BSNL CO Issues Promotions from SDE (T) to AGM (T) Grade :

BSNL CO issues promotions of executives as from SDE (Telecom) to DE/AGM (Regular) of Telecom Operation stream against 67% seniority quota.

Click here for the promotion orders

AIGETOA congratulates all the promoted executives and conveys its best wishes.

At the same time, we consider it paramount on the part of management to extend justice to remaining SDEs who have completed their residency and are eligible to be promoted. AIGETOA’s fight for extending justice to the deprived lot will continue. We are not going to stop till we achieve our rightful due. We request management to ensure the promotion of all the eligible SDEs. We have already requested management for increasing the posts, diverting the posts from SET quota and introduction of stagnation criteria so as to ensure that all the eligible SDEs gets their promotion. Our pursuance for the same will continue till we achieve the rightful promotions for all the eligible ones

GS AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL – Seeking Higher Reimbursement for Mobile Handsets Supporting Band-28 (700 MHz band) which is being used majorly by BSNL for its Swadeshi 4G Network :

GS AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL Shri P K Purwar Ji regarding need for increasing the limit for reimbursement of cost of Mobile handsets further to enable all executives to buy atleast optimum configuration handsets supporting Band-28 i.e. in the 700 MHz band which is being used majorly by BSNL for its Swadeshi 4G network.

Click here for the Letter

The proposed cost is insufficient for handsets compatible with BSNL’s 4G services, which will primarily utilize the 700 MHz spectrum band. The available handsets with this configuration are priced higher than the current reimbursement amounts.

AIGETOA highlighted the following intrinsic benefits of having a revised handset policy with Band-28 support handsets:

1] As part of the government supported projects BSNL is launching the 4G services in Band-28 in rural, far flung and difficult areas in the country. It will be timely and prudent that BSNL executives are equipped with proper mobile handset which will help them not only to complete their day to day office work but also enable them to assist customers, measure QoS, coverage.

2] BSNL having 4G rollout in Band 28 will be a long term advantage as the band is having excellent penetration and coverage. At this stage appropriate feedback will be required for improvements in the indigenous 4G stack.

3] The executives associated with Mobile related work will also require a day to interface with vendors and service providers and various government agencies also. Therefore, providing handset equipped with 700 MHz band support will be good investment which will be fruitful for the executives as well as the company.

4] By increasing the reimbursement limit at least by Rs 8000 at each level of existing policy rates should be accepted for immediate implementation. By this way BSNL management can make it mandatory for all executives to purchase the handsets supporting B28 operations.

5] The clause 4 of the letter dated 07.05.2024 seems to be discriminatory. It mentions that the officers on look after basis or local officiating basis shall be allowed reimbursement of the cost of Mobile Handset at their substantive post. There are many officers who been promoted and working on LA basis for the last 4 to 5 years and have been vested with all administrative and financial powers of the post. They are eligible to get promoted on regular basis but still not being promoted for the reasons best known to department. Surprisingly, these officers are giving their best even on LA basis but being deprived of the reimbursement benefits on the post at LA basis is gross injustice. We feel that the officers on LA basis should also be entitled/allowed to reimburse the cost of Mobile handsets at par with officers working on regular/adhoc basis.

Updates of Meeting of Team AIGETOA CHQ with CMD BSNL on dated 6th May 2024 :

Team AIGETOA consisting of GS AIGETOA Shri Ravi Shil Verma, Dy. GS AIGETOA Shri Pavan Akhand, AGSs Shri Vivek Kumar Singh and Shri Sunil Gautam and All India Convener Shri A A Khan met CMD BSNL on dated 06.05.2024. The meeting was held in the backdrop of proposed meeting between Senior officers of BSNL and DoT for way forward on the Standard Pay Scales issue. The details of the discussion are as stated below:

1] Standard Pay Scales of E2 and E3 as replacement scales of pre-revised E1A and E2A:

We appraised about the progress on the issue of standard pay scales and requested for the need to push the same from BSNL side. We informed that after much persuasion, DoT has finally reopened the issue and has sought inputs from BSNL. We appraised CMD BSNL that BSNL is likely to submit their inputs in an upcoming meeting which is scheduled to be held on 09.05.2024 at the JS Admin Office in DoT at 3:00 pm. We requested CMD BSNL to give the positive inputs in the upcoming meeting regarding the long pending issue of standard pay scales of E2-E3. It is understood that HR team is working diligently on the issue and is likely to give an impartial input which will help in resolution of the issue. Thereafter association shall be having another meeting at DoT for further discussion on the issue after the BSNL meeting on 09/05/2024.

2] Promotions issue in various Grades and Streams – SDE to AGM through DPC/LICE, AO to CAO, JAO to AOs, AGM to DGM and introduction of Stagnation Clause:

We requested for intervention of Hon’ble CMD BSNL on the struck career progressions of BSNL Executives across all cadres and streams. Somewhere issue is litigation/stay from court of law and somewhere issue is lack of sufficient vacancies. We once again explained CMD BSNL that the only solution to this mess is to introduce the mechanism of promotion through personal upgradation of the post by introduction of an upper cap on the residency period across a grade. We said its high time that citing the road blocks, BSNL must restart working on this proposal take up this matter once again to BSNL Board for approval. CMD BSNL stated that normally it’s very difficult to reopen a closed chapter but still he will try to push it again. CMD BSNL was positive on the suggestion but was non-committal as of now and advised us to wait for some time.

Discussion also took place on the ongoing DPC and LICE process for SDE to AGM Promotions.

We expressed our disappointment for unnecessary hold on the promotions and requested for expediting the same. We also requested CMD BSNL for inclusion of 1000+ vacancies in AGM cadre by executing promotions in SDE to AGM as well as AGM to DGM grade. We also requested for diversion of 300 SET quota vacancies to Promotions Quota as a lot many of the SDEs appearing in the LICE Exams have proved their merit by securing good percentage of marks (Written as well as Apar grades) and it becomes duty of BSNL to give maximum promotional avenues to the executives who have completed their residency in the grade. Similarly, we highlighted same mechanism can be used in Finance Stream to take care of the pending litigations. We also requested for ensuring DPC in JTO to SDE grade and JAO to AO grade by filling up the consequential vacancies arising out of the promotions in higher grade. CMD BSNL appreciated the concern and assured to talk to HR team for exploring what best can be done.

We also requested the intervention of Hon’ble CMD BSNL in completing the review process of PWD executives expeditiously. We emphasised that Personnel cell must be directed to issue the Promotions of all the eligible executives whose DPC was completed in November 2022. We also highlighted the attention of CMD BSNL on the precarious condition of SDE 2007 reversal affected candidates. We requested for an early implementation of the orders from CAT Lucknow Bench.

It was assured to look into the issue expeditiously.

3] Laptop reimbursement, Mobile reimbursements & TA/DA Issue:

We thanked CMD BSNL for directing to Director (HR) for writing to circles with respect to the reimbursement of laptop issue and also requested for issuance of the orders for revised mobile reimbursement limits which has been approved by Management Committee of the BSNL Board.

We also objected on the approved amount being very low and requested for reconsidering our proposal for enhancing the limits to minimum Rs 20,000/- across the executives irrespective of their grade or posts. CMD BSNL told that sometimes slow start gives rise to many things and didn’t rule out the enhancement further more in future. We also highlighted the attention of CMD BSNL on the slow progress with regard to revision of TA/DA/Transport Allowance and requested for his intervention in this regard.

4] Reviewing of Comprehensive Renting Out Policy (Crop – 2020):

It was intimated to CMD BSNL that various query from the officers has been received regarding Crop-2020 policy in which the BSNL serving employee who took the quarter under CROP policy has to face lots of hardship in the renewal of the quarter after two years on the routine manner. As per clause no-1.8 of the CROP 2020, the CROP Policy shall be reviewed every two years. Association requested CMD BSNL that almost 4 (four) years has passed and same has not been reviewed yet. CMD agreed to review the policy based on the Association inputs after discussing with the team.

Flash News: Reimbursement Limit for Mobile increased

Congratulations !!!

It is understood that the proposal for enhancement of mobile reimbursement limits for BSNL Executives is approved by the Management Committee of Board. The orders shall be issued shortly.

This was one of the demand which has been precipitated by AIGETOA Since long and it was assured by management during reconciliation meeting with AIGETOA and thereafter in the agenda meeting. We are happy to note management has kept their promise. Our heartfelt thanks to CMD BSNL, Director HR, PGM SR, PGM Admin and PGM Estt.

Together we can.

Good Positive Development on the resolution of Standard Pay Scale issue of E2 and E3 at DoT:

One very good development at DoT with respect to resolution of standard pay scales E2 and E3 for JTO/JAO Equivalent and SDE/AO/Equivalent.

After the tripartite meeting at DOT with BSNL, DoT and BMS affiliated associations and unions, AIGETOA was asked to submit a detailed representation stating how the issue can be resolved without cascading effect and keeping the 5 Time Bound Upgradations in EPP Intact. AIGETOA submitted its detailed representation to Member Services which was under examination at DoT. Informal discussions between BSNL and DoT officials also took place on the issue. Team AIGETOA CHQ consisting of GS Ravi Shil Verma, AIP Shri Veerabhadra Rao, Chief Patron Shri A A Khan, AGSs Shri Vivek Kumar Singh, Shri Sunil Gautam and Shri Yogendra Kumar, Organising Secretary Shri Harjinder Singh were also constantly pursuing the issue and had almost 4-5 rounds of discussions at DoT. After our last round of discussions and submissions with the senior officers at DoT who are dealing with the issue wherein we were able to explain our point of view and the same was responded with positivity from DoT Side. After our meeting, discussions took place within the higher ups at DoT and it was observed that the submissions of AIGETOA have merit. Accordingly, it was decided to call for a formal meeting with higher officers of BSNL to discuss upon the submissions of General Secretary AIGETOA. The meeting between DoT and BSNL officers will take place on 9th May 2024 and shall be chaired by Hon’ble Joint Secretary (Admin). After taking inputs from BSNL, further actions shall be taken by DoT.

Friends, though apparently small, but It’s indeed a big achievement that DoT has finally decided to move forward on the standard pay scales issue else earlier their categorical stand was always that issue is closed in line with their letter written to CLC during reconciliation proceedings with one association. This achievement is a testimony to the consistent efforts of Team AIGETOA to clear the issues under the able guidance of our umbrella organisation BMS. Slowly and steadily, road blocks are getting cleared and we are very sure that one by one, all issues shall be resolved including the issue of 3rd PRC

It may also be noted that while pursuing the pending important matters of 2nd PRC implementation (SAB dues & E2-E3 pay scale) through the official corridors of DoT/ BSNL with the active support of our strong umbrella BMS, the legal entangles are also being pursued by team AIGETOA side by side. The appeal at Hon HC is being filed and wrt E2-E3 the reply being submitted to DoT/DPE where the next listing date is 21/5/2024 at Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam.

Further, our efforts for the road blocks created by one group on the LICE of SDE to AGM is also on and we assure one and all that AIGETOA will defeat their designs to stop the promotions. Our team is working and pursuing on the issue and suitable action is being taken. We have also prevailed upon management to not to go loose on any milestones because of the court stay and all activities for issuance of LICE Results should be on track as per the schedule finalized earlier. Further our endeavours for promotions for all eligible is also on. Team AIGETOA has made a conclusive progress on PWD promotions as per the guidelines of Hon’ble Supreme Court- ( Final outcome will be visible soon) and we are also actively pursuing for implementation of Hon’ble Lucknow CAT Bench orders with respect to SDE 2007 Reversal issue and have covered a lot of distance in this regard. We are also pursuing for issuance of promotions through DPC mode across various grades.

We are sure that the unwavering support to AIGETOA by all concerned will definitely yield the positive results for the genuine cause of executives and the resolution towards PPP issues. Progress is slow but steady and we thank our umbrella organisation BMS for their support and keeping the issues on track with their active monitoring on developments.

We also extend our thanks and gratitude to our Honourable Minister of communication for his intervention on the issues after our submissions to his good self in the series of meetings with AIGETOA.

We once again request all executives to support AIGETOA in its efforts going beyond association lines.

Gratuity Limit Increased by 25% to Rs 25 Lakh

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced an increase in the maximum limit for retirement and death gratuity for Central Government employees. As per the latest circular issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the maximum gratuity amount has been raised to Rs. 25 lakh, effective January 1, 2024.

Click here for the letter

This revision comes in line with the increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) payable to Central Government employees to 50% of the basic pay. The previous maximum gratuity limit was Rs. 20 lakh.

The circular, issued by the Additional Central PF Commissioner (HR), states that this enhancement is subject to other conditions mentioned in the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoP&PW) Office Memorandum dated August 4, 2016.

The increase in the gratuity limit will provide additional financial security to Central Government employees upon retirement or in the event of their demise. Gratuity is a lump-sum payment made to employees as a benefit for their service, and it forms an important component of retirement planning.

Updates of Meeting of Team AIGETOA at DoT and BSNL on dated 24th April 2024 :

Team AIGETOA consisting of GS AIGETOA, AIP AIGETOA, Dy GS AIGETOA, AGSs AIGETOA and OS AIGETOA had a series of meeting at DoT and BSNL with regard to pursuance of Standard Pay Scales and Promotion issues on dated 24.04.2024. The Team met OSD to MoSC, DDG (Estt) and Director PSU for pursuance of issues discussed and commitments during the tri-party meeting at DoT. After meeting at DoT, as a follow up Team Met Director (HR) and PGM (Recruitment) at BSNL. Various issues discussed and details of the discussion are as stated below:

The meeting points discussed by AIGETOA leaders with DoT officers on 24th April 2024 at DoT office :

1] Standard Pay Scales of E2 and E3 as replacement scales of pre-revised E1A and E2A:

We enquired about the progress on the issue of standard pay scales and emphasized that it needs to be expeditiously concluded. It was heartening to note that DoT is working diligently on the issue and one meeting between BSNL Management Team and officers dealing the issue has already taken place few days back. Discussion was centered on the need for replacement of initial two pay scales by standard pay scales E2 for JTO/JAO Equivalent and E3 for SDE/AO/Equivalent. It was informed that the official inputs submitted by AIGETOA is being examined and some details have been sought from BSNL on the issue of addressing EPP within the executive-level career progression and the extension of E7 at SG JAG Level. BSNL is likely to submit their inputs in a week’s time. Thereafter association shall be having another meeting at DoT for further discussion on the issue.

2] Promotions issue in various Grades and Streams:

We once again highlighted the need for introducing the mechanism of promotion through personal upgradation of the post by introduction of an upper cap on the residency period across a grade. In other words, the conventional post-based promotion requires a minimum residency period to be eligible for posts, the lack of availability of sufficient posts and various litigations delay the whole promotions. Introduction of an upper cap on the residency period will enable management to overcomes the pending litigations and ensures promotion of the executives after spending the maximum stipulated time in the grade. This mechanism also takes care of the government guidelines on reservation and other statutory norms. We expressed and explained that it was unfortunate BSNL proposal was turned down without any detailed discussions between stakeholders and the same needs a revisit by DoT also. We requested for reconsideration of the association inputs in this regard which is the only way to ensure satisfactory career progression to the executives of BSNL.

3] Extension of Pension Benefits Under CCS Pension Rules 1972 to BSNL Employees Whose Recruitment Process was Initiated by DoT prior to the establishment of BSNL on 01.10.2000:

The matter was discussed in detail once again with DDG (Estt). She informed that issue was deliberated in detail with DoP&T and DoPPW wherein they have categorically stated that if there was any issue with respect to the appointment, same should have been raised at the time of appointment. Further, it was told that since the appointment has been accepted in a PSU, the pension can not be granted. The Team AIGETOA however, countered the arguments told that issue has not been taken in its proper perspective and submitted various documents, court judgments and told that option under CCS rules must be extended to all the similarly placed employees and in the wake of fresh documents submitted, issue needs a fresh examination and deliberation by DoT. DDG (Estt) accepted our request and assured that all the inputs given along with documents shall be re-examined as assured earlier. If any further clarification is needed, the same shall be asked. However, she was non-committal on the outcome. AIGETOA shall keep its persuasion on till we achieve the issue.

4] Implementation of 3rd PRC in BSNL:

It was told that issue needs discussions, deliberations and decision at the highest level in view of the requirement for the waiver of affordability clause. AIGETOA shall discuss the issue in forthcoming meetings with higher ups at DoT and government echelons. The association remains committed to resolution of the issue of pay scales, pay loss, 3rd PRC, 30 percent SAB and Promotions and shall be taking all efforts to get the same resolved under the guidance of our umbrella organization BMS and request one and all to support AIGETOA in its endeavors for the same.

The meeting points discussed by AIGETOA leaders with Director HR on 24th April 2024 :

Thereafter the team AIGETOA met Director (HR) BSNL and updated him about the discussions at DoT and requested for his intervention in expediting the inputs from BSNL. We also discussed upon other issues and told that many committed issues in the agenda meeting and the tri party meeting have not seen the light of the day yet. We requested for a follow up discussion on the committed issues. Various issues discussed are as stated below:

1] Issuance of Promotion Orders across various Grades:

AIGETOA took strong objection of non-issuance of promotion orders citing code of conduct. We said that it is understood that management is willing to keep the promotions (SCF as well as LICE) on hold citing the code of conduct and is seeking clarification from DoT and ECI while there is no such bar on issuance of these promotions. We also highlighted that even pure government organizations like Prasar Bharti and Department of Posts have issued promotion orders while BSNL despite being a PSU is unnecessarily trying to drag the issue on non-existent fears. We highlighted that BSNL can immediately issue almost around 9 to 10 thousand promotions as per the suggestions extended by AIGETOA for covering the promotions of all eligible but it seems BSNL is in no mood to explore the possible way outs. This is in complete contravention to the assurance made at the highest level of MoC.

We expressed that patience of executives is running out which will ultimately lead to a state of complete demotivation, unrest and chaos. We requested for the personal intervention of Director HR in settling out the issues and expressed that his positivity and firmness is a ray of hope for us and hence his intervention and involvement will definitely result in getting the solutions as per the satisfaction of all. We also requested for inclusion of another 1000 vacant posts in DGM grade for promotions in the SDE to AGM grade and AGM to DGM grade. Similarly, we requested for diversion of posts from SET Quota to SCF/LICE Quota to give more opportunity to the aspiring executives. Similarly, we highlighted same mechanism can be used in Finance Stream to take care of the pending litigations. We also requested for ensuring DPC in JTO to SDE grade and JAO to AO grade by filling up the consequential vacancies arising out of the promotions in higher grade. Director HR agreed to personally intervene and address any hurdles to ensure that the promotion orders are released soon. He also assured that suggestion of the association with respect to coverage of maximum possible promotions is being examined with holistic approach. We also updated Director HR about our discussion at DOT with respect to introduction of a maximum cap on residency in grade and promotions as personal upgradation of the post to the next level. We requested him to explore the possibility once again which will end all the unnecessary litigations across various streams and grades.

2] Transparency and Timely Completion of LICE Process :

We also said that it was disheartening to note that the provisional keys and candidates attempted sheets was made available on the portal of 4-5 days and that too after rigorous follow up by the association. We said delay in one step gives rise to delay in final process. We also suggested that the grievance window must be made available immediately without any delay. We also emphasized upon the importance of releasing a standard operating procedure (SOP) along with defined timelines for the entire LICE process. This would ensure transparency and timely completion of all activities. Director (HR) acknowledged the suggestions and assured that the LICE will be completed within a specified timeframe.

3] Non-submission of reply by BSNL to DoT w.r.t tri-party meeting :

Team AIGETOA informed Director HR that the written response has not been submitted from BSNL to DoT, leading to delays in the process. We also informed about the negative attitude of some officers involved in the process and requested for his intervention in sensitizing such officers. Director (HR) assured us for positive action on the matter.

Laptop reimbursement & TA/DA Issue :

We thanked Director (HR) for writing to circles with respect to the reimbursement of laptop issue and also requested for issuance of the orders for revised mobile reimbursement limits as the same is unduly delayed despite acceptance. We also highlighted the attention of Director (HR) on the slow progress with regard to revision of TA/DA/Transport Allowance and told that even the committee has not been constituted yet. Director (HR) assured for an immediate action in this regard.

We also requested for processing the Request Transfer cases in expeditious manner as executives need to plan for the studies of their children etc. and unnecessary delay gives rise to uncertainty. With regard to the long stay transfers, we once again emphasized that the transfer should be need based and necessary exemption must be extended with respect to genuine reasons like Medical, Children Education, Female employees, Single Parent, Caregiver to the Ailing Parents and Dependents suffering from disability. We requested for a clear and transparent approach in this regard so that all affected persons can be given equal treatment.

Director (HR) told that he has guided his team to work on the issues and all the commitments made shall be honored. He told AIGETOA team that he has sought action taken report from all the involved units and assured us for a review meeting on the agenda items and commitments made in a few days’ time after receipt of the ATRs from various units.