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.