Wednesday, July 23, 2014

59th Anniversary of BMS

Today is the 59th Anniversary of Bharateeya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the Central Trade Union to which NOINO is affiliated. BMS was formed by Shraddheya Dattopant Thengadji on 23rd July 1955 in Bhopal. It is interesting to note that the National Committee of BMS was formed 12 years later, i.e. in 1967!!. Till then, the activists worked without any formal posts!! Today, when in all fields, we see people clinging to money & posts, the difference is stark.

We will continue to be inspired by Late Thengadiji's principles of "Ideals, not individuals" & "Work is Worship". We will also not forget that the Nation comes first, then the Industry & then the individual employee. Only when the Nation prospers, will the Industry grow, & only when Industry prospers, the employee will prosper.

Today, BMS is the largest Central Trade Union in India. We are proud to be associated with it.


BMS Zindabad!!
NOINO Zindabad!!

(by Shri Ganesh Kamath, Chief Advisor, NOINO)

NOINO writes to Chairman on wage-revision & pension-option

NOINO today wrote to the Chairman, LIC of India for wage-revision and one more pension-option. The letter is reproduced below:

23.07.2014
                                                                                                        
The Chairman,
L.I.C. of India.

Respected Sir,

Re:  Wage revision & pension option

The wage-revision of LIC employees is due since 1st August 2012. National Organization of Insurance Officers (NOINO) submitted its Charter of demands on 23rd July 2012.  However, till now the talks on wage-revision have not commenced. The employees are restless due to this.

The 22nd All India Executive Committee Meeting of NOINO was held on 9th and 10th June 2014, wherein EC members across the country were present. The assembly expressed its concern over the delay in the talks.

The employees were expecting that some offer would be coming on wage-revision in the Information Sharing Meeting on 13th & 14th February 2014. We were   disappointed to find that there was no offer forthwith. However, in that meeting, an assurance was given by the management that the unions would be invited again very shortly with some concrete offer on wage-revision. We are again disappointed to find that till date that has not happened. There is also no information forthcoming from the management as to what steps are being taken for an early & satisfactory settlement.

We were given to understand that the LIC management is making efforts for one more (final) option for pension before & outside the wage-revision. Nothing has materialized even in this regard.

These two issues are of utmost importance. However, the delay in settling both these issues has given rise to resentment.

We, therefore, demand that the management should immediately invite the unions for talks on wage-revision as well as other pending issues.

Yours faithfully,
      Sd/-
Anagha Sant
      GS, NOINO

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

TRAGEDY IN WARANGAL - TREAT THE DISEASE, NOT THE SYMPTOMS

An unfortunate incident happened in Warangal. An ABM(S) committed suicide citing harassment from senior officials of LIC. This has caused a lot of consternation, worry & unrest among the ranks of the officers. This gives rise to the following points:-

If indeed the suicide was due to the harassment & humiliation by senior officials, the management at the highest level, should sit up & take serious note of it. This should not be & cannot be dismissed as a one-off extreme case. No leniency should be shown to the officials alleged to have driven the person to take such an extreme step.

No attempt should be made to brush the follies of anybody under the carpet. The management should come out with a statement in this matter to clear the air. It should also specify what exact action is being taken in this matter.

As it is, Class I Officers are feeling frustrated. They are working under immense pressure. The outdated & hackneyed system of extracting work by harassment & humiliation should go lock, stock & barrel.  Just consider the impediments with which a Class I Officer works:-
a.    No recruitment in Class III & IV. They have to perform non-supervisory functions.
b.    No overtime or compensation for continuous late sitting.
c.     No security for working after office-hours especially female officers.
d.    Inadequate promotion opportunities.
e.    Inconvenient postings on promotion, if any.
f.      No progress on wage-revision front for last 2 years.
g.    Withdrawal of LTC benefits.
h.    Withdrawal of mementoes distributed in conferences for AAO’s & AO’s.

Only the other day, an officer deputed from HRD-OD of CO came to the WZO & demanded (from all classes of employees) as to what jobs they were doing. The officer then noted everything. This is absolutely ridiculous & insulting.  Suddenly we got a feeling that we were being watched & on a tight leash. This big-brotherly attitude & treating the officers like criminals should go. Is this the ideal environment for the growth of the Corporation? Where are we leading to?

A section of MM’s & SDM’s feel that only through humiliation & pressure, would the marketing officials perform. They should understand that the frustration & anger in the officers is building up & should mend their ways immediately to prevent a snowballing of the crisis. The practice of calling the officers on Sundays & holidays should stop forthwith.
  
On one hand, marketing officials are being pressurised. On the other hand some divisions have reported that the Divisional authorities are forcing the officers in administrative side to perform marketing activities. As it is, the officers are having their hands full.


The officers should also think over the following:-

Whether it is worth to take so much pressure? Is it worth to put our neck on the guillotine? Only when one has the courage to say a big “NO” at the point one feels that one can’t take the stress, the troubles will recede. Heavens will not fall if we say no. NOINO has been at the fore-front on bringing to the fore all these issues. The officers should rally round it.

The management at the highest level should also introspect on the following issues:-

What is the frequency of Information Sharing meetings? Whether Information Sharing meetings are held at Zonal & divisional levels If there is no vent for pent-up feelings & no free exchange of thoughts it will stymie the growth of the institution.

Why is that we are not doing well? Is it because of wrong strategies? If so, how can we blame the marketing officials? We have only a few plans in the market? Is it because the IRDA is stalling our proposals? Or is it because we have not pushed for enough plans?

Whether we are taking officers at all levels into confidence while taking policy decisions or are we just dictating them?

A relaxed person gives more output than a disturbed & a pressurised one. The sooner we realise this, the better. An overwhelming majority of our officers are matured & responsible enough to understand the responsibilities they shoulder. They don’t expect the senior officials to mollycoddle them. But then neither do they expect that they should be humiliated & pressurised.

Lastly, an appeal to all. We all are very concerned about this issue. But let this concern not be a short-lived one. Let the concern not be confined to mere lip-service. Let us come together.  Remember what Swami Vivekanand said:-

Be not afraid of anything. The moment you fear, you are nobody. It is fear that is the greatest cause of Misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings Heaven even in a moment. Therefore, “Arise, Awake, and stop not until the goal is reached

And the goal is definitely not to get humiliated, pressurized and disturbed. Our goal is to live an honourable, peaceful and social life.

Please cultivate the habit of saying a firm “NO” before the water starts flowing above your head…!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why NOINO is opposing raise in FDI in Insurance

WHY DOES NOINO OPPOSE PROPOSED HIKE IN FDI IN INSURANCE FROM 26% TO 49%?


  1. Such a hike is nothing but a ruse to accommodate the Multinational Insurance companies who are bent upon filling their own coffers with little or no concern for the nation. A simple logic is that a person(in this case a foreign partner) contributing 49 out of 100 Rupees will henceforth take away 49 Rupees as profit instead of 26 Rupees earlier.
  2. The track record of the private players doesn’t enthuse any confidence. The cumulative losses of these private players have run into the tune of 18000 crores.
  3. While the ratio of premium income to the GDP increased from 2.15% in 2001 to 3.4% in 2011, it is interesting to note that a  mere 34.3% of such increase came from 22 private players, while 65.7% of the increase came from LIC. Has the introduction of FDI really helped?
  4. The private players are usually tom-tomming about their so-called efficiency. It is shocking to note that private players repudiate 10% of their death claims while LIC doesn’t repudiate even 1% of its death claims.
  5. Since the private players entered the fray, the canvass of the LIFE Insurance business has changed. Earlier, the maximum thrust was on non-unit-linked business. LIC was not allowed to invest even 10% of its funds in equities. After privatization, the rules were changed ostensibly to pamper the private players. About 80% of the business transacted by the private players was unit-linked. If a substantial part of the business is Unit-linked or even single premium, it cannot be termed as Insurance in the strictest terms. It is more of an Investment rather than Insurance. Thus, the objective of Insurance penetration is not achieved.
  6. Life Insurance has traditionally been a long term business. It has been converted into a short term one with this type of trend which has nothing but disastrous consequences.
  7. LIC has always been in the fore-front & acting as a stabilizing factor in a volatile market. It has been contributing tremendously in the infrastructure of the nation. E.g. in the FY 2011-2012, it invested 8.20 lakh crores in Government & social sector. Pumping in more & more FDI would mean trying to cover up the inefficiency of private players at the cost of LIC & at the cost of nation. It would be like “robbing Peter to pay Paul”!!
  8. It is pertinent to note that the Parliamentary Standing committee, headed by Shri Yashwant Sinha had rejected the proposed hike in FDI.
  9. The government opened the insurance sector in order to accelerate the rate of growth of premium income as well as insurance penetration in the country. But, there is only deceleration in premium growth and stagnancy in insurance penetration.
  10.  The private life insurance companies deployed 40000 crores as capital & acquired a total premium of only 80000 crores out of which 30000 crores was towards First Year Premium. In sharp contrast, LIC didn’t deploy any capital. In fact, it generated a solvency reserve of 60000 crores in the same period(from 2000-01 to 2013-14) from internal resources.

Dr S B Sharan
WP, NOINO

Thursday, July 10, 2014

FDI hike in Insurance – proposed by FM in Budget

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We learn that the Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, has proposed a hike in FDI in Insurance from 26% to 49% in today’s General Budget.  We strongly protest this move.

You may recall that NOINO was in the forefront along with other BMS affiliated unions in LIC in the agitation against the proposed hike during the UPA-II tenure. Our stand of opposition to this hike remains unchanged. We call upon the employees to be ready for any struggle against such move.

Dr. S B Sharan
WP, NOINO

Monday, June 2, 2014

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index for April 2014 is 242. If it remains the same for next 2 months then DA shall rise by 22 slabs w.e.f. 01.08.2014.

A mischievous act

Certain people with mischievous intent are circulating some false message in NOINO’s name regarding Furniture Advance. In this respect, please note that:

 1. Any office-bearer of NOINO has not sent any such message.

 2. Only if you receive any message from NOINO office-bearer’s cell number, please consider it authentic.

- NOINO Central Committee

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.