Joint Consultative Machinery – Scheme For Joint Consultative Machinery and Compulsory Arbitration for Central Government Employees
SCHEME FOR JOINT CONSULTATIVE MACHINERY AND COMPULSORY ARBITRATION FOR CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
With the object of promoting harmonious relations and of securing the greatest measure of cooperation between the Government, in its capacity as employer, and the general body of its employees in matters of common concern, and with the object, further, of increasing the efficiency of the public service, the Government of India have decided to establish a machinery for joint consultation and arbitration of unresolved differences. The essential features of the scheme for setting up such a machinery are described below:
Constitution and Procedure
1. The scheme will cover all regular civil employees of the Central Government except:
the Class I services;
the Class II services, other than the Central Secretariat Services and the other comparable services in the head-quarters organization of the Government;
persons in industrial establishments employed mainly in managerial or administrative capacity, and those who being employed in supervisory capacity draw salary in scales going beyond Rs. 2900/- per mensem; (pre-5th CPC).
employees of the Union Territories; and
2. The machinery will supplement, and not replace, the facilities provided to employees to make individual representations, or to associations of employees to make representations on matters concerning their respective constituent services, grades etc.
3. There will be a joint council at the national level and usually at two lower levels – departmental, regional/office.
4. The National Council will deal with matters affecting Central Government employees generally, such as minimum remuneration, dearness allowance and pay of certain common categories, for instance office clerks, peons, and the lower grades of workshop staffs; and matters relating to categories of staff common to two or more departments and not grouped together in a single Departmental Council. Matters of interest to employees of a single Department will not be dealt with by the National Council. The National Council may have two standing committees; one to deal with matters relating to non-industrial staffs and the other to deal with those concerning industrial staffs.
5. (i) A Departmental Council will deal only with matters affecting staff employed in the department or departments concerned.
(ii) There will normally be one Departmental Council for each department. For two or more small departments under a Ministry, there may, however, be a single council, especially if the nature of duties in the departments is similar.
(iii) For the Central Secretariat Services, which though providing staff for all the Ministries are in important matters controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs, there will be a separate council in that Ministry. Other common categories of office staffs of participating offices may also be included in the same departmental council.
6. There will also be regional and/or office councils where the structure of a department permits the setting up of such councils. These councils will deal only with regional or local questions.
7. (i) The National Council will consist of an official side and a staff side. The official side will be appointed by the Government and may consist of up to 25 members, who will include the Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries, Ministries of Home Affairs, Labour, Communications and Defence, Secretaries, Ministry of Finance, Departments of Expenditure and Revenue, and one of the Secretaries, Ministry of Railways. The staff side may consist of up to 60 members who will be nominated by the recognized associations, in the manner prescribed in this behalf. The Cabinet Secretary will be the Chairman of the Council and the staff side will elect its own leader. Each side will appoint its own secretary or secretaries.
(ii) The Departmental Councils will also be constituted on the same basis. The official head of the Ministry or department will be included in the official side, and will be the Chairman of the Council. The membership of the official side may vary from 5 to 10 and of the staff side, which will be nominated by the recognized associations, from 20 to 30 depending on the total strength of the staff and the number of grades and services in the department.
(iii) The regional and/or office Councils too will be constituted in the same manner. The strength of a regional or office council will be determined by the size of the staff in a region or office, and the head of the region or office will be its chairman. (iv) No person who is not an employee or an honourably retired employee of the Central Government shall be a member of a joint council.
NOTE :- Government may permit an ex-employee to be a member of a joint council after examining the merits of each individual case.
8. The association will nominate their representatives for a term of 3 years; but there will be no bar to renomination. Vacancies caused by death, retirement, resignation, transfer etc. will be filled for the unexpired term.
Note:- An association may replace on the joint council such of its representatives as have ceased to be its office-bearer at annual elections or by exigencies such as a vote of no confidence.
Scope and Functions
9. The scope of the councils will include all matters relating to conditions of service and work, welfare of the employees, and improvement of efficiency and standards of work, provided, however, that (i) in regard to recruitment, promotion and discipline, consultation will be limited to matters of general principles and (ii) individual cases will not be considered.
10. The official side will conclude matters at meetings of the councils and will not reserve them for later decision by the Government.
11. A council may appoint committees to study and report on any matters falling within its scope.
12. Subject to the final authority of the Cabinet, agreements reached between the two sides of a council will become operative.
13. If there is no agreement between the two sides, the matter may be transmitted to a committee of the council for further examination and report. But, if a final disagreement is recorded, and the matter is one for which compulsory arbitration is provided, it shall be referred to arbitration, if so desired by either side. In other cases, the Government will take action according to its own judgment.
14. A matter disposed of by a council in any manner will not be placed on the agenda during the following 12 months, unless, for any special reason, the chairman of the council directs otherwise.
15. The councils will frame rules for the conduct of their business.
16. Compulsory arbitration shall be limited to:
pay and allowances,
weekly hours of work, and
of a class or grade of employees.
17. Cases of individuals shall not be subject to compulsory arbitration.
18. A dispute shall not be referred to arbitration unless it has been considered by the National Council or the appropriate Departmental council, as the case may be, and final disagreement between the two sides has been recorded. If there is a dispute relating to an arbitrable matter in a lower council, it will be placed before the Departmental Council concerned.
19. On a final disagreement being recorded as mentioned in clause 18, the Government shall appoint a Board of Arbitration as soon as possible. The Board will consist of 3 members, one drawn from a panel of 5 names submitted by the official side, one from a similar panel submitted by the staff side of the National Council, and a Chairman who will be an independent person. The members and the Chairman will be selected by the Minister of Labour.
20. (i) In determining a dispute the Board of Arbitration shall examine the merits of the case presented by both the official and staff sides, and take into account all other relevant factors including the principles enunciated in any recent report of a Commission of enquiry etc.
(ii) Matters determined by the Government in accordance with the recommendations of a Commission will not be subject to arbitration for a period of 5 years from the date of the recommendations, after which they will become arbitrable with reference, as far as possible, to the factors referred to in (i) above.
21. Subject to the overriding authority of Parliament, recommendations of the Board of Arbitration will be binding on both sides.
If, for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Central Government is of opinion that all or any of the recommendations of Board of Arbitration should on grounds affecting national economy or social justice be modified, the Central Government shall, as soon as may be, lay before each House of Parliament the report of the Board containing such recommendations together with the modifications proposed and the reasons, therefor, and thereupon Parliament may make such modifications in the recommendations as it may deem fit. Modification may extend to the rejection of a recommendation.
22. Orders made by the Government in pursuance of recommendations of the Board of Arbitration shall, unless otherwise specified in those recommendations or modified by mutual agreement, remain in operation for a period of 3 years.