Bhubaneswar: The general body meeting of CESCO Engineers’ Service Association (CESA) was held through Video Conferencing today i.e on 26.07.2020 at 11 AM. More than 250 numbers of Engineers participated in the meeting.
The meeting was addressed by Er. Shailendra Dubey, Chairman, AIPEF, Er. RathnakarRao, Secretary-General, AIPEF, Er. Prasant Chatrubedy, Chairman EIPEF, Er. Biswaranjan Mishra, Chairman AOPEF, Er. Srimantku Sahu, President, CESA,Er. Brahma Prakash Paital, Gen. Secretary, CESA and office bearers of other sister associations and unions. The deteriorating service conditions being faced by the engineers was the focal point of the deliberation. CESU was taken over by TPCODL (Tata Power Central Odisha Distribution Limited) in which Tata Power Company Limited (TPCL) and Govt. of Odisha ( through Gridco) hold 51% and 49% respectively by a vesting order dated 26.05.2020 of OERC. Though Employees were 10% shareholders of CESCO/CESU as per the transfer scheme, they were not consulted in any manner before such vesting of the management of CESU to TPCODL. There were around 1820crores of rupees of the shortfall in the employees’ Pension, PF, Gratuity and Leave salary funds at the time of vesting, OERC did not make any provision for funding of this shortfall and as a result of that employees are at great risk of not getting their retirement benefits in due course. OERC turned deaf ears to this sensitive issue being fully aware of the uncertain future of the employees after TPCODL’s take over.
Now within two months of vesting, TPCODL is functioning like a 100% shareholding subsidiary company of Tata Power Company (TPCL) forgetting that 49% hold is there of Govt. of Odisha as per vesting order. The Management Board should have a director from among the employees as a 10% shareholder from CESCO/ CESU period. This has not been done yet.
Presently all the decisions are being taken by the officers placed from TPCL and these officers are heading all functional areas relegating the erstwhile CESU Engineers and officers to play second fiddle to them. These TPCL officers numbering around 100 are already posted in all key areas side-lining all the existing CESU engineers and officers. This has to create huge dissatisfaction, frustration, and anguish among the existing engineers and officers. Nobody knows where from these hundred employees of TATA came from, how are they selected and what is their salary (learned that their annual salary package goes from few lakh rupees to two crore rupees). Further TPCODL, Bhubaneswar has hurriedly issued an advertisement for recruitment of manpower within 27 days of the vesting order with the qualification of General Degree/ Post Graduate and Technical degree/ Postgraduate holders with 2-8 years of experience without specifying the number of posts, grade and salary in blatant violation of employees and officers service regulations which permits recruitment only at the base level and not in any intermediate level. No transparent recruitment process is being followed. Even a third party private entity is engaged in the recruitment process which is not desirable.
No selection/DPC is being conducted to fill up the posts becoming vacant due to retirement thus depriving engineers of their rightful promotion.
The protection given through the vesting order that terms and conditions of service shall not be less favourable than what was existing in CESU is not being honoured by the officers deployed from TATA at TPCODL. The Association has taken a strong note of the said developments and mental harassment being done to engineers/officers and draw the attention of OERC and Govt. of Odisha to intervene in the matter.
It is a matter of surprise that after 16 days of Management taken over i.e on 16.06.2020, TPCL filed a review petition before Hon’ble OERC against the vesting order itself by virtue of which it acquired license of assets of erstwhile CESU. The same review petition has been registered as Case No 27/2020 and scheduled for hearing before Hon’ble OERC ON 28.07.2020. It has challenged its entire obligatory license conditions which were accepted by it after its own due diligence briefly are as follows interalia other issues.
- AT&C loss reduction trajectory outlined by OERC is questioned and not acceptable to TPCL.
- Serviceable liability related to pension, other terminal benefits/ power purchase/ corporate guarantee, existing employees service protection conditions which were already accepted by TPCL, after conducting due diligence before the vesting order and other intermediate correspondence with govt./ OERC/ GRIDCO.
- Against this backdrop interest of state and employees of CESU has emerged as a big concern for CESA. Without prejudice to the outcome of the said review and for the greater interest of erstwhile employees of CESU and the state of Odisha, the following resolutions were passed in the General Body Meeting.
- The Association calls upon the TPCODL management to stop all illegal activities of outside recruitment and giving them top positions rather than initiate the re-structuring of cadres as per the recommendation of Er. N.N. Pattnaik committee.
- Recruit manpower strictly adhering to employees’ and officers’ service regulations only at the base level through a transparent process.
- Immediately finalise the manpower structure of TPCODL
- Fill up all vacant posts in various grades by way of promotion as per the service regulation.
- To obey the service protection given in the vesting order of OERC in letter and spirit.
- To make provisions for funding of shortfall in the Employees’Pension, PF, Gratuity and Leave salary funds.
- OERC and Govt. to issue strict instructions to TPCODL to act within the purview of vesting order. Appoint a director in the BOARD of Directors of TPCODL as a nominated from the employees.
It was also resolved that, unless fruitful steps are taken by TPCODL, Govt. of Odisha and OERC within 15 days, Engineers and officers will be forced to take the legal and democratic course of action solely or along with sister unions and associations.