Wednesday, August 29, 2012
NOINO delegation had a brief meeting with ED(P) Shri M R Kumar today, i.e.
29th August 2012, basically to follow-up
on certain issues. The meeting was brief owing to the fact that the ED was to
embark on a tour. The following issues were raised:-
NOINO will continue to follow-up all the pending issues.
1. PLLI:- On this issue, ED said that though it seemed difficult within the present parameters, he indicated that the management would try to find a way out to sanction some amount. He said that in case of such possibility, the management would place it in the next Board meeting(probably in the next month).
2. Meal coupons :- a) We reminded the ED about our earlier demand that Meal coupons should be revised every year & that it should be DA-linked. We had recently again submitted a detailed letter on this issue on 9.8.2012. The ED was positive on this issue & indicated that the amount would be revised shortly(probably in the Insurance week) though he did not specify the amount of increase.
b) We also pointed out (as done several times earlier), that the employees were facing problems in encashment of the coupons with many outlets refusing to accept it, while many were over-charging. This point was also brought out in our letter dated 9.8.2012. ED said that the management was aware of the problems & serious thought was being given on the entire issue of meal coupons & some solution would be worked out in the future.
3. Attendance Grace period:- ED laid to rest the rumours in some quarters about the so-called with-drawal of grace period of 10 minutes while joining office every day saying that there was no such issue.
4. Notification of promotion(Class III to Class I):- We pointed out the inordinate delay in issuing the notification. ED replied that the notification including separate channel for promotion of CA's under to be introduced new clause 1(C) was with the Government. It has already been approved & now it is with the legal department of the Government. It was expected shortly, after which the notification of promotion would be issued.
5. Injustice to Class I Officers:- We pointed out some examples as to how injustice was meted out to Class I Officers in general.
a) The property returns have to be compulsorily filed only by the Class I Officers which defies logic.
b) The subsidy on Mediclaim for Class I Officers in service is 2/3rd of the premium whereas for others it is 3/4th of the premium(even retired employees including officers get 3/4th subsidy). ED was positive on this issue & said that this would be set right.
c) For all mistakes/errors/irregularities, only the Class I Officers are held responsible. We pointed out that in some Zones, warning letters & letters calling for explanation were being issued at the drop of the hat, demoralising the Class I officers. Class I officers are being asked not to depend on the system support & instead manually calculate/check everything. This is next to impossible. On one hand the management expects the Class I Officers to meet all deadlines, come what may & on the other hand for every single mistake, they are held responsible. We urged ED to intervene & stop this harassment. ED was positive in this matter. This issue would be discussed with the ED in detail later.
Monday, August 27, 2012
NOINO has submitted a detailed note on the transfer policy of Class I Officers to the management on
August 2012. The note is
NOTE ON TRANSFER POLICY OF CLASS I OFFICERS
We are submitting our views on the transfer/posting policy of the Class I Officers in our Corporation. We request you to consider all the suggestions submitted by us.
The main issue, as we see it, is primarily regarding the posting of the Class I officers on promotion. The problem with the current transfer policy is a) the ‘pick & choose’ policy which is arbitrarily implemented on the whims & fancies of the concerned authorities & b) frequent changes in the policy.
We have tried to cover all aspects; however, while doing this some of the suggestions may not seem to be directly connected with the transfer policy. We feel that for the smooth working of the Corporation, a systemic approach should be taken instead of viewing the issue of Transfer/Posting in isolation. If the following suggestions are considered, these will have a positive impact on the postings & transfers of Class I Officers. We have the following suggestions to make in this regard:-
- While we are giving our suggestions in writing, we also suggest that a two day workshop may be convened on this issue at a later date, where minimum 5 representatives of the Class I organizations would be invited. Thread-bare face-to face discussions would reveal many areas of concern from both the sides & a common meeting ground can be reached after such discussions.
- We are of the opinion that we need to go to the core of the problem & identify the same before going for solutions. We feel that the crux of the problem is regarding the posting on promotion. If, majority of the officers are satisfied with the posting on promotion, then they would be inclined to go for it. This will lead to vacancies in such departments or places (e.g. in division or city branches) where many officers seek posting on transfer. Thus a fair amount of turnover & change of guard will take place.
- This also leads to the question as to where do most of the officers seek posting (either on transfer or posting on promotion)? It is observed that most of the officers seek transfer either to a) places near their residence or b) in city branches or c) in divisional/zonal/central office departments. It can be understood why officers seek posting in option a) or b) as above. But as regards the option c), it is clear that the pressure of working in a branch is too much & they seek relief from such places. Hence, if urgent measures are taken to lessen the workload, most of the officers will be happy to work in the branches & to that extent; they will not seek transfers to DO/ZO/CO departments.
- Late sitting of Class I Officers: - Due to the perennial late-sitting, most of the officers are fed up of working in a branch, which leads to their applying for a place where there is comparatively lesser work-load. One solution is to implement the circular issued by Marketing Operations in July 2002 wherein gap between Introduction & completion of proposals was specified. We have been demanding that this circular should be implemented. If there is no acceptance/registration of proposals on the day of completion, then the officers who are underwriting would be under lesser pressure.
- Compensation for late-sitting :- We have been demanding amendment in staff regulations & payment of overtime to Class I Officers. Usually late-sitting is required in the branches. Hence, those who don’t mind sitting late, are rewarded monetarily, it would again reduce the incidence of transfer applications to DO/ZO/CO.
- Problems of cashiers: - The prime reason of an officer dreading to work in the accounts department is the problems of cashiers. We have suggested several measures to resolve this issue. One solution is to recruit assistant-cum-cashiers. If this problem is resolved, then many officers would be willing to work in branches.
- Recruitment of Class III/Class IV on a large scale: - Recruitment is the panacea for most of the ills that are affecting the Corporation. Minimum 1 assistant per department of the branch would suffice for the time-being. This would infuse fresh blood in the organization. It would also relieve the tremendous burden of the Class I Officers who are required to do non-supervisory jobs like attending queries of policyholders etc. This will also reduce the incidence of request transfer applications to departments of DO/ZO/CO.
- Officers working in SSO branches: - We have been demanding for years that Officers should not be posted in the SSO branches for doing the work of cashiers. If at all they are posted due to the proximity of their residence to the particular SSO branch, they should not be working as cashiers. A Class I Officer working as a cashier benefits neither the organization nor the person himself. The organization stands to lose because we would be paying a higher salary for a job which belongs to a lower cadre. The person stands to lose because, for the period he spends in the SSO, he doesn’t gain any worthwhile experience in supervisory duties which would stand him in good stead when his next promotion as AO would be due. Instead, we have been suggesting that such Class III who in normal roster would not be able to get transfer to such areas (close to their residence), should be posted to such SSO branches, and provided they are ready to work as cashiers. This would immediately solve many transfer problems of Class III & on the other hand it would release many Class I Officers in the division for supervisory duties. This will also ease the transfer/posting problems of Class I Officers to some extent.
- Transparency: - We observe that there is a complete lack of transparency & discussions with the Class I unions while devising the transfer/posting policy every year at all levels. The respective managements at all levels (Division/Zone/Central Office) should have discussions with the unions before deciding any policy. This will help both in understanding each others’ constraints.
- Changes in transfer policy every year: - We observe that there are frequent changes in the transfer/posting policy every year. E.g. Most of the promotees from AO to ADM in WZ were posted outside their Zone last year, while this year, most of them were retained. In the Zones too, when there is a change in the leadership, there is always a change in the transfer/posting policy. This causes a lot of heart-burn.
- Codified transfer policy :- A codified transfer/posting policy will resolve many problems as are stated above. NOINO has been demanding an uniform, codified transfer policy since long.
- We feel that broadly, posting on promotion to AAO/AO should be within division; that of ADM/DM within Zone & that of SDM & above should be outside Zone.
- Declaring area of posting :- As in the case of promotion within Class III, if the tentative areas of posting are declared along with the number of division-wise vacancies for the promotion from Class III to Class I, then the aspirants can give specific choices of posting, which would not only make the task of posting easier for the Personnel department, but also increase the incidence of accepting promotion & decrease the number of request transfer applications as most of the selected employees would be already happy with their posting.
- Identifying difficult/hard areas of postings: - Such areas where the level of difficulty/inconvenience is more should be first identified. E.g. Audit/Inspection, naxalite infested areas; communally sensitive areas etc. The transfer norms for the officers posted in such areas should be relaxed. E.g. if an officer posted outside his home division is brought back after say three years, an officer posted in such hard areas should be transferred back after say two years. The officers posted in such hard areas should also be paid some inconvenience allowance.
- Developing second line of leadership in areas of specialist positions :- Officers working in such departments such as IT, Actuarial, Investment etc are generally seen as specialists due to a) their qualification b) experience in the field c) proficiency in the particular area. It is also observed that some of them become indispensable OR seen to be indispensable. These employees then almost earn the rights of being retained in the same department year after year. This not only blocks many vacancies in the particular department, but also causes heart-burn to other officers who are not working in the so-called specialist departments. A second-line of leadership should be developed in a particular span to counter this problem. The question of who is a specialist is also to be pondered. Merely because a person is working in a particular department for a long time does not mean that he is a specialist. In a way, all departments need specialists & experts. Can it be denied that P & IR, legal or for that matter every department requires experts?
- Handicapped employees: - The data of all handicapped employees is with the Corporation. We can collect the total number of handicapped employees; classifications according to a) age b) percentage of handicap c) those in the zone of promotion. This will enable us to get a fairly clear picture for posting these officers. These officers can be posted in keeping with their age & percentage of handicap. If the data is provided to us, we can also help the management in sorting-out the priorities.
- Number of officers in the Zone as a whole: - It needs to be seen whether all the Zones have adequate number of officers & whether the numbers are uniform & in proportion to the number of division/branches & volume of business. We feel that some Zones are not having enough number of officers. This may also have a bearing on the transfer policy within the Zone.
from home division to be considered instead of change of Zone: -
Distance from home division should be the criterion while posting on
promotion instead of change of Zone. E.g. Transfer/posting from
to Belgaum or Kolhapur to Nanded may change the Zone but the distance may not be too much. On the other hand, e.g. posting from Mumbai to Hyderabad may not change the Zone but the distance will be much more. Nagpur
- Roster for Class I Officers’ transfers :- Just as a roster is maintained for Class III employees transfers, a roster should also be maintained for Class I officers. This roster should be prepared in consultation with the union. To ensure a transparent procedure, we may also consider displaying of such roster on the personnel site of the respective office.
- Deadline for publishing transfer/posting/promotion lists: - There should be a fixed deadline for issuing annual orders of transfers/posting/promotion lists. We suggest that for AO & above it should be 30th April whereas for AAO’s it should be 31st August. It is also observed that most of the times the lists are published after office hours, sometimes during un-earthly hours. This should be stopped.
- Transfers before transfer/promotion round: - We have observed that some officers are transferred from outside a particular Zone to other Zone (mostly request transfers) much before the actual transfer/promotion round for that cadre. This results into such officers getting choice postings as they get the first option. We have also observed that such officers are mostly given favourable posting. This causes a lot of heart-burn among officers who are transferred during the transfer/promotion round. All transfers should be effected only during the transfer/promotion round except under special circumstances.
- Transfers need not be effected just for the sake of transfer. If the concerned officer is discharging his duties efficiently & without deviation in the rules, he need not be transferred. So long as a vested interest is not developed or not likely to be developed, he need not be transferred. The natural corollary of this is that an officer who is performing his job efficiently is likely to be promoted & hence is also likely to be posted elsewhere on promotion after some time. This will again ensure the churning & change of guard.
- Age & seniority: - While posting on promotion or considering request transfers, an officer who is aged 55 years or more or has completed 30 years or more in the Corporation should be considered on priority.
- Spouse working in LIC :- The request transfer of the spouse of the officer promoted/transferred to the place of his/her posting should be considered immediately.
- Relief of transferred officers: - It is observed that most of the times, the officers on orders of request transfers are relieved after a long time under the pretext of lack of substitute. This should not happen & the officers concerned should be relieved within a reasonable period of time, say 15 days within the date of the order.
- Request Transfers should always be first considered before posting officers on promotion. We have observed that in some divisions officers on promotion are given favourable posting as compared to the officers applying for request transfers.
- No permission should be sought for commutation from place of posting.
- Pay protection in case of transfer (other than request transfer) & posting on promotion from CCA centres to Non-CCA centres.
- For shortage of officers in some areas, senior HGA’s may be allowed to officiate as officer by paying suitable incentive. However, this is a short term remedy.
- The fact that an officer has served outside his/her division/Zone should also be considered favourably while posting him/her on his/her next promotion.
- Officers on the verge of retirement: Officers who are going to retire from the services of the Corporation within 2 years, should be posted at his/her choice place, so that he/she can set right all post-retirement needs before his/her retirement.
- Shortage in some areas:- It is observed that the CO is posting the Direct Recruit AAO's directly to divisions when their first posting is done, instead of allotting them to the respective Zones. This practice should be stopped & these officers should be allocated to the Zones who will decide their further postings according to their requirements. These officers being young, it is naturally expected that such officers should be prepared to move anywhere within their allotted Zones. This compares unfavourably with those employees who are promoted in the regular round of promotion wherein even females of a much higher age are posted outside their division. If this practice is stopped, then, more officers of higher age can get favourable postings & on the other hand, the problem of shortage in some areas would be mitigated.
- Recommendations/References of Head of Departments in posting/transfer of Officers in CO: - As far as we understand, the postings/ transfers in CO departments are largely based on the recommendations/ references of the respective Head of Departments. This practice should also be stopped. This implies that an officer having access/ acquaintance/ proximity to the particular Head of the Department has a much greater chance of getting a posting/transfer in the CO departments. Instead of this practice, the CO can give specifications/ requirements/ qualifications to the respective Zone(mainly Western Zone as most of the offices under CO are in Mumbai) & the Zone can spare some of its officers after taking into consideration its own constraints. To bring uniformity, priority/preference should be given to officers who have spent more time in the branches in their career provided they are willing to be posted in CO departments & their performance is good. Giving priority to local officers is desirable looking to the shortage of staff quarters.