Tuesday, 31 March 2020
NFPE ADDRESSED TO MOC & IT
National Federation of Postal Employees
1st Floor North Avenue Post Office Building, New Delhi-110 001
Phone: 011.23092771 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 9718686800/9319917295 website: http://www.nfpe.blogspot.com
No. PF-Covid-19/2020 Dated: 31st March-2020
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Ji ,
Hon'ble Minister for Communications & IT,
Govt of India,
Sanchar Bhawan ,
New Delhi - 110001
Sub : Request for opening only limited number of Postal and RMS offices during lock down period declared by Central / State Governments - reg.
This appeal is made with the most fervent hope that the Hon'ble Minister will be kind enough to intervene on behalf of five lakhs Postal employees of Department of Posts.
Postal Directorate has issued instructions to open all offices during the lock down period declared by the Central/State Governments. Unlike many other Departments, in Postal Department, there are 155000 offices and about 500000 employees , out of which 130000 Branch Post offices and 300000 Gramin Dak Sevaks are in rural villages. Opening and functioning of such a large number of offices during the lock down period itself is a health hazard. The nature of duties performed by the employees such as counter services , delivery of articles at the door step of customers , clearance of street letter boxes , sorting of articles collected from various sources etc shall expose the employees to high risk of Corona virus infection and also spreading the same among public. Almost all the departments of Govt of India has issued instructions , either to close down offices or wherever it is unavoidable , to bring only minimum number of staff on duty.
We are fully aware that Postal services are declared as essential services by the Government of India and Postal department is bound to provide essential services to the public. But for providing ESSENTIAL services, entire offices need not be opened and all the staff need not be brought on duty. As Technology induction and upgradation is almost completed in Postal department , opening of a few selected offices in each Division , will serve the purpose. In fact, as per the original instructions of the Postal Directorate to the Head of Circles , only selected offices were opened and functioned to provide essential services. It worked well and there was no complaint from public regarding inadequacy of services by Postal Department. All required essential services are provided in all Circles . The need of the public as well as the protection of the staff, both was given a balanced consideration.
But to our surprise, all on a sudden, Postal Directorate modified the original instructions and ordered opening of all offices including Branch Post offices in the rural villages. These instructions were issued in a most mechanical manner , without taking into consideration, the ground realities and also the safety of the employees as well as the public.
98% of the Postal employees are residing at places from where they cannot reach offices without transport facilities. As both road and rail transport are completely suspended by the Central/State Governments in all parts of the country , it is practically impossible to provide transport facilities by any Government to all Postal employees who are scattered at various places in every nook and corner of the country.
Further , as already stated above , duties performed by the Postal employees involve high risk of corona virus infection. In majority of the offices department could not provide any preventive measures , except issuing instructions to the lower authorities. Postal employees are also not included in the list of beneficiaries of 50 lakhs Insurance Scheme , declared by the Hon'ble Prime Minister.
Taking into consideration , all the above facts and circumstances , we , on behalf of five lakhs Postal employees , most humbly request the Hon'ble Minister to give due consideration to the above grievances raised by us and to issue suitable instructions to the Postal Directorate on the following suggestions made by staff side.
1.Only minimum number of selected offices may be opened in each Division for providing essential services to the public.
2. Only minimum number of employees may be brought on duty for providing essential services to the public at selected offices which are identified for providing essential services.
3.Postal employees who are ordered to work for providing essential services , may also be included in the list of beneficiaries listed in the 50 lakhs Insurance Scheme declared by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India.
4. All items recommended by Health Ministry of Central/ State Governments , as preventive measures for those exposed to the public , may be provided to the employees who are ordered to perform duty during the lock down period.
With profound regards
R.N Parashar Secretary General,
Monday, 30 March 2020
Sunday, 29 March 2020
Friday, 27 March 2020
Appeal of RJCM (Staff Side), Odisha Circle to the Chief PMG on COVID-19
Regional Joint Consultative Machinery
Odisha Postal Circle
At : Ashoknagar Mukhya Dak Ghar, Bhubaneswar – 751 009
Leader (Staff Side)
Mobile : 9437022669
Dusmanta Kumar Sethi
Secretary (Staff Side)
D O No. OD / RJCM-COVID-19/2020
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 27th March, 2020
This has a kind reference to the Directorate letter No. letter No.Z-92011 / 25 / 2020 / Coord / O&M, dated 25.03.2020 and 26.03.2020 circulated to all concerned vide Circle Office letter No. DOP/Odisha/COVID-19/2020, dated 25.03.2020 and 26.03.2020 regarding handling of situation and disruption on account of COVID-19.
2. While the instructions on issuing Curfew Pass and providing transportation facility to the staff brought on duty are very clear in the Directorate letter dated 25.03.2020, the particulars of essential services to be provided are not clear. While Circle Office simply forwarded the letter to all Regional / Divisional Heads, in turn the latter also forwarded to the Post Offices for information and necessary action.
3. Para-2 (ii) of the Annexure to has instructed to ensure booking of Speed Post, Regd. Post, Parcels etc keeping in view the availability mode of flights trains etc. But subsequently, letters issued by Circle Office and Divisional Heads are silent with regard to transmission of the booked articles. In the absence of clear instructions, now we witness that Circle Office is entertaining public complaints in this regard and compelling the post offices for booking of articles without assessing the reality. It is not under stood what is the benefit in providing such facilities in the name of essential services when the booked articles have no further disposal except deposit either in the Post Office or in the hubs.
4. While ordering for opening of all delivery post offices with minimum staff and minimum number of counters vide Para – 3 (i) and (ii) of Directorate letter dated 26.03.2020, Circle office did not clear the position of single-handed delivery post offices in this context.
5. While it is instructed vide Para – 3 (i) and (ii) of Directorate letter dated 26.03.2020 to give priority for delivery of essential items such as medicines, medical instruments, mask, gloves food packets etc, through window delivery system, it is not understood how the officials on duty will detect the contents inside the wrapper/packet.
6. Similarly for adopting traditional delivery method, though it has been instructed to ensure appropriate preventive measures for postmen vide Para – 3 (iii) of Directorate letter dated 26.03.2020, both the Circle administration and Divisional administration have seriously failed to provide such materials to the post offices. While Para – 3 (vi) of the said letter has emphasized for provision of hand sanitizer, soap, mask, hand gloves etc with clear instruction to the Circle Heads to take their own decision for providing these items, we do regret that the action taken by Odisha Circle is not at all satisfactory in spite of a series of letters written by the Staff Side, especially by NFPE Odisha State CoC and AIPEU, Group-C, Odisha Circle in addition to personal discussions in this regard to appraise at least the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha to arrange supply for the same. Most unfortunately, not a single letter was responded.
7. In contrary to the above guidelines in addition to the instructions of the DoPT to adopt preventive measures to contain the spread of corona virus, the Postal Department has ordered to open all the Head Post Offices, Delivery Post Offices, Branch Post Offices (146968 post offices in toto out of 155531) which are manned by nearly 5 lakh employees. In Odisha, out of 8172 post offices in toto all the 6976 Rural Branch Post Offices and all bigger offices like Mukhya Dak Ghar, Head Post Office, General Post Office etc numbering 220 are ordered to be kept open. While use of biometric devices has been dispensed with by Govt. of India, in a recent order issued by the Department on 25.03.2020, the Department has emphasized to ensure financial transactions in biometric mode and for booking and delivery of accountable articles. It is needless to intimate that as many as 25000 postal employees working in 8172 post offices across the state of Odisha will now get the opportunity to interact with hundreds of customers daily in each post office at the counters and handle lakhs of mails coming from various sources including foreign mails both in Post and RMS Offices in a hazardous condition and now in the present scenario they are quite vulnerable to the Novel Corona Virus. This is the condition of 5 lakh postal employees and workers working in 1.55 lakh post offices across the country interacting with lakhs of customers and handling crores of domestic, national and international mails with dust and unknown viruses.
8. Moreover, at this critical juncture when there is absence of any transport facility including Railways / Airways / State and Private Transports ceasing the transmission of mails completely, booking of article is meaningless. When ATM is provided with cash in every nook and corner and even in Post Offices and when the ATM Cards issued both the banks and post offices can be used interchangeably in post offices and banks, there is no need to open any Post Office in the name of essentiality in service for effecting cash withdrawals.
9. In addition, the preventive materials are not available in the local market on one hand and no post office has yet been supplied with such materials on the other as guided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNICEF, WHO and several orders issued by Govt. of India through DoPT. The departmental orders to arrange for Curfew Pass, transportation facility to bring the officials to office are just in pen and paper since impracticable. We seriously fail to sanitize the Post Offices and thermal scanning of both the customers and staff members. The employees are working without mask, gloves, etc and thus quite vulnerable to spread the deadly virus which directly contradicts the appeal of the Hon’ble Prime Minister for maintaining social distancing and to stay at home.
10. Thus, with deep concern during this national crisis when the growth rate of the affected cases in corona virus is increasing day by day in India, we would like to say that the whole activities of the post offices now ordered vide above Directorate / Circle Office letters directly contradict the social distancing which is the need of the hour and being emphasized by both the Central and State Governments by complete lockdown of the entire nation for next 21 days from 24.03.2020 midnight to contain the spread of COVID-19. As a result, these offices, if not locked down may become the maternity home for COVID-19 and the sincere efforts taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 both by the Govt. of Odisha and Central Govt. may be futile.
Under the circumstances, on behalf of the entirety of postal employees and workers of Odisha Circle, we would like to sincerely appeal you for immediate review of the position and appraising the case suitably to the Directorate to take immediate action for complete lockdown of Post and RMS offices till restoration of normalcy or otherwise to contain the spread of COVID-19.
History may not excuse us Sir, if the post offices turn into the breeding houses of COVID-19.
With profound regards
Leader (Staff Side)
Sj. Subash Chandra Barmma
The Chief Postmaster General – Cum - Chairman
Regional Joint Consultative Machinery
Odisha Circle, Bhubaneswar – 751 001
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Gist of discussions made with Secretary (Posts) by Federations
DISCUSSION WITH SECRETARY, POSTS OVER
SECRETARY ASSURED THAT ONLY MINIMUM
REQUIRED ESSENTIAL SERVICES
WILL BE MAINTAINED
NECESSARY CLARIFICATORY ORDERS TO
CPMGs WILL BE ISSUED.
Today (26.03.2020) discussion was held with Secretary, Department of Posts regarding the panic and anger created by Secretary, Posts instructions to CPMGs issued on 25th March 2020 to ensure functioning of all Postal / RMS offices including Branch Post offices.
We have expressed our strongest protest against this inhuman and indifferent attitude of the Postal Administration, compelling the Postal/ RMS employees to ensure functioning of all offices, at the risk of their life. We have made it clear that we are not against providing minimum essential services in a very few selected offices to the public , as we stand fully with the measures declared by the Govt of India.
We also made it clear that as the entire country is under lock down including road and rail traffic, no purpose will be served by keeping ALL Postal/RMS offices open. We also told the Secretary , Posts , that Federations don't want to give a call for non-cooperation or strike action when the country is passing through biggest crisis , but such inhuman , provocative and insensitive orders of Postal authorities will compel us to resort to nationwide protest action , which we earnestly want to avoid.
Secretary, Posts agreed that certain confusion and unpleasant situation has been created at ground level, after the Directorate orders dated 25th March 2020, even though his intention behind the orders was not for opening all offices. After detailed discussion, Secretary, Posts, assured that revised clarificatory orders will be issued to all CPMGs in this regard. Secretary, Posts also told that due to unavoidable compelling circumstances, if employees could not attend office, no disciplinary action will be taken against them.
We are waiting for the clarificatory orders of Directorate, as assured by Secretary, Posts.
R N PARASHAR B SHIVAKUMAR
SECRETARY GENERAL SECRETARY GENERAL
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Gist of discussion of the Circle Secretary with Chief PMG, DPS, Secretary General, NFPE and General Secretary, P-IV, CHQ on opening of all HOs, Delivery SOs, BOs and selected NDSOs during the lockdown period.
After going through the letter of the Secretary (Posts) to all CPMsG and his appeal to all the postal family members and Directorate’s revised instructions to open all HOs, Delivery SOs, BOs and selected NDSOs from 26.03.2020 onwards, we directly discussed with the Chief PMG, Odisha, DPS(HQ) and our Secretary General, NFPE few minutes ago. The discussions made with the Chief PMG in the morning hour today with lots of assurances become futile on receipt of the fresh order. The gist of the discussion made is furnished below for information of our members.
Before that, we would like to sincerely appeal one and all to understand the gravity of the situation without throwing mud on one another. Many members are not reading completely what we are writing. The issues which are being raised by our members have already been brought to the notice of all competent authorities severally and posted in all WhatsApp groups including our Circle Website. But still then, the same issues are being repeated in the groups time and again with unacceptable approaches. Some are suggesting the issues with too many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. They should understand that Union does not work on apprehensions. In the present position, so far as opening and closing of post offices are concerned, there is nothing in the hands of the Circle Head so that the Circle Secretary can convince the local administration easily. Still then, we are trying in every possible way to convey the concern of the postal employees.
WITH CHIEF PMG
While discussing the issue with the Chief PMG, we conveyed him the difficulties now faced by the employees who are brought on duty on rotational basis in the ‘A’ Class, MDGs and HOs. i.e. especially on non-availability of preventive materials and difficulties faced on roads by the police. When requested the police for issuing Pass to come to office, they are avoiding telling to show the identity cards. When the identity card is shown, the police personnel on duty on the roads are asking for Pass. The Chief PMG told that each Divisional Head if writes to the Circle Office, they will issue the required Pass against the officials brought on duty. When requested for maintaining status quo, he expressed his inability to go beyond the orders of the Secretary (Posts). Since it is ordered by the Directorate, we have to obey by any means. With assurance to discuss again tomorrow, he stopped talking.
WITH DPS (HQ)
Not being satisfied, we called the DPS (HQ) and repeated the above fact. Requested him to write to the Commissionerate Police to allow the postal employees to attend office on production of Identity Cards which has already been intimated. Told him also the non-availability of preventive materials with request to appraise the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha to arrange supply of the same according to the need of our Circle. He assured me to discuss tomorrow with Chief PMG and take a decision in this regard.
WITH SG (NFPE) & G S, P-IV
Thereafter, the matter was also discussed with Com. R N Parashar, Secretary General, NFPE and general Secretary, AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ and Com. Debabrata Mohanty, General Secretary, P-IV, CHQ.
Com. Parashar told that he has already discussed the issue with Secretary (Posts) to maintain status quo and not to go for opening of all post offices. At all there will be any death case in the postal fraternity due to such arbitrary order, then history will not excuse the present Secretary (Post) – he warned. However, as told, the recent order to open all HOs, Delivery SOs, BOs and selected NDSOs has been issued under the pressure of the Cabinet Secretary. The Secretary General told that if the Secretary (Posts) will go on implementing the revised order, then the Staff Side will be compelled to take a hard decision which may put the Department into difficulty. Honestly speaking, if we people will go for any agitational programme to mount pressure on the Department for complete closure of post offices, it will be suicidal on our part since the general public who are in wider support of the social distancing may go against us. We have to achieve our goal through fruitful negotiation only. As informed, the Secretary (Posts) has asked the Secretary General to attend the Directorate tomorrow at 12 noon for further discussion. On behalf of Odisha Circle, we have suggested the Secretary General to stress upon the following aspects during the course of discussion with the Secretary (Posts).
i. To remain firm on our demand for complete closure of post offices.
ii. If not agreed to, for maintaining status quo in opening of the post offices
iii. To issue such an order which can be implemented uniformly throughout the nation without any deviation from Circle to Circle and Division to Division. The order needs to be complete in all respect.
iv. Issue strict instructions to all CPMsG to arrange supply of preventive materials adequately to all post offices / postal employees brought on duty.
v. Not to change the orders frequently.
Further it was also confirmed by Com. Debabrata Mohanty, General Secretary, P-IV and Dy. Secretary General, NFPE that a discussion has also been made with the Secretary Generals of FNPO and BPEF for submission of a joint memorandum in this regard to the Secretary (Posts).
Let’s watch the progress on our discussion as above before proceed further.
In this context, I would like to appeal all our Divisional Secretaries to place their demands before their respective Divisional heads and intimate the Circle Union the progress to go ahead.
Till then, please go by the instructions of the Circle / Divisional Head adopting the preventive measures circulated in different modes to contain spread of COVID-19.
Stay healthy and allow others to remain healthy.
= Bruhaspati Samal =
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Appeal to Chief PMG, Odisha Circle for complete closure of Post and RMS Offices in Odisha Circle to contain spread of COVID-19
No. P3NFPE-Odisha/12 - 03/2020
Dated at Bhubaneswar the 24th March, 2020
Sj. Subash Chandra Barmma, IPoS
Chief Postmaster General, Odisha Circle
Bhubaneswar – 751 001
Sub:- Appeal for complete closure of Post and RMS offices to contain spread of Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Ref.- C O letter No. ML/Misc-2017, dated 23.03.2020
Inviting a kind reference to this Circle Union letter dated 16.03.2020, 19.03.2020 and 22.03.2020 conveying various suggestions / issues in connection with preventive measures to be taken for containing spread of COVID-19, we do regret to intimate that in spite of our repeated requests, we were not properly responded till date though all the ‘B’ and ‘C’ class offices have been ordered to be closed with suspension of door delivery by postmen staff vide C O letter under reference.
It is regretted that the above order of the Circle Office have been implemented differently by different Divisional heads as per their sweet will violating the spirit of the letter. Illustratively, SSPOs, Cuttack City has created some link offices against the post offices, which were ordered to be closed. There is no instruction in the C O letter under reference to act as such.
In addition we noticed the following deficiencies in the C O letter under reference.
1. The B Os, initially ordered to be closed in toto, were subsequently ordered to be kept open. This will affect the work of the concerned Account offices when opened on restoration of normalcy. The SPMs will be over burdened which will be a punishment to them after normalcy.
2. No instruction is seen to be issued in favour of the officials of the post offices ordered to be closed which has created strong resentment amongst the staff members of other offices ordered to remain functional. The order is not impartial.
3. No instructions are seen to be issued for MPCM and S B transactions. When Railways, Road Transports, Airlines etc have been completely suspended, booking of articles without transmission is meaningless.
While the restrictions imposed by the Govt. of Odisha during this lockdown period till 29.03.2020 is becoming harder day by day with every possibility to be extended further on one hand, the police on duty on the roads are not allowing our employees on the other for coming to office showing the identity card even. In addition, they are also not granting permission in favour of the employees ordered to work in various post offices in skeletal mode as instructed vide C O letter under reference. Illustrative, as Postmaster Sahidnagar MDG, we have prepared a duty chart of employees till 29.03.2020 and requested the Officer-on-Duty, Sahidnagar Police Station for granting permission to the officials so ordered. But they straightway refused to accept the letter. As a result, the situation is being confused creating lots of embarrassment amongst the operative staff members.
In addition, till date no uniform circular was issued either by Circle Office or by any Divisional Head baring one or two for supplying / purchasing adequate preventive materials like mask, sanitizer, glove, hand-wash etc. to post offices. We are extremely sorry to intimate that while the officials of the Post Offices are working under every apprehension to be contaminated at anytime by anybody visiting the post offices, the administration does not think it proper to respond to the union on the nature of action taken so far against the issues raised by us. It is highly unappreciable and regretted.
The partial closure of post offices in Odisha Circle is meaningless. It is needless to intimate that as many as 25000 postal employees working in 8172 post offices across the state of Odisha (Except 220 ‘B’ and ‘C’ class post offices closed in urban / sub-urban areas) do interact with hundreds of customers daily in each post office at the counters and handle innumerable of mails coming from various sources including foreign mails both in Post and RMS Offices in a hazardous condition and now in the present scenario they are quite vulnerable to the Novel Corona Virus. This may be the condition of 5 lakh postal employees and workers working in 1.55 lakh post offices across the country interacting with lakhs of customers and handling crores of domestic, national and international mails with dust and unknown viruses. As a result, these offices, if not locked down may become the maternity home for COVID-19 and the sincere efforts taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 both by the Govt. of Odisha and Central Govt. may be futile.
As per latest updates till writing of this letter, Corona virus has infected more than 3,83,000 people and killed more than 16,585 across the world. Positive cases in India have surged to 512 with 10 death cases. The virus is spreading actively. When the whole nation is united to fight against the deadly virus, we should not help the spread of corona virus by opening the post offices.
Therefore, before the Post and RMS Offices become the maternity home for COVID-19, we would like to demand for their complete closure in the interest of the nation, public and the employees till restoration of normalcy or otherwise without any further delay.
Expecting your kind immediate action to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Circle Secretary &
Chairman, NFPE, Odisha State CoC