions with the Government for the past 3-4 years without reaching settlement.
This National Convention, therefore, demands the Central and State Governments to withdraw the New Contributory Pension scheme, halt downsizing operations and other anti-employee and anti people moves and initiate actions to settle the demands included in the charter of demands.

Charter of demands
1. Scrap the PFRDA Bill and Cancel appointment of the Pension fund Managers; Introduce statutory pension scheme for the new recruits;
2. Grant full Trade Union rights including the right to strike to all Government employees through appropriate legislation;
3. (a) Stop downsizing the Government departments, privatization and contractorization/ casualisation of Governmental and teaching functions. Stop contractual appointments of teachers and workers, regularize all daily rated, casual and contingent employees
(b) Lift the Ban on recruitment and fill up the existing vacancies of all Government departments, educational institutions and State undertakings; Provide job to jobless
4. Grant Interim relief of minimum of Rs.1000/-/ to all Central Government employees. Implement the 6 th CPC recommendation with effect from 1.1.2006.
5. Bring down the abnormally rising prices of essential commodities and strengthen subsidized public distribution system.
6. Merge of 50% DA with basic pay with all consequential benefits and release of all DA instatements to the State Govt. employees.
7. Withdraw the 5% cap and other restrictions on compassionate appointment. Restore the compassionate appointment scheme wherever it stands abolished.
8. Stop the proposal to replace the CGHS by Medicare insurance scheme.
9. Implement all pending awards of the Board of Arbitration.
10. Remove the quantum ceiling on Bonus and grant bonus to all.
11. Set up a Judicial Committee for wage revision of Grameen Dak Sewaks in replacement of Nataraja Murthy Committee.
12. Increase GPF& Small Savings' interest rates and restore to its early level.
This National Convention urges upon all organizations of the Central and State Government employees and the teachers to unite and mobilize the employees for a sustained struggle and organize a countrywide national strike on 30th October 2007 in order to realize the demands.
This Convention calls upon the Central and State Government employees and the teachers to jointly organize campaign fortnight between 10th and 25th of September, 2007 by holding joint conventions, meetings etc. It also appeals all organizations to observe 19th September, 2007 as Strike Notice Serving Day by holding massive demonstrations and meetings in front of all offices and serve strike notice.
This National Convention strongly urges upon the Central and State Governments to Scrap the New Contributory Pension Scheme and settle the Charter of Demands immediately failing which the Central and State Government employees, teachers and others will be constrained to resort to more vigorous agitations including indefinite strike action.


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