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