A delegation from the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), representing BSNL employees, met with Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw Ji, the Honorable Minister of Communications (MoC), on the evening of January 15, 2024. The meeting, which lasted for approximately one hour was led by Shri Ram Nath Ganeshe Ji, All India Secretary and Prabhari Telecom of the BMS.
Key Representatives in the delegation included:
From AIGETOA: All India President Shri Veerabhadhra Rao, General Secretary Shri Ravi Shil Verma, Deputy General Secretary Shri Pavan Akhand and Assistant General Secretary Shri Vivek Kumar Singh.
From BTEU: President Shri V V S Satyanarayana and General Secretary Shri R C Pandey.
The following issues were discussed in detailed:
Implementation of Standard Pay Scales of E2 and E3 for the initial two levels of executive grade to BSNL Recruited Executives:
Hon’ble MoC was very receptive to the issue and told that he is aware of the issue and will definitely resolve the same. We informed that this is a very old issue pending since 01.01.2007 for implementation and doesn’t holds any relationship with the current financial status of BSNL. We also informed that BSNL may be the only PSU which is having three initial basics as on date and all the executives’ recruited/promoted post 01.01.2007 are facing huge pay losses due to such disparities. While all PSUs resolved this issue by upgrading the scales, BSNL instead lowered the scale.
Hon’ble MoC listened the issue with patience and assured that he will direct DoT and BSNL to discuss the issue of Pay Scale, Pay loss and Pay Parity with AIGETOA/BTEU BSNL and resolve the same.
Extending the Promotional avenues for BSNL Executives:
The issue of promotions in various cadres was informed to Hon’ble MoC. We explained the number of pending promotions across various cadres, how many executives are affected out of it. We informed that instead of creating avenues for regular promotions, the management is forcing executives to appear in LICE despite all being eligible for promotions through regular channel. We also told that it is highly unjustified for the executives who have been performing and giving their day and nights to BSNL for maintaining the network will not be able to study while those manning the relatively easier positions will get more opportunity for study. Hence this creates a complete imbalance in the system, especially for those working in field units. The issue of seniority was also explained in detail and all the relevant documents, various judgements and legal opinion taken from the retired Justice of Hon’ble Supreme Court was also submitted to him. We told that there is an immediate need for directing BSNL to ensure the promotions of all eligible executives across various grades.
Hon’ble MoC was appreciative of the presentation of AIGETOA and told that he is in concurrence with our submissions that the sufficient opportunities must be provided to each executive so that they can reach to the position of AGMs with sufficient age on their side. He said that he will discuss with CMD BSNL on the issue and will ensure that the BSNL executives get the much awaited promotions without any further delay.
He also assured that he will ensure a promotion mechanism which will be non-discriminatory and that executives must be promoted to AGM/ Equivalent grade with sufficient age profile on their side through regular channel of promotions so that they can aspire to reach to higher positions.
Implementation of 30% Superannuation benefit to the Direct Recruits of BSNL as per the recommendation of 2nd PRC (Pending to be implemented since 01.01.2007 (In fact Pension scheme was to be incorporated after formation of BSNL from 01.10.2000)):
Hon’ble minister understood the issue in detail, sought many clarifications and was ultimately satisfied on the merit of the issue and assured for positive action on the same. We explained the terms of Gazette Notification of 2000, 2014, BSNL orders wrt 2nd PRC, DPE orders etc. Hon’ble MoC appreciated the concern and sought information on how many employees are affected out of it and reasons for BSNL not extending the same for so long. We informed Hon’ble MoC that almost 38000 thousand employees are affected out of it and hence the issue needs the priority consideration by BSNL and DoT. We also informed the financial implication associated with the issue and reasons given by management for negating the full 30% SAB for so long.
Hon’ble MoC was very sympathetic and considerate on the issue and assured that he shall be directing BSNL/DoT to consider the issue on merit.
Revision in TA/DA, mobile reimbursement policy, other allowances at par with current market conditions, restoration of LTC facility :
The issue was explained in detail to Hon’ble MoC and it was highlighted that the executives below DGM grade are still working on 2002 TA/DA rates and are subject to loss while performing outstation Jobs for BSNL. We told employees are being paid a very meagre amount as TA/DA which discourages all to go for outstation Jobs. We also told that with a mobile of Rs 1500/- BSNL is expecting executives to perform IT oriented Jobs through various Apps and software packages. Without increasing the Mobile Reimbursement Limit, it will be difficult to perform the duties associated with mobile Apps and packages. Hence it is utmost necessary to revise the reimbursement limit to current market conditions.
Hon’ble MoC assured to discuss the same with BSNL management for a reasonable policy for various TA/DA, mobile reimbursement allowances and Restoration of LTC facility.
Implementation of 3rd PRC in BSNL by waiving off the affordability clause for BSNL and finalising the wage negotiation for non-executives:
Hon’ble MoC told us to remain patient and focussed on the growth and development of BSNL and for 4G rollout.
Hon’ble MoC assured that 3rd PRC will definitely become a reality for the BSNL executives, if the current trends continue and BSNL employees who have already proved their worth continue to do so. He further assured BTEU delegates that BSNL shall be asked to complete the wage negotiation at the earliest.
Pension Revision of BSNL/MTNL Pensioners, at par with Central Government Pensioners:
Hon’ble MoC assured categorically that the issue is under active consideration and the same shall be resolved expeditiously.
Discussion on issue of takeover of ALTTC by DoT:
We informed Hon’ble MoC that DoT has taken over the administrative control of ALTTC, but now BSNL’s trainings are suffering and some talks are going on in the direction of shifting the campus to some other place. We requested Hon’ble MoC that BSNL and NTI PRIT should continue to co-exist in line with his earlier assurances.
Hon’ble MoC told that focus of government is to make ALTTC a world class Telecom Centre and research centre of repute. He said that BSNL employees should not worry and their interests shall be protected.
Revision in Non-Executive Promotion Policy:
The issues pertaining to the promotions of non-executives were also discussed in detail. We pressed upon revisiting the policy which was last revised in 2010.
Hon’ble MoC assured that he will direct BSNL and DoT to discuss the matter with BMS BSNL Team and to consider the genuine suggestions given by BTEU with regard to the Non-Executive Promotion Policy.
Lifting the ban on appointments on compassionate grounds:
The issue shall be discussed with the management and DoT.
Increase in medical reimbursement from the current 15 days’ salary to at least 25 days’ salary for outdoor treatment:
Hon’ble MoC assured to discuss the issue with BSNL Management for a positive consideration.
Extending the facilities for person with disabilities (PwBDs) which is defined under RPwD act 2016 and implementation of recent Hon’ble Supreme Court Directions wrt promotions for PwBD candidates from 30.06.2016:
We requested for directing BSNL and DoT to issue directions for the strict following of the recent DoP&T orders wrt promotions. We also informed that the directions wrt other facilities available to PwBD has also not been implemented by BSNL in totality.
Hon’ble MoC assured to look into the matter.
Issue of Presidential orders to the employees whose recruitment process was initiated during DoT period but appointment was given after 01.10.2000:
We once again raised the matter before Hon’ble MoC and requested for his intervention on the matter.
Hon’ble MoC sought some more details in this regard which will be submitted by us in due course.
The discussion with Hon’ble MOC was very detailed, exhaustive and touched all the burning HR issues of BSNL employees. We are extremely thankful to the BMS Central Leadership who are remaining in constant touch with Hon’ble MoC directly and are personally involved in the discussion over the issues of BSNL. The issues as on date are appearing to be on a distant note but we firmly assure you that a lot of distance has been covered and the outcome shall be visible soon.
We don’t believe in creating propaganda but believe in working continuously with perseverance. The Team of AIGETOA, BTEU under the patronage of BMS is totally determined to resolve the issues and we seek your unparalleled support.