CIL officers may go on strike over performance-linked pay

| | Updated on: Dec 16, 2013

The payment, agreed upon in a 2007 wage pact, could not be released due to anomalies in the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises.

Nearly 18,000 officers of Coal India Ltd (CIL) may go on the warpath if the Centre fails to take a quick decision on disbursement of performance-related pay (PRP).

The payment, agreed upon in a 2007 wage agreement, could not be released due to anomalies in the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

The CIL Chairman and senior officials of the Coal Ministry and DPE are scheduled to meet the Cabinet Secretary in Delhi. They will discuss the possibilities of seeking Cabinet approval to amend the DPE guidelines.

If the Centre once again fails to reach any conclusion, it will be up to the Coal Mine Officers’ Association of India (CMOAI) to draw an action plan.

“We will take a call on the future course of action following the CMOAI election on December 22. There is a possibility of launching a fresh agitation campaign if the issues are not ironed out soon,” said A.V. Sahay, a senior office bearer of the association at Coal India.

The association had planned an indefinite strike in September this year. However, the call was withdrawn following assurances from the Coal Ministry as well as CIL, to pursue the issue harder.

Stalemate continues According to the DPE guidelines, public sector enterprises should part with 3-5 per cent of their annual net profit as PRP. The actual payments will vary depending on the performance rating of the company and that of the concerned officer.

CIL, which is a holding company of seven mining firms of different sizes and one consultancy outfit, proposed to the DPE to consider its consolidated net for payment of PRP. There were reasons behind the proposal. Officers are recruited centrally by CIL and then shuffled between subsidiaries. If profits of subsidiaries are taken as PRP benchmarks, there will be serious anomalies in PRP payments.

For example, a top performer in mining consultant Central Mine Planning & Design Institute will receive a lower pay than a relatively poor performer in Mahanadi Coalfields.

Senior CIL officials admit that the issue might snowball into a major trouble before the general election in April. They said an anomalies committee at the Centre has already recommended in favour of CIL. However, the proposal is yet to be placed before the Cabinet Committee for due approval.

Published on December 16, 2013

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