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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In 1978, while entering in its Silver Jubilee Year, the NFPTE had organised its P&T Convention at Patna. The demand of “3 Promotions at 10, 20 and 25 years” for P&T employees was coined in that National Convention. This demand was necessitated by the fact that most of the P&T employees were retiring without even getting a single promotion in their long career in those days. The Clerical employees retired without even becoming LSG and the Postmen were retiring without even promoted as Sorting Postman or Head Postman / Mail Overseer Postman, the only hierarchical promotion available at that time. After much negotiations and struggles, ultimately the Government agreed two promotions and introduced TBOP and BCR Promotions on completion of 16 and 26 years. All P&T employees were thereafter ensured of at least two promotions. But the movement had paid some price including major punishments to cadres to win the demand of two promotions.
The introduction of TBOP and BCR promotions caused the hierarchical promotion of Sorting Postman / Mail Overseer Postman etc irrelevant as most of the Postmen staff attained TBOP and BCR promotion before getting the only regular promotion available. The Department also discontinued constituting the DPC to promote Postmen staff. Similar was the case with the Group ‘D’ staff also, in whose case the promotion to Jamedar Group ‘D’ was discontinued. Even though the Department had subsequently declared unilaterally that the TBOP/BCR is not a promotion but only a scheme of financial upgradation like ACP Scheme, the regular hierarchical  promotional ladder was not restored or updated to ensure regular promotion to Postman and Group ‘D’ cadres. However, the TBOP, BCR ensured two automatic upgradations financially.
Discriminatingly during the same time, the Officialdom did not satisfy itself with the available two or three promotions in its career but went ahead with repeated cadre restructuring schemes to ensure at least five promotions for the cadre of Officers! We see that an IPS Officer entering as SSPOs [Junior Time Scale Officer] in the Postal Department is ensured of five promotions at least in his career as Senior Time Scale, DPS, PMG, Chief PMG, Board Member and Director General. In Departments like Income Tax a Class I officer who enters as  Assistant Commissioner as an IRS Officer goes ahead with the promotions like Deputy Commissioner, Joint Commissioner, Additional Commissioner, Commissioner of Income Tax, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Board Member in CBDT and Chairman of CBDT. This is the case with all departments. The Government never cared for the promotional avenues of Group C and D employees while going on improving the career advancement of top officers.
The 6th Pay Commission also not cared much for ending the discrimination between the employees and officers in the central services. It simply recommended for only improving the periodicity of ACP financial upgradation from 12 and 24 years into 10 and 20 years through MACP. After much discussion in the JCM Standing Committee, the Government made only a marginal improvement by granting the third upgradation on completion of 30 years but created a lot of anomalies including taking away the benefit of parity with hierarchical promotions. The increase in number of up gradations to three necessitated us to switch over from TBOP/BCR system to MACP Scheme though we knew that under MACP the Promotees will not be granted equal number of up gradations like a direct recruitment. We however embraced the MACP for its benefits with the idea to focus the discrimination and set right it through our organisational efforts. Now, with the historic judgment of Jodhpur CAT, we have brighter chances of set righting the anomaly. But even that will not bring parity with the Officers, who are ensured of at least five promotions.
It is in this background that the NFPE raised it in the National Secretariat of the Confederation of CG Employees and the Confederation expanded its Charter of Demands into 15 Points by including the demand of Grant of 5 Promotions to all employees in their career on par with the Officers. This is a very important demand with far reaching implications in advancing the status of the Group C employees including the Postman and MTS.  The demand attains much more importance in the background of our cadre restructuring issue stagnating without any noticeable progress and at the initial level of discussions only. Proper popularisation of this new demand of 5 Promotions among all our membership is absolutely essential to create necessary tempo as we know very well that only when a new idea grips the minds of the employees it becomes a material force. We broke the stalemate in 1980s by strongly agitating for 2 Promotions. Let us now embrace the new demand of 5 Promotions and make it a reality soon. But everything depends on the rank and file organisation, which alone can succeed not only in popularising the new demand but also rousing the employees to agitate for the 15 Points charter of Confederation that focuses on 7th CPC, 50% merger of DA and grant of 5 Promotions etc. Time has come to end the discrimination between top officers and the bottom employees on number of promotions to advance the career prospects.

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