PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ON THE
EVE OF THE 64TH FOUNDATION DAY OF ITEF.
In my capacity as the President of ITEF, it is my proud privilege and pleasure to convey my fraternal greetings to all the members of ITEF on this fine and auspicious occasion of the 64th foundation day of ITEF. it was on 10th February 1953, the first or the founding convention of our Federation was held in the city of Nagpur. 10th February every year is the day we remember of the strenuous efforts, sufferings and sacrifices, trials and tribulations undertaken by our valiant senior comrades to make ITEF truly a strong and militant Trade Union Organization. No doubt the scenario of the Department was entirely different in those days, perhaps even unimaginable for the young comrades who have entered the service recently. It was the sincerity, sacrifice, determination, courage, capacity to face difficulties and above all, the willingness to tread the path of struggles of those valiant comrades made ITEF what it is today. When we salute our flag on 10th February we really pay our respects with gratitude to them.
It is my earnest appeal to my comrades, who are the leaders of this movement at the State and district levels to ensure that the foundation day is observed on 10.02.2016 in the most befitting manner enlisting the active participation of all our members.
We created a glorious chapter in our history in September-October last year, for which all of you have contributed immensely. I am referring to the cent per cent participation of our members in the General Strike action of the Indian Working Class on 2nd September, 2015 against the Economic policies of the Government of India, which virtually led to the closure of our offices throughout the country. Just a month thereafter, we could mobilise and organise another equally strong strike action on 8th October, 2015 under the banner of JCA. Embarking upon a strike action on the department specific issues, a feat we could accomplish after about 28 years, we revived the functioning of the JCA in the most effective manner. I consider it my duty to place on record that unforgettable moment of the life and existence of ITEF.
The strike action of 8th October was the harbinger of a serious negotiation at the level of the Secretary Revenue, which paved way for a settlement of the most vexatious issue of promotion to the cadre of Assistant Commissioners. The strike has proved once again the need and impact of the JCA. Let us make a vow on this occasion to strengthen the JCA and organise sustained struggles, for the CBDT continue with its nugatory attitude towards the employees and promotee officers.
It is now more than a year that the present Government was elected to power. We are witness to the stark reality of the giant corporate houses usurping the sovereign authority of the Republic. We are yet to see any discernible change either in the mode of governance or in its end results. We must know that it is the policy and not the pronouncements that matter. We neither expected nor found any fresh orientation in the economic policies from the present Government.
The Central Government Employees nursed high hopes from Justice Mathur Commission, for its attitude appeared to be positive during their interaction with the Service Organizations. We can not say with any amount of certainty as to how much influence was exerted on this Commission by the Government especially at the fag end of their work. The recommendations made, however, speak volumes of the deleterious impact of the undesirable influence exerted by the Government. In the final analysis, the suggestions made by the commission on all matters, especially on the wage determination were absolutely untenable.
We must remember that wage revision in Central Government services is a decennial affair. The meagre increase of hardly 14.2% recommended by the 7th CPC reminds us of the similar suggestion of the 2nd CPC in 1959-60 which triggered the first industrial action of indefinite strike in July 1960. It was a valiant attempt, given the nascent organizational status of civil service trade union movement in the country then. In the last 25 years, we had been in the forefront of all trade union struggles and strike actions of working class in the country organised against the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the successive Governments.
That must embolden us to march ahead with courage and determination and forge unity with all segments of Civil Service organizations to wage a bitter battle to bring about a decent wage structure for central Government employees. We must also note that the recommendations of 7th CPC in so far as it relates to the Cadres of our department have resulted in the unsettling of the horizontal relativities brought about through executive fiats on the basis of sustained struggles waged by us. To bring back the parity we may have to strengthen JCA and chalk out action programmes in the days to come. We are meeting in Central working committee in a few days’ time to draw out the road map of our future struggle’s .
I once again wish on this occasion all success for every endeavour in that direction.
Ashok Kumar Kanojia