Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Holi !

होली की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं !
Wish you and your family a very happy HOLI!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

INFORMATION SHARING MEETING WITH CHAIRMAN, LIC

As scheduled, the Information sharing meeting was conducted on 13.2.2014. The meeting began with a Joint session consisting of all unions.

JOINT SESSION

         The management was represented by the Chairman Shri S K Roy, all the Managing Directors, ED (Personnel) & Director (MDC). NOINO was represented by Dr. S B Sharan, WP, NOINO; Shri Rajesh Dubey, OS, NOINO; & Shri Dattaraj Prabhukhanolkar, Resident Secretary, NOINO. The ED (P) initiated the meeting. All  the Managing Directors spoke one by one about their own Departments. Then the Chairman spoke. In his speech, he took stock of the Economic environment in the country & the world. He also lauded the Corporation’s performance in spite of the stiff competition. He also made the following points:-

1.    Biometric system of attendance was being considered to replace the present system of Concurrencia.
2.    Mobility of employees was suggested.
3.    Increase in cash hours by one hour.
4.    The limits of reimbursement of High Cost Protracted Treatment would be revised - with the restriction of two chances likely to be removed & employees could be able to avail up to 90% of the total cost after availing of mediclaim re-imbursement.
5.    The limit of Group Personal Accident policy which at present is 5 lakhs for all cadres is likely to be revised with a structured cover ranging between 10 to 25 lakhs.

        However, contrary to the expectations, he did not make any offer of wage-rise in his speech.

        On behalf of NOINO, Dr. S B Sharan, Working President, NOINO, responded to the Chairman’s and MDs’ speeches. He expressed deep disappointment that no offer of wage-rise had been given. He said that considering the various factors like increasing inflation, increasing work-pressure on Class I Officers due to inadequate staff, continuous late sitting without compensation, an outstanding performance in spite of stiff competition (retaining & improving the market-share), the management should have come out with an offer of substantial wage-rise. He also protested the veiled attack on union work (like union work to be done after office hours etc) & said that unions have a significant role to play in the growth of the Corporation & also in maintaining peace & harmony in the Industry.

          On behalf of NOINO, he demanded that the management come out with immediate & substantial offer of wage-rise. He further suggested that information sharing meetings should be held at least once in six months so that the Management could regularly know the sentiments and mood of the employees and officers.

During the joint session, NOINO was the only union which spoke about Sabbatical Leave/Child care leave, Late Sitting and monetary compensation towards the same, Investment Matters, Health Insurance Policies, LTC, and ways of retaining agency force.

When responses of all unions completed, the Chairman gave his concluding speech. Here he assured that on the basis of come-out of individual discussions with different unions, the management would soon chalk-out some best possible offer on wage revision and would soon call all unions again for discussion over that. He further stated that one more pension option was on priority agenda and management would be following up the matter with the Govt till it got that.

INDIVIDUAL SESSION WITH NOINO

        After the joint session, NOINO had separate talks with the management. In this meeting the management was represented by Shri M.R.Kumar, ED (P), Shri T R Mendiratta, Chief (P), Smt. Aruna Seth, Secretary (P) and other officers from Personnel Deptt. NOINO was represented by Dr. S B Sharan, WP, NOINO; Shri Rajesh Dubey, OS, NOINO; Shri Dattaraj Prabhukhanolkar, Resident Secretary, NOINO; and Shri Ketan Purandare, EC member, NOINO. The following issues were discussed (It is to be noted that we first raised the issues which we felt that these should be settled before & outside the wage-revision):-

  1. One more pension option: - We reiterated our oft-repeated demand of settling this issue before & outside the settlement of charter. While responding to the Unions’ reaction Chairman had said in his concluding speech during Joint Session that Management is concerned on this issue and assured that they would keep following with Government about it till we got it. Here, in Individual Session also, the ED (P) repeated the same version.

  1. Anomaly after computer increment: - We once again raised this demand & reminded that SBI had settled this issue in 1996 itself (i.e. 18 years back) by granting one more increment to all the affected employees. We strongly insisted that this matter be sorted out before the settlement of Charter. We pointed out that the anomaly was crystal clear & it was a clear case of injustice to the affected employees.  Management was not positive, however, on our insistence they assured to look into the matter.

  1. Excess Wrong Payments – We pointed out that the officers were pressurized to pay the amounts from their own pockets in the name of fixing of responsibility. We suggested Fidelity Insurance or a reserve fund specifically for this purpose can be the other options. Management said that they will check with Audit Department and will check the possibility to exclude cases of wrong payments made due to system errors.

  1. Running scales:- We demanded running pay-bands (continuous increment till retirement) to avoid stagnation since promotion avenues were restricted. We also pointed out that we had prepared & submitted such running scales in the Charter submitted by NOINO. Management was not positive on the same.

  1. Assured Career Progression(ACP):- Though exactly not connected with wage-revision, we demanded assured career progression to avoid frustration of officers of not getting promotions in time. On this issue the Management differed with us on the definition of Career Progression. As per Management view a holistic career approach is required and is under consideration.

  1. Grade Pay:- We demanded that the concept of Grade Pay on the lines of  Sixth Pay commission & RBI to be introduced in LIC. (As submitted in our Charter : AAO -> 3000, AO -> 5000, ADM -> 7000, DM -> 9000, SDM -> 11000, ZM(O) -> 13000,  ZM(S) -> 15000).  This will be a motivating factor for accepting promotion. Management was positive in the matter.

  1.  Increment portion as percentage: We demanded 5% of Pay (Basic pay plus Grade pay) as increment instead of fixed amount of increment. This has been implemented by the Sixth Pay commission. Management was not positive on this matter.

After this, we discussed the following issues which are aimed at giving relief (monetary or otherwise) to the Class I Officers:-

A.   PLLI: - You are aware that NOINO has raised this issue continuously. We thanked the management for considering our demand to take into account the credit of premium from alternate channels. We once again raised this issue & stressed the following points for the next year:- a) equal percentage to all b) Simplification of parameters & including those parameters on which the employees have control  c) Current basic to be counted for calculation.  Management responded that the scheme stands already notified with wage revision of 2007 and that these points will be given due consideration in wage revision for 2012.
B.   Revision in LTC rules and Encashment of LTC: - We repeated our demand to simplify LTC rules; allow LTC encashment; allow air-travel to all Class I Officers. Management was positive on this issue and informed that this may take some time.
C.   Sabbatical/Child care leave for women employees: - We again raised this demand for sabbatical/child care leave for women employees & said that the banks/central government had already introduced this leave much earlier. We demanded that this leave should be introduced at the earliest in LIC after proper discussions & requisite modifications. ED (P) informed that Chairman had already taken note of this issue put by NOINO during joint session.
D.   Late sitting/Security of employees:- We urged the management to give a serious thought to the whole issue of late sitting & most importantly the security of female officers & their safe transit to their respective homes. We also demanded monetary compensation for late sitting. Management was positive in the matter of security and safe transit of female employees/officers.
E.   Recruitment in Class III: - We once again raised this demand. We reiterated that the Class I Officers were under tremendous pressure due to lack of staff as they had to perform non-supervisory duties. Management responded that this will be considered only after the obstacle of pending legal litigation is removed.
F.    Technical allowances for Class I Officers having professional qualifications: - We once again raised this issue. Management was not positive in the matter. However, they stated that allowance for exams cleared from Insurance Institute of India and Actuarial Institute can be given consideration.
G.   Election duty:- We thanked the management for accepting our demands of appointing nodal officers & issuing uniform instructions. However, we said that the number of employees to be spared should be decided by us. The EC officials were pressurizing the nodal officers in some divisions to release at least 25% employees. It is pertinent to note that nowhere a specific percentage has been mentioned in the Mumbai High Court Judgement of 2009. Management noted our points.
H.   Granting of Metro status to Pune & considering Panvel as an agglomeration of Mumbai & treating it as an “A” class city: - We raised this issue again. Management told that they would check with Government authorities about the changes in population and will then consider the demand.

We asked the management whether there was any proposal of furniture advance/loan. The Management clarified that this was only a rumor.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wage-revision & FDI – NOINO visits New Delhi


NOINO DELEGATION VISITS DELHI TO BREAK DEADLOCK ON WAGE-REVISION & TO OPPOSE INCREASE IN FDI IN INSURANCE

·      MEETS MINISTER OF FINANCE (State) & SECRETARY (Financial Services)

·      ALSO MEETS LEADERS OF OPPOSITION

·      TALKS ON WAGE-REVISION EXPECTED SHORTLY

      The Insurance employees are concerned about a number of issues. The prime concern is, however, regarding the pending wage-revision & the proposed move of the UPA government to increase the FDI in Insurance from 26% to 49%. NOINO has been at the forefront both in raising the wage-revision issue as well as in opposing the proposed move of increasing FDI in Insurance.

      The situation with respect to the wage-revision is particularly disappointing with over a year gone by without commencement of talks. With a view to break the deadlock on this issue as well as to make further efforts to oppose the proposed increase in FDI in Insurance, NOINO decided to take this issue once again with the Government as well as the bureaucracy.

Hence a NOINO delegation led by Shri Prakash Javadekar, President, NOINO (MP, Rajya Sabha) & consisting of Dr S.B.Sharan, Working President; Smt. Anagha Sant, General Secretary; Shri Dattaraj Prabhukhanolkar, Resident Secretary; Shri Rajesh Dubey, Organizing Secretary; and Shri Ganesh Kamath, Chief Advisor camped in Delhi for this purpose.
.
The following four meetings took place:

MEETING WITH SECRETARY, FINANCIAL SERVICES—9.15 AM
  
            The NOINO delegation met Shri Rajeev Takru, Secretary, Financial Services, on 9.12.2013 at 9.15 a.m. for initiation of talks on wage-revision in LIC of India.


             We demanded immediate initiation of talks on wage revision in LIC. We informed him that NOINO had already submitted its Charter of Demands on 23rd July 2012 itself i.e. eight days before it became due. All other unions also subsequently submitted their Charter of Demands but the talks did not start yet. We pointed out that wage revision in Banks became due after that of in LIC but 3 rounds of talks already took place in Banks and the 4th one was scheduled for 14th December, whereas in LIC, it did not even start.

          We also pointed out that our talks were always linked with wage revision of banking industry whereas our nature of work was quite different from that of Banks. We insisted that the wage revision in our industry should be as per our (i.e. LIC) performance and it should not have any linkage with Bank. Shri Takru was very positive on these points and immediately gave instructions for preparing preliminary note for wage revision matters at the earliest. We also handed over a Memorandum to Shri Takru in this regard.

MEETING WITH ARUN JAITLEY—12.30 PM


           The NOINO delegation met Shri Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha on the same day at 12.30 p.m. We reiterated our stiff opposition to any proposed increase in FDI in Insurance. Shri Jaitley appreciated the wonderful performance of LIC & assured all support to our cause. We also submitted a memorandum to him in this regard.

MEETING WITH SUSHMA SWARAJ-12.45 PM


            The NOINO delegation then met Smt Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha at 12.45 p.m. We again stressed our opposition to any increase in FDI in Insurance. Smt Swaraj was very positive & said that the BJP had already told the FM that they would oppose any such move to increase FDI in Insurance. Here too, we submitted a memorandum to her.

           We also met Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and other BJP MP’s in this regard. They too, assured support to our cause.

MEETING WITH NAMO NARAYAN MEENA - 1.40 PM


          The NOINO delegation then met Shri Namo Narayan Meena, Minister of Finance (State) at 1.40 p.m.  We reiterated all the points as discussed in the meeting with Shri Takru such as immediate commencement of talks on wage-revision/wage-rise according to our performance over the years (& not tagging with the Banking industry etc). Shri Meena was very positive & assured that he would be talking to the LIC management immediately & would ask them to take steps to initiate the talks on wage-revision shortly.

NOINO expects the talks on wage-revision to commence shortly. We also expect that the passage of the proposed Bill to increase FDI in Insurance from 26% to 49% would be difficult in the light of the opposition from the principal opposition party.

Friday, November 29, 2013

NOINO DELEGATION MEETS ED(PERSONNEL)

       A NOINO delegation consisting of Smt Anagha Sant, GS, NOINO; Shri Dattaraj Prabhukhanolkar, Resident Secretary, NOINO; Shri Sanjay Ramdasi, Treasurer, NOINO & Shri Ganesh Kamath, Chief Advisor, NOINO met ED(Personnel) Shri  M R Kumar today, i.e. 29th November 2013 to discuss the pending issues of the officers and employees. Shri T Mendiratta, Chief(Personnel) was also present at this meeting. Following issues were discussed:-

1.    One more option for pension: - We once again inquired about the current status of this issue. ED (P) said that the issue was high on their agenda & all efforts were being made.
2.    Discussions on charter of demands: We once again forcefully demanded the commencement of talks on wage-revision. We also pointed out that there was no official dialogue with unions since 19.3.10. ED (P) said that they were waiting for the go-ahead from the government. We have insisted that the preliminary discussions can begin even without the go-ahead, wherein a consensus can be arrived on the common points of the unions so that the time-lag is reduced.
3.    Late sitting and working on holidays: We again raised this issue & pointed out that the situation in our offices, particularly in branches was deteriorating as far as late-sitting was concerned. In this context we raised the following issues: - a) Monetary compensation for late sitting b) No work on holidays c) Recruitment of Class III employees at the earliest d) Security of officers especially female officers—we demanded that the respective division should arrange for conveyance facilities for safe escorting to home. We have suggested that in case of cluster of branches in the near vicinity, minibuses can be arranged by the office. e) No proposals should be registered on the day of completion. ED replied that a possibility of first fortnightly closing in time can be explored after talking to Marketing department. He also said that recruitment of Class III was also on the cards. He further said that the management was sensitive & serious about the security of female officers & would definitely look into the demands that we have made. He was also positive about our suggestion of no registration of proposals on the day of completion.
4.    PLLI: - You are aware that NOINO has raised this issue continuously. We once again raised this issue & stressed the following points:- a) equal percentage to all b) Simplification of parameters & including those parameters on which the employees have control  c) Current basic to be counted for calculation d) Giving credit of premiums collected through alternate channels to respective branches/divisions. E) Making parameters known to the employees before the commencement of the year. ED was positive about the issue of current basic to be counted for calculation purpose (however, this is likely to materialize in the next PLLI). He was also positive about the issue of giving credit of premiums collected through alternate channels.
5.    Promotions 2014: You are aware that this issue was raised by NOINO earlier too. We once again raised this issue & reiterated the following points:- a) promotion by application b) Identifying areas of hard postings & relaxation of transfer norms for those posted there. C) declaring areas of posting as in HGA promotion for promotion from HGA to AAO. D) posting ADM where SBM is posted(just as AO is posted where BM is posted) E) Abolish DOPA. ED was not positive about these points. However, he said that all aspects were being considered to accommodate maximum officers.
(Promotion Batches have not been decided yet. Are likely to be declared soon.)
6.    Election duty-  We once again raised this issue & said that many employees were drafted for election duty in Central Zone. We reminded the management that we had raised this issue on 12.7.13 & had urged that CO should write to all Zones giving reference of the judgments of Mumbai High Court Division bench on 25th September 2009 & 20th June 2013 & give suitable instructions to tackle this issue. ED said that they would be talking to the legal department & thereafter would instruct the Zones accordingly.
7.    Mini Offices: The following points were raised :- a) Only Class I Officers have been posted though service is not of a supervisory or managerial nature. b) Forced transfers. C) Inadequate infrastructure-e.g. toilets not available d) No proper connectivity. E) Hardly any enquiries or collection in a day.
    We strongly demanded for a review of all mini offices and also for infrastructure available there. ED assured to look into these demands.
8.    Sabbatical leave/Child care leave to female employees: - ED said that the management was working on this issue, but it would take time.
9.    Restoration of NGI postponed due to Strike dated 18th February 2010- ED was not positive on this issue.
10. Remuneration to SDC staff on migration to Efeap: --ED assured to look into the matter.
11. .Accumulation of PL up to 300 days:- ED was not positive on this issue.
12. 5 days week---ED said that the management was thinking on this issue, though it may take time.
13. LTC & Transfer TE:- We raised the usual points:- a) Airfare to officers b) Cash Re-imbursement if journey not undertaken c) Simplification of rules d) Farthest point of India to be the distance allowed. E) Transfer incidentals not revised for 27 years f) Transportation/packing charges not revised for 16 years. ED said that they were working on all these issues. He was positive on simplification of rules. He was also positive about the revision in transfer incidentals & transportation/packing charges.
14. Revision in limits of high cost treatment:- a) 10 lakhs each time total 20 lakhs should be the limit b) Removal of condition of fixed percentage of re-imbursement.  ED was positive about the removal of condition of fixed percentage of re-imbursement.
15. Restriction on mail recipients:- ED was not positive on this issue.
16.  Premium for GI scheme & service tax on the same: - We asked as to why the premium seemed to be on the higher side. ED replied that it was due to factors such as increasing average age of the group(due to lack of recruitment) & also due to the fact that the scheme has to go to the re-insurer when the sum assured is more than 10 lakhs. We also demanded that the Corporation should bear the service tax. ED was not positive about this issue.

NOINO will continue to follow up the pending issues.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NOINO writes to ED(P) on PLLI

NOINO today wrote to ED(Personnel) suggesting some steps which can remove the rising resentment (dissatisfaction) among the officers / employees on this issue. The letter is reproduced below:

06.11.2013
---------------
The Executive Director (Personnel),
L.I.C. of India.

Dear Sir,
Re: Payment of PLLI

   The PLLI for the FY 2012-13 has been declared. The declaration has evoked more consternation & resentment than joy among the employees. Preliminary enquiries reveal that almost all divisions in CZ, SZ, WZ, EZ & NCZ would be getting less than the Corporate 3% (mostly 1.5% or 2%). According to our information, the employees of some branches have even decided not to accept PLLI.

    We have been time & again placing our objections in the modalities & formula of calculating such an incentive (?!). We have also been giving our suggestions on this issue through our discussions with & letters to the management. However, till now, these have not been considered. As a consequence, we are facing such a situation. Here we would like to once again draw your attention to the points raised in our letter submitted on this issue on 30.11.2011. At the cost of repetition, we would reiterate the same along with some additional suggestion/objections:-

  1. Equal percentage:-  The percentage of PLLI payable should be equal to all employees. Paying different percentages to each office divides the employees & causes unrest. This does not bode well for an institution which is facing intense & stiff competition. Here, the basic point is that the policy making/devising strategy is done at Central Office level in all matters be it devising plans, marketing strategy, provision of manpower, publicity of our plans et al. The success or otherwise of the institution largely depends upon these policies/strategies.  Branch/Division employees have no say in all these matters. So, it is paradoxical & ironic that the branch/division employees get less PLLI than that of the Corporate level. Hence we maintain that equal percentage of PLLI should be paid at all levels.
  2. Too many parameters :- Too many parameters have made this concept complicated. We have been insisting on a single parameter e.g. increase in Total income.
  3. Payment on pre-revised annual pay of August 2007 :- We have been insisting that the payment should be based on current annual pay.
  4. Performance parameters to be made public(to employees) :- How many employees know what the performance parameters are? How can we expect the employees to achieve the target without knowing it? We reiterate that the performance parameters should be declared before the commencement of the Financial year & all the employees should be in the know of the same.
  5. Faulty parameters :-
a.    Point 1.3:-  %age growth of Total premium—As per our information, about 50 to 60% renewal premium comes from alternate channels i.e. ECS/online payments etc. The credit of the same is not given to the branch/division. This policy has not been decided by the employees. Naturally, the Total premium income is less.
b.    Point 1.3 continued:- In the previous years, focus was more on Single Premium Income. The Corporation also did bumper business due to this. Now the focus has changed to non-single premium. Logically, more Single Premium business in previous years means less renewal premium in consequent years. Thus, it is very difficult to show growth. The policy of shifting focus has not been decided by employees.
c.    Point 2.1:--Conservation ratio:- In this, it is decided that Single premium & ULIP premiums is to be excluded. Once again it depends on the points raised in point 1.3. The employees have no control on the marketing strategy decided by Central Office.
d.    Point 2.2:- Overall lapsation ratio:- If a policyholder doesn’t pay premium even after sending premium notice/default notice & follow-up through agents & development officers, what can the employees do? The employees have no control over this.
e.    Point 3.1:- Productivity measured in terms of total premium income per employee:- In the aftermath of liberalization(?!), the demography of states & the nation is changing. A lot of people are migrating to metro cities & bigger towns. Consequently, though they pay premium where they have migrated, the credit of such premium is not available to the branches where it is paid. The result is that the employees in such places have to provide more services in proportion to the premium income. The employee have no control over this factor.
f.     Point 6.1:- Skill enhancement of employees & agents:- As far as the training of agents is concerned, it is observed that many agents do not attend training in spite of being nominated & urged to attend the training. How can be the employees penalized for this?
g.    Point 7.1:- E-governance:- E-payment to customers:- The employees can motivate the policyholders to submit NEFT mandate form, not force them. Hence, this factor is also not fully under control of the employees.
h.    Point 9.1:- Micro Insurance Schemes:- It depends upon geographical area & economic status of the division. It is unlikely that in metro cities the scheme will be successful as compared to other areas. How much publicity has been given by Central Office to these schemes? Here again the role of the employees is limited.

   From the above analysis it is crystal clear that maximum PLLI is not possible as the above points affect nearly 36% marks.

   As said in our earlier letter, the objective of any Incentive scheme should be motivating the employees in putting in their best instead of demoralising them. As it is, due to the artificial & low ceilings, an overwhelming majority of the employees have been deprived of the bonus for years together. BMS, the Central trade union to which NOINO is affiliated has putting forth its view that bonus is nothing but deferred wages which is a cushion for inflation not taken care by the skewed DA formula. PLLI could have been our own answer to deferred wages & also an alternative to break away from the “bank pattern”. It still can be, if rational & reasonable suggestions from the employee organizations are heeded.

       We request you to have a re-think of the whole issue of PLLI & consider our demands at the earliest.

Anagha Sant
GS, NOINO