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......... NFPE & GDS (NFPE) filed a case in Supreme Court praying : Implementation of 1977 judgement and declare GDS are civil servants & scrap the GDS (Conduct & Engagement) Rules 2011 as they are invalid and unconstitutional .... Supreme Court directed the case to Delhi High Court .. first hearing was on 13-01-2014 and pleased to serve notice to Govt. & Department .... next hearing on 07-05-2014 ......

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dept addressed all Heads of Circles on Postal JCA Programme...


Dept. appeal on Postal JCA struggle programme...

Govt. wrote to DoP on GDS

A letter addressed to the Department of Posts by the Govt. on the issue of "inclusion of GDS in Terms of Reference of 7th CPC" in response to the National Council (JCM) letter dated 27-05-2014.

On GDS issues in Rajya Sabha

Demand to absorb Grameen Dak Sevaks as Postman


ANSWERED ON  01.08.2014

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to satate:-

(a)whether it is a fact that undivided Andhra Pradesh was the second largest State having 2.7 lakh Grameen Dak Sevaks (GDSs) working;

(b whether there have been demands for absorbing them as Postman;

(c) if so, how many GDSs have been absorbed as Postman during the last ten years, year-wise and State-wise with a particular reference to Andhra Pradesh; and

(d) the other demands being made by Grameen Dak Sevaks and the action taken by the Ministry on those demands?


(a) The number of Gramin Dak Sewaks (GDS) in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana taken together is 27,087 (Twenty Seven Thousand Eighty Seven). In terms of strength of GDS as on 01.07.2014, it is 2nd largest in the Country.

(b) The issue of demand by Gramin Dak Sevaks for absorption to Postman cadre does not arise as provision already exists for their absorption to the cadre of Postman, based on limited departmental competitive examination.

(c) Details of Gramin Dak Sevaks absorbed to the cadre of Postman during the last 10 years, year-wise and State wise with particular reference to Andhra Pradesh are as under:-

Andhra Pradesh

(d) Status of other demands made by Gramin Dak Sevaks is as per Annexure I [As above].


Sl. No.
Action taken / Government’s view
Demand for regularization as Government servant.
Gramin Dak Sevaks, about 2,65,000 in number are a distinct category of employees, who do not form part of the regular civil service. They are governed by a separate set of conduct and engagement rules. They are engaged for 3 to 5 hours in a day. Their livelihood is not solely dependent on the allowances paid by the Postal Department. They are mandatorily required to possess independent sources of income for adequate means of livelihood. They are discharged on attaining the age of 65 years and while in employment are required to have residence mandatorily within the post village/delivery jurisdiction of the post office.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Superintendent of Post Offices vs. PK Rajamma (1977)(3) SCC has also held that the Extra Departmental Agents [now called Gramin Dak Sevaks] are holders of the civil post outside the regular civil service.
Demand for restoration of parity in bonus ceiling with departmentalemployees
Bonus ceiling stands revised at par with departmental employees vide DG Posts letter No. 26-04/2013-PAP dated 04.10.2013.
Demand for cent percent compassionate engagement to GDS posts from dependents of Gramin Dak Sevaks dying while in employment
Compassionate engagement is allowed in only hard and deserving cases. The term, ‘hard and deserving cases,’ is defined as cases earning more than 50 points designed from a point based criteria based on indigence. There is no justification to allow compassionate engagement in cent percent cases in cases of death of Gramin Dak Sevaks irrespective of indigence.
Request to ban direct recruitment to Multi-Tasking Staff (MTS)/ Postman posts and filling up of 25% posts of MTS/Postman based on seniority by GDS employees.
Statutory Recruitment Rules for MTS provide for direct recruitment/absorption directly to MTS against 25% of the direct recruitment vacancies on the basis of selection cum seniority & another 25% by direct recruitment on the basis of competitive examination restricted to GDS. StatutoryRecruitment Rules for Postman provide for direct recruitment from amongst GDS to the extent of 50% of the vacancies on the basis of limited departmental examination.
Request for filling up of all vacant posts in all categories of GDS in Postal and RMS.
Instructions have been issued to all Circles to fill up all vacant posts of GDS Branch Postmaster and justified posts of all other approved categories.
Request for extending one more option to GDS for enrolment under the service Discharge benefit Scheme (SDBS) and allowing GDS to make contribution to the Scheme
Existing GDS have already been provided one more and last option for their enrolment under the Scheme before 31.01.2014. GDS beneficiaries have also been allowed to contribute towards the scheme at the rate of Rs. 200 per month per GDS effective from October, 2013.
Request for merger of 50% DA to the remuneration of GDS.
This is based on the similar demand made by Central Government Employees. The Government has not taken any decision on the issue for the Central Government employees either.
Demand for inclusion of Gramin Dak Sevaks within the purview of the 7thCentral Pay Commission.
The Government has successively constituted Committees for revision of the wage structure and other service conditions of GDS from time to time after each Central Pay Commission. The last such Committee was constituted by the Department in the year 2007 named Shri RS Nataraja Murti Committee. The latest request for their inclusion in the 7th CPC stands referred to the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure.

The above statement was attached as Annexure I with the reply of undermentioned Rajya Sabha Question:-


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Short History of Postal Banking - USPS

As the debate over re-instituting postal banking heats up, we should know we had it. And it worked.

Last week John Oliver offered up an expose on payday loans, describing them as “the circle of debt” that “screws us all.” And at the conclusion of Oliver’s take down on payday lending Sarah Silverman offered low-income borrowers better alternatives—including donating blood and jumping in front of rich folks’ cars. But there is a burgeoning alternative to usurious payday lending: postal banking, which allows low-income Americans to do their banking—from bill payment to small loans—at the same post office where they buy stamps. As states try to regulate away the payday-lending sector, their desperate customers may be pushed either into the black market or bankruptcy. Postal banking is a much better solution. It is time to consider a “public option” for small loans.
Every other developed country in the world has postal banking, and we actually did too. It is important to remember this forgotten history as we begin to talk seriously about reviving postal banking because the system worked and it worked well. Postal banking, which existed in the United States from 1911 to 1966, was in fact so central to our banking system that it was almost the alternative to federal deposit insurance, and served as such from 1911 until 1933. The system prevented many bank runs during a turbulent time in the nation’s banking history—essentially performing central banking functions before the Federal Reserve was up to the task. Postal banking helped fund two world wars and reduced a massive government deficit after the Great Depression.
Postal banks started in Great Britain in 1861 and, from the outset, the primary goal was financial inclusion. But in the U.S., postal banking had other uses as well: In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant’s postmaster general, John Creswell, proposed post office savings banks to pay for a new telegraph system. President Grant himself endorsed the postal banks as a way to free up hoarded money in far-flung regions of the country. But the nation’s bankers opposed it. They objected to the notion that all the deposits would go directly to the Treasury. Everyone feared centralized bank power, and localism in banking was as sacred as the Constitution at the time. The American Bankers Association objected to the competition with the federal government.  Ideological opponents called it communist, socialist, and paternalistic. While they claimed that the private markets and savings banks were sufficient,  in fact 98 percent of all savings banks were in the five northeastern states, leaving the South and the West virtually unbanked.
Once the idea was first proposed, nine postmasters and almost every president, except Grover Cleveland pushed the issue for 40 years. Almost 100 bills died in Congress before anything happened.
After the panic of 1907 (A panic that started on Wall Street and led to bank runs across the country) momentum finally shifted. In the 1908 presidential election, banking reform became a major issue with William Taft actually campaigning on postal banking as a way to stabilize the banking sector and help credit-starved regions like the South and the West. Taft won and his administration initiated postal banking.
By 1934, postal banks 
had $1.2 billion
in assets as small savers 
fled failing banks.
Taft’s clear support of postal banking and his electoral mandate still weren’t enough to overcome bank and Democratic opposition. The Postal Savings Bank Bill, as passed, finally acquiesced to both localism and private bankers by mandating that almost all of the postal deposits stay in the community of origin. The debate at the time over whether postal banks were needed is illuminating today. Opponents claimed that anyone with money to save was already saving it. The Boston Globe opined, “It is easy enough for anybody to find a savings bank; the trouble is to find the savings to put in it.” Others urged that the reason rural dwellers were not saving in banks was because of the “ignorance of the common people,” or because “the inhabitants of remote rural districts are not so well posted in the world’s wicked ways as those who have the opportunity of perusing the daily papers.” In other words, some people are just too dumb and too poor to bank. Today we hear similar claims that the problem with the poor and unbanked is that they “lack financial literacy” or that they just don’t have enough money to open a bank account. The truth is that they are plenty literate, but they either don’t trust banks or the banks left their neighborhood years ago, leaving only payday lenders.
The bill eventually passed in 1910 and created what was called the United States Postal Savings System.* The interest on accounts was set by statute to a low 2.5 percent to avoid luring customers away from banks. The postmasters and supporting congressmen also called the postal banks “the poor man’s banks” to set bankers at ease. Accounts were capped at $100 deposits allowed per month and a total savings cap of $500—the limit was raised to $2,500 dollars in 1918.
By 1913 (just two years later) the banks had received $32 million—most of which came from “stocking banks,” as reported by the New York Times in 1913. The Times reported with frustration that many larger deposits were turned away and that the current deposits likely represented a fraction of those available. Princeton University historian Sheldon Garon claims that it was these caps and concessions that ultimately doomed the postal banking system in the United States. And ultimately, it was not southerners and westerners that most needed the banks as had been expected (although they eventually came around). It was the raft of recent immigrants in urban areas who immediately took to these banks. The reason (from congressional testimony in 1913): “Hundreds of thousands of our newly made citizens distrust banks and will not patronize them. They have absolute confidence in the Government and know what postal savings banks are.” The post office offered information to customers in 24 languages and would pass out leaflets right outside the ports of entry into the U.S. Consequently, the busiest postal banks were those right near the ports. By 1915, immigrants owned more than 70 percent of the postal bank’s deposits even though they were less than 15 percent of the population. There were accounts of deposits coming in stockings and cans with the paper money rotting and the coins rusted.
By 1934, postal banks had $1.2 billion in assets—about 10 percent of the entire commercial banking system—as small savers fled failing banks to the safety of a government-backed institution. And this trend might have continued if President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t have broader banking reform in mind. But Roosevelt chose the FDIC over postal banking as a way of stabilizing things. Paradoxically, the same Roosevelt who forged an unprecedented expansion of the federal government during the New Deal would choose a bank-funded insurance scheme as opposed to a public banking system.
But even this was not the end for postal banking. FDR used the postal banks to sell Treasury bonds in 1935 to pay off the budget deficit after the Great Depression. In 1941, the postal banks started selling “Defense Savings Stamps” to help fund the war. The campaign was a phenomenal success. By the end of World War II, the government had raised $8 billion in war funding from the post office alone.
Deposits also reached their peak in 1947 with almost $3.4 billion and 4 million users banking at their post offices. In part this was because in 1940, the post office introduced the world to banking by mail, which appealed to soldiers stationed abroad.
But it was the beginning of the end. In 1946, 68 percent of the nation’s towns and cities had both postal savings depositories and banks. And because banks could charge higher interest than the post office and were just as safe, the USPS was no longer an attractive option for deposits. This is no longer true today as banks have been squeezed on all sides by money markets, capital markets, and foreign banks. Banks began to abandon poor areas and post offices remained, but without banking services. And once banks deserted low-income neighborhoods starting in the 1970s, the high-cost payday lenders and check-cashers flooded in.
In 1965 the postmaster generals started to endorse ending postal banking. In 1966 it was officially abolished as part of Lyndon Johnson’s streamlining of the federal government. The postal banking system died a quiet death without public discussion. The public and press failed to note the centrality of postal banking in one of the most turbulent periods of banking in our country. Postal banking was America’s most successful experiment in financial inclusion—a problem we face again today. As we contemplate whether it has a place in our future we must recall the vital role it played in our past.
(This article collected from other web pages....)

Why do we join Union?

In the words of .....................
Smt. Nandita Mohanty
Chairperson, Women Sub-Committee

AIPEU, Gr-C, Bhubaneswar Division 

With the evolution of society and growth in social needs there is a sharp development in industrialization. It involves use of modern technology and employment of large number of workers. As large number of people are involved,  it becomes necessary to safe guard the interest of the workers. They need to be organized to fulfil their demands in respect of salary, welfare and social security. There comes the concept of `Union’. 

          So, union is the long-term association of workers to advance and protect the interest of members of the union in the working relationship. According to Flippo “A labor union or a trade union is an organization of workers formed to protect, promote and improve through collective action, the social, economic and political interest of its members.” 

          Whenever any employee joins a union, he has some expectations in his mind. He may join the union for the following reasons:- 
·          Economic benefits: When any employee joins an organization the main interest is the salary or wage. As the social status of a person is defined by the economic standard he carries, more emphasis is given to the economic benefits. But any single individual has very little bargaining capacity as compared to the huge power of the management. He thinks, if he joins the union, union will fight for the economic interest of the employee as the union has great bargaining capacity to get its demands accepted by the management.  But the union has also its own limitations. It can bargain on the genuine ground according to the prevailing rules. It can demand for the economic up-gradation when the organization is economically sound. For that the employees have to give their hundred percent so that union can demand enhancement of monetary benefits. Because no organization will give any economic benefit unless and until it is economically sound. At that time expectation of economic advancement is baseless. 

·          Platform for self-expression: At the primitive days of industrialization, lives of the workers were like slaves without any voice against the tyranny of the management. They used to live at the mercy of the management. They couldn’t raise their voice against un-hygienic working conditions, hard work, low wage, long and inconvenient hours of working etc. Self-expression and individuality were totally prohibited. But the desire for self-expression is a fundamental drive which can’t be ignored. By joining the union the employees get a platform for self-expression. The union provides the mechanism through which employees can make their voice heard by the top management. Union serves as the communicating device between the employees and the management.  Sometimes due to low perspective and narrow-mindedness, some can’t understand the long-term views taken by the organization in the context of overall growth of the organization and employees. Anything which does not result in immediate reward becomes unattractive to them. This attitude results in the difference in views and conflict in union. One thing we should keep in mind that union is by the employees, for the employees and of the employees. So to be in union, one should go beyond oneself. 

·          Check-bar on arbitrary action of the management: The employees join the union to fight against the arbitrary action of the management. It works like a brake to the monopoly of the management. Employees expect a just and fare dealing from the management on the basis of the prevailing rules and regulations. Union  serves a checkmate when management goes beyond the prevailing rules and take action against the employees which is irrational, unlawful or  discriminatory. Thus union safe- guards the interest of the employees. 

·          Security :  The employees join union because they think that at the time of need the union will stand by them. They can get the protection from hazards and economic insecurities at the time of illness, accidents, unemployment etc. For example, trade union ensures compensation to the injured workers under the Workman’s Compensation Act 1923, secures the retirement benefits under Gratuity Act 1972 and PF Act 1952, employees’ health, social security, payment of wage, bonus, insurance, maternity benefit etc. and other welfare measures by compelling the management to abide by these. With the union, employees feel safe and secure both mentally and physically. 

·          Employee-employer relationship:  The employee may not have easy access to the top management. But union is the proper machinery which maintains a sound communication between the employer and the employee. Employees feel attached to the organization by this. If the relation between the employer and employees is good then industrial disputes, conflicts, strikes and lock-outs can be avoided. 

·          Sense of participation: Sense of participation is also a fundamental desire among the employees. They expect that their voice should be heard in making decisions in the organization. This is known as the Workman’s Participation. Being in the union, they can make their voice heard by the management in matters affecting them and can also influence to take a correct decision. 

·          Sense of belongingness: When any employee joins an organization the sense of belongingness is developed inside him. He tries to feel that he is the integral part of the organization. For that he may join the union. Because his co-workers are with the union. He may have the feeling that if he will not join the union he will be odd man out and can’t get any assistance at the time of need. On the contrary, when he is in the union he feels that he is attached with the organization and experiences a feel-good factor. He begins to think that he has some importance in the organization and among the co-workers. 

·          Background factor: Some who are born and brought up in the industrial area or in the organizational background where the society members and members of the family are attached with the union, join the union as a nature of practice. Here the past history works. As a result,  they think it obvious and natural enough to join the union. 

Though it is the mere truth that union is for the safe-guard of the employees, we can’t use it as the weapon against the management. If management strives for the long term benefit of the organization which may sound unreal on the today’s back ground,  then union also has to think in that angle for the mutual benefit. We should aspire for the long term benefits because our next generation may get the fruit out of it. We have to make the union strong for the bright future.