A review meeting on the agenda items submitted with Director (HR) and his team was held with AIGETOA team on 22nd May 2020. From Management Side, along with Director (HR), PGM (PERS), Sr. GM (Estt), Sr. GM (SR), GM (Restructuring)  GM (Recruitment) and DGM (Pers) was present while from the association side All India President Shri Ravi Shil Verma and All India Vice President Shri Badri Kumar Mehta was present. Due to social distancing norms, the members from association side was restricted to two due to lack of space. The details of discussion and decisions taken in the meeting are as mentioned below:

1.Pending promotion of JTO to SDE through DPC: It was informed by PGM (Pers) that Director (HR) and PGM (Pers) have already met senior advocate handling the case from BSNL side and during discussions, the senior advocate has shown positive concurrence to the mechanism of the promotion which has been decided after discussions with AIGETOA team on 24th February 2020. PGM (Pers) further told that due to lockdown, paper formalities for obtaining the legal opinion could not be completed.

AIGETOA Team responded that lock down started from March 23rd 2020 and there was enough time to complete the formalities at least. However, now that the things have again restarted, we are not interested in knowing the timelines of the formalities, instead we want to know when the promotion orders shall be handed over to the eligible JTOs. Director (HR) told Pers team to complete the legal formalities associated with the process within next week and ensure that within next one month thereafter after completion of the formalities, promotion orders are issued.

We categorically told management that while our members have patiently waitedfor their promotion orders, we have exercised enough patience and we sincerely hope that this is the last timeline given by management to extend the promotions.  If the commitments are not honored this time, association will take a call on other organizational methods to get the issue settled.

On the reservation issue in JTO to SDE DPC,  HR team told that reservation issue will not be a show stopper in JTO to SDE DPC as there are sufficient number of vacancies and moreover, this being the first level of promotion in the executive cadre, it will not be of much significance either.

So the proclaimed mongers who are raising the foolish propaganda that promotions are not possible due to legal issues are simply trying to misguide management and executives by giving a false picture of the whole situation just to carry forward their agenda of stopping BSNL Recruits from getting promoted. Actually they have been confused right from the day one.. some times they say AIGETOA stalls the promotion, then they say promotion is not possible, then they say Reservation issue has withheld promotion, in short their varying updates itself suggest they are simply into derailing tactics, nothing else.

2. Pending promotion of JTO to SDE through LDCE: We informed that next LDCE notification was supposed to be issued by first week of march but that was never complied by GM (Recruitment). GM ( Recruitment) said that a committee was constituted to look into the issue of DPC and LDCE in view of the ongoing exercise. It was decided that by  next week, the committee will submit the report and the next LDCE notification shall be issued immediately thereafter.

3. LDCE 2007 SDE Reversion and SCN Case: We said lot of discussion and inputs have already been given by association on the issue to the HR team as well as members of the committee for their consideration but no conclusion has reached so far and executives are being forced to face humiliating situation in the field units. Director (HR) pointed out that its quite surprising that when he is seriously considering for resolution of the issue as the facts appear to be in favor of candidates, some executives have sent legal notice stating just the opposite. We requested Director (HR) to first find out the whereabouts of the candidates who have sent the legal notice and to ascertain the veracity of the facts stated by their legal counsel. We said such type of things will keep on coming and It is for Director (HR) and HR team to decide on the issue based on the facts and merits of the issue submitted.

We acknowledged that in BSNL, because of mishandling of HR processes, a crab
culture has erupted where each one tries to pull other down and in the process all remains struck up fighting with each other.
But if management streamlines the processes and ensures promotions without delay, such things will not occur and whole thing will become a smooth affair. It was pointed out that while constituting the committee, the terms of reference has not been clearly defined and instead they are vague in nature.

We said, its quite surprising that all this while this issue has never been raised and now that final timeline for resolution is reaching its end, a new issue has cropped up. The members of the committee also told that even the related judgment and orders have not yet been made available to the committee members.

Director (HR) told that the clear cut Terms of the Reference of the committee along with all the relevant documents should be made available to the committee by today itself and the committee should meet by 26th May 2020 and submit the recommendation for further necessary action. We told Director (HR) that he has promised to get this issue resolved once for all within this month and we expect that words of our Director (HR) will hold true and the committee members will ensure that issue should be resolved within this month.

4. Implementation of Standard Pay Scales of E2 for JTO/JAO/Equivalent and E3 for SDE/AO/Equivalent: Association side explained the current status of the Case to Director (HR). We told that its been almost 13 years now and JTOs and SDEs are working on a provisional scale despite directions from Hon’ble Court also to switch over to standard scales. Sr GM (Estt) informed that DoT is not responding to the issue despite several reminders from BSNL in this regard. The scales have been cleared by BSNL Board and now it needs to be ratified by DoT on which they are not reverting back. It was decided that Director (HR) and Sr GM (Estt) will personally follow up the issue with office of the AST and will look for a possible solution. AIGETOA also ensured its positive support in ensuring the resolution.

5. Holding of MV and opening of change over window and wrongful action taken by SR cell and Restructuring cell : We pointed out that restructuring cell has issued a letter where they have called two associations for discussion even when at that time no association was having any such formal privilege for discussion as their recognition period has already expired on 12th December 2019 and  in fact even the wrongful extended period accorded to them also expired on 28th February 2020 and after the letter was issued from Restructuring cell, then only GM (SR) issued the letter of extension to these associations which was totally wrong and against the MV Norms. We said such type of undue favors to particular groups need thorough enquiry and both GM (SR) as well as GM (Restg) needs to explain the reasons for showering the favors in complete violation of the set norms and practices. It was told that Restg cell issued the orders in assumption that the letter of extension is coming. We said, if HR cell works on assumptions that too to favor a particular group, then nothing can be more unfortunate and condemnable. This further becomes more objectionable in view of the fact that AIGETOA has been part of all such meetings and have been giving its input on all the crucial occasions and issues. 
Director (HR) directed GM (Restg) to ensure that AIGETOA involvement in all such issues should continue and they should be part of the process and discussions hereafter.
We then Requested GM (SR) to enlighten us with the compelling circumstances under which the facilities have been extended to the associations whose recognition have ended and for putting the changeover window as well as MV process on hold.
GM SR told that Change Over window has been frozen because normally changeover time results into bad blood and during transformation phase of BSNL, this would have hampered the revival process. On, holding the MV process, GM SR said once MV is announced, it results into freezing of transfer posting etc. which would have hampered the revival process. AIGETOA emphasized that assumptions of GM (SR) is far from being true and these submissions do not hold any factual value. If GM (SR) is so concerned about bad blood, then how come he has been advocating for Check-Off Process which had potential to ruin all the good relationship between executives. If GM (SR) was so apprehensive about getting transfer posting frozen so much than HR team should tell us how many times long stay transfers have been executed in BSNL in last few years. 

We categorically told that this was nothing but to benefit the two groups bywrongfully extending the facilities beyond the recognition period. We also rejected the idea of check off system completely and said election should happen should through Secret Ballot Method only.

All the HR team members were unanimous on this view. We told that the  action of SR cell by freezing the membership change window has resulted into monetary benefit for some groups and hence it needs to be enquired why such decision was taken without any underlying need for the same.

AIGETOA team also requested for an independent enquiry in to the whole episode of wrongfully stopping the membership change window, Delay in MV and the favoritism extended to some corners instead of devising a temporary, all inclusive mechanism to represent executive side during this interim phase till next MV.

Finally it was agreed that next MV will be announced by 1st week of June 2020 and the membership change window should also be opened thereafter. We said any delay beyond this period will be opposed tooth and nail by our association.

6.Circulation of list-9 for SDE seniority: It was informed by PGM Pers that due to lockdown, the legal opinion on the matter could not be taken. We again said that this delay was deliberate on the part of management as there was enough time before lockdown to process this. It was brought to our knowledge that legal opinion is being sought from some other advocate who have not dealt the Rota Quota case. We strongly objected to this and told that earlier decision was to get the opinion from the senior advocate dealing with the case. Finally it was agreed that the opinion will be sought from the senior advocate dealing with the case. PGM Pers told that by next week the case will be sent and list will be prepared thereafter based on the opinion received. We also emphasized on the need for framing proper questionnaire and also said that the questionnaire should contain this question also – “whether in the absence of the Rota, quota can be provided as the RRs has categorically defined Quota between LDCE and Seniority Cm fitness candidates and non adherence of the quota will make RRs infructuous. Personnel section was directed to ensure action on this by next week.

7.Promotion of SDE to DET and AO to CAO: Wetold management that in the last meeting it was decided that process for SDE to DE and AO to CAO will be initiated on the remaining vacancies after deducting the number of VRs optees from the sanctioned strength. Director HR asked from GM(Restg) that how many vacancies were there before VRS. GM (Restg) response was that it is 5300 which was strongly refuted by us. We said that around 4200 vacancies were created thereafter in a single day just to favour some particular groups. The surprising response of GM (Restg) was  that this was one time creation and these post will be abolished with retirement of the executive. We said that while creating the posts, it was never mentioned that it is a one time creation that and if the words of GM (Restg) is to be believed, it means all these posts are temporary/supernumerary in nature and in that case, how regular promotions have been given against these temporary posts.

We emphasized that going by this argument of GM (Restg), the whole exercise done in June 2018 becomes illegal and arbitrary and hence either all the persons promoted against these vacancies should immediately be reverted or it should be accepted that strength in AGM cadre is 9300.We said if we deduct the number of VRS optee AGMs from this strength of 9300, then also there are sufficient post to accommodate all the eligible SDEs including list 8 and list 9 to promote them to the post of AGMs and also it will take care of the promotional avenues of the SDEs of subsequent and new batches also making the whole process smooth and systematic.

On the query of proposed sanctioned strength post restructuring, GM (Restg) informed that in the restructuring exercise, the AGMs and DGMs have been planned to be put in single cluster to use them interchangeably.

The total number of AGMs and DGMs posts taken together is being proposed to be around 3500.We said that thought process of GM (restructuring) is very crystal
clear where he wants to accommodate all the DoT absorbed executives working as SDEs as AGMs and to provide them smooth path till DGM leaving all BSNL Recruits in lurch( as was being done in past also in June 2018).
If the strength is reduced to 3500, around 1000-1100 more AGMs can be accommodated from list 8, which exactly matches the number of left over DoT absorbed executives in list 8. And since AGM/DGM posts will remain interchangeable, they can very well be promoted to DGMs within next 3 years and in the process all BSNL Recruits shall be left to stagnate at the post of SDEs. We said that perhaps this was the reason, GM (Restg) wanted to keep AIGETOA away from the restructuring exercise so that they can succeed in their designs with support from existing legacy associations. This was perhaps one of the main reasons for extending the undue recognition period also.

We also request the BR torchbearers of such associations to have a look at what
their so-called faithful savior leaders are doing to them.
This fact was not published any of the two association anywhere which itself proves that they are in full concurrence with management for such reduction.

We said, if the posts are reduced without considering the promotional hierarchy of
the executives, it will result into a huge unrest in the organization and for such things only and only such officers of HR group shall be hold responsible.

We further said that if management wants to deny BSNL Recruits of Pay, promotion and Pension, they should immediately offer VRS across the board and should give chance for a golden handshake to all BSNL recruits also to enable them to move out from BSNL with their heads high than to live in BSNL like bonded labourers. We categorically told that in the guise of restructuring, any foul play with careers of BSNL Recruits will not be accepted and shall be dealt accordingly in the way, which we consider as most apt. However, we are thankful to PGM (Personnel) who supported our stand and said that restructuring exercise should be aimed at creating energy and positivity in the organization and not on stagnating the executives.

Posts should not be abolished on higher up in the hierarchy and indeed all such
reduction should be done at the entry level of the organization.

A brief discussion on CPSU hierarchy also took place and our opinion was sought on the proposal.  We said that now when the stomachs of old legacy associations are full, they are now looking for deserts by experimenting with new policy. We said that the current CPSU proposal is half cooked, full of lacunae and is prone to
litigations and its subsequent stopping by Honourable court of law.

We said that if management is so serious on the proposal to bring in to BSNL then they should first promote all the eligible executives in all the cadres and then move on to any new policy. Not only this, they should first try to remove all the lacunae in the proposed policy and then only think of implementing it. Moreover, it is pending at DoT for almost two years now for their comments on the reservation issue and is not likely to come so soon. So AIGETOA firm view is that all the vacant seats in all the cadres should be filled first then only any new policy should be implemented.

Another important aspect in SDE to DE and AO to CAO promotions are litigations
filed by SNEA/AIBSNLEA Activists on the reservation issue, which is a showstopper in executing these promotions.
We said, it can be discussed amicably with all groups and mutually accepted solution can be found out. Moreover, AIGETOA has discussed with some persons and found out that with promotions to all the involved parties, things can be sorted out. So management should make a first move towards settling these things amicably across the table instead of getting misguided by the tantrums of some  groups who have been crying like babies right from the day one that promotion in BSNL is not possible. Before May 2018, also they were propagating the same thing but once promotion in LDCE 2015 batch was issued, they started asking for promotions through DPC/CPC, and once their stomachs are full now, they have again started the same cry that promotions are not possible.

The second lieutenant has also surprisingly started singing in chorus with the proclaimed one, which smells of a big conspiracy going against BSNL Recruits to keep them, confined to their current positions.

Finally, It was decided that establishment cell would provide the net sanctioned strength to Personnel section next week and based on that further action will be taken in both SDE to DE and AO to CAO cadres.

The restructuring exercise should consider the promotional aspects of executives in mind and should not hamper their careers. We again emphasized that net strength should contain the newly created posts in June 2018 also and otherwise all the promotions made in June 2018 should be made null and void and the process should start afresh. We also clarified that any reduction in posts is not acceptable to us.

8.Promotion from JAO to AO cadre:  The promotion from JAO to AO cadre was also discussed and it was informed the same will be examined once the data on all vacancies are complete and clear.

9. Pay Loss issue of Executives Recruited in E1A Scales, 30% Superannuation Benefits and First Time Bound Up gradation in four years for all:  These issues being of nature of financial concern, the same should be taken up with CMD BSNL as the current financial situation of BSNL is in vary tight position. AIGETOA Team shall be meeting CMD BSNL on these issues.

10. Consideration of Rule 8 cases: We requested HR team to consider the pending rule 8 cases and posting GATE 2017 JTOs to their home stations as a part of the restructuring exercise.

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