Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
New Delhi, the 21st September, 1968.
SUBJECT:- Conduct of Business in the Joint Councils - Procedure for.
Ministry of Home Affairs had in their D.O. letter No. 4/1/67-JCA, dated the 10th March, 1967 indicated briefly procedure to be followed in transaction of business in Joint Councils. The conduct of business in the various Joint Councils. The conduct of business in the various Joint Councils could be smoother if some of the points indicated below are observed:-
Application of the Scheme to classes/grades of employees.-
Para 16 of the Scheme for Joint Consultative Machinery and Compulsory Arbitration for Central Government employees lays down that compulsory arbitration would be limited to - (a) pay and allowances; (b) weekly hours of work and (c) leave, for a class or grade of employees. It is, therefore, to be seen that when an item relating to any of these heads is proposed by the Staff Side for inclusion in the agenda of a Council, it should relate to a class or grade of employees. As regards items which are non-arbitrable, though no hard and fast rule can be laid down that each item should relate to a class or a grade of employees, it would be better in order to avoid confusion that the item to be included in the agenda is as precise as possible and indicates clearly the category or categories of employees to which it relates. If necessary the sponsor should be requested to recast his note so that his case is presented cogently and logically supported by all the facts. The note should indicate where possible, the approximate financial implications of the proposal as well.
Compulsory Arbitration.-According to the provisions of clause 16 of the Scheme, compulsory arbitration shall be limited to:-
(i) pay and allowances;
(ii) Weekly hours of work; and
of a Class or grade of employees.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had in their Office Memorandum No. 6/2/67-JCA, dated the 2nd February, 1968, indicated the procedure for referring cases to the Board of Arbitration set up under clause 19 of the Scheme for Joint Consultative Machinery and Compulsory Arbitration for Central Government Employees. It may be pointed out in this connection that not all issues which involve an increase in emoluments come automatically within the scope of clause 16 of the Scheme. Thus a request for advance increment under F.R. 27 within the same scale of pay should not be treated as coming within the scope of compulsory arbitration though it involves an increase in emoluments. This is because the powers under F.R. 27 are administrative powers to be exercised at the discretion of the head of the department and are not directly related to general claims for increases in emoluments to off set rising costs of living or for other reasons like overtime etc. In case of doubt as to whether an item is arbitrable or not, advice may be sought of the Ministry of Finance/Home Affairs, as the case may be.
Items for which compulsory arbitration is not available.- According to clause 13 of the Scheme, on a matter for which compulsory arbitration is not provided, Government have to take action according to its own judgment. However, a convention has been evolved under which the staff side, if they so desire can place their point of view in respect of disagreements on non-arbitrable items before a Committee of Ministers, which would consist of the Home Minister, the Labour Minister and the Minister administratively concerned with the particular subject.
Authority of Official Side representatives in cases involving pay revision.- Attention is invited to Ministry of Finance Memorandum No. 5(1)-E(Co-ord)/67, dated the 3rdNovember, 1967, clarifying the position regarding the authority of official side representatives to take decisions on behalf of Government at meetings of Joint Councils whether it be at the Departmental level or at the National level, particularly in cases where pay revision is involved. The official side representatives should obtain prior approval of competent authority in all cases whether it relates to pay or otherwise, before attending meetings of the Joint Councils at the Departmental or National level.
Informing Cabinet of differences relating to pay claims.-The Ministry of Home Affairs have received some cases for reference to the Board of Arbitration which involve pay revision of certain categories from the different Departmental Councils.
Before a case is referred to a Board of Arbitration, the following conditions will have to be satisfied:-
the subject should be one for which compulsory arbitration is provided according to the provisions of clause 16 of the Scheme;
the dispute should have been considered either by the National Council or the appropriate Departmental Council. If there is a dispute relating to an arbitrable matter in a lower Council, it will have to be placed before the Departmental Council concerned;
a final disagreement between the Official Side and the Staff Side should be recorded; and
there must be a specific request for reference to arbitration by either the Official Side or the Staff Side.
(i) The procedure for making requests to a Board of Arbitration, which was indicated in this Ministrys O.M. No. F. 6/2/67-JCA, dated the 2nd February, 1968, is briefly as follows:
From the National Council, the request for arbitration will be made directly to the Secretary, Ministry of Labour by the Home Ministry on behalf of the National Council.
From the Departmental Councils, the communication to the Ministry of Labour may be routed through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The procedure for drafting, the terms of reference for arbitration in respect of subjects covers by the National Council, shall be as indicated below:-
The terms of reference should be finalized by the Ministry primarily concerned with the subject matter of the disagreement in consultation with Home Ministry. The Finance Ministry will be consulted if the subject under dispute is one which has financial implications. In matters relating to pay and allowances Finance Ministry would finalise the terms of reference in consultation with the administrative Ministry concerned.
The terms of reference so finalized and incorporated in the proforma prescribed for making a reference to arbitration would be forwarded by the Ministry concerned or Finance Ministry, as the case may be, to the Home Ministry for onward transmission to the Ministry of Labour.
(iii) The procedure for drafting the terms of reference for arbitration in respect of subject covered by the Departmental Council shall be as indicated below:-
The terms of reference should be finalized by the administrative Ministry. The Finance Ministry will be consulted if the subject under dispute is one which has financial implications.
The terms of reference so finalized and incorporated in the proforma prescribed for making a reference to arbitration would be forwarded by the Ministry concerned or Finance Ministry, as the case may be, to the Home Ministry foronward transmission to the Ministry of Labour.
(iv) In view of the existing ban on pay revision and the fact that an arbitration award is binding unless modified by Parliament, it is desirable that the Ministries / Departments concerned keep the Cabinet informed of the disagreements in the concerned Departmental Councils on matters relating to pay/allowances. A report should, therefore, be made to the Cabinet as soon as a reference for arbitration on an item relating to pay and allowances is received. A copy of the report may also be endorsed to the Home Ministry and also to Ministry of Finance, for information. On arbitration claims following disagreements relating to pay and allowances which occur in the National Council the Ministry of Finance would apprise the Cabinet of the position.
Secy. to the Govt. of India.