It is observed that most the Postal Divisions are running with acute shortage of staff in Postal Assistant (PA) cadre in West Bengal. The Leave Reserve Postal Assistant (LRPA) posts in most of the postal divisions are vacant now. As a result, the PA working in the single handed post offices are facing a lot of trouble getting leave in time. Most of the P.A.s working in single handed post offices can not even avail 8 days Casual Leave in a calendar year. Their social and personal life is hampered badly due to this reason. In some cases it is also observed that a single handed post office remained closed for 2 or 3 days at a time , as the person working as SPM of that office compel to take leave without handing over the charge to any other PA due to non-availability of PA/LRPA , resulting closer of that single handed post office for 2 to 3 days . That is as no LRPA can be provided in his office due to shortage of staff, then that PA (who is working as SPM of a single handed post office ) is forced to take (unauthorized ) leave for his/her own treatment or to meet his/her unavoidable social / personal obligations. The Divisional Head is well aware of this fact happening in single handed post offices now a days. This problem is very much acute in South Bengal Region of W.B. Circle.
In the present situation, there is very less probability of filling up the LRPA posts in near future in post offices . So we have an alternative proposal which may be considered for the benefit of the employees ,as well as to provide better service to the customers of Post Offices especially single handed post offices .
It any PA who is working in a single handed Post Office seeks leave , then a departmental PA from a nearby double or triple handed post office may be deputed to that post office to work as Officiating SPM of that single handed post office. A Gr-D / Postman/ GDS (Gramin Dak Sevak , preferably GDSBPMs ) may be engaged at that vacant post of Departmental PA in that double or triple handed post office, from where one Departmental PA has been deputed to a single handed Post office, to fill up the shortage (so that customer service at that post office can not be hampered) . Such GDS may engage a nominee in his original post , or job combination may be arranged in his original post. That GDS will also get the minimum pay and allowance of the post of PA ( i.e. his basic pay will be 5200 + 2400= Rs. 7600 along with Dearness Allowance ) , till he works at the post of departmental PA (i.e. for the deputation period ). All vacant post of PA may be filled in such way engaging GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D inviting option from the eligible GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D officials. Due to higher pay and allowances, the GDS will also be interested to work as PA . In this way , all the vacant post of PA in all Head post offices as well as sub post offices may be filled up immediately. But it should be ensured that all the GDS should work under the sole supervision of a Departmental PA in all the aforesaid post offices. The GDS may be engaged in the SB Branch, Mail Branch, Accounts Branch …..etc related works , but they should not be posted in the Treasury Branch or such type of sensitive branches. The GDS should not be engaged in any Supervisory post (i.e. SPM or APM ) in post offices. It should be ensured that a GDS may be engaged to work in the vacant post of PA in post offices under the sole supervision of a Departmental PA . A circular may be issued in this regard. Presently the GDS are engaged in the vacant posts of Postman and Group D ( i.e. MTS) and get Daily Wages / Extra Cost. In the same manner, the GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D may be engaged in the vacant post of Departmental PA and draw the Daily Wages / Extra Cost in the same way / manner . But the GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D should not be posted / deputed in the vacant PA post of a single handed Post office (i.e. the post of SPM in a single handed post office ) . Other than that, they (i.e. GDS ) may be engaged in all types of job in post office. The willing GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D may work in the vacant post of Departmental PA with his sole risk and responsibility , and will get the minimum pay and allowances attached to that post. The Divisional Superintendent should have the power to engage the willing GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D in the vacant post of Departmental PA after getting a proposal in this regard from the concerned SPM / Post Master .
If this proposal be accepted, then many problem in the departmental post offices will be solved immediately:-
1) All the works, which remains pending in the departmental post offices due to shortage of staff, will be updated / completed early. As a result, the customers can get better and satisfactory customer service from the departmental sub post offices.
2) The existing Postal Assistants can work with a happy mind.
3) The PA, who are working in single handed post offices as SPM , can get leave easily in time whenever they require. It will also reduce headache of Divisional Superintendents to grant leave to a SPM of a single handed post office and making subsequent arrangement to depute a PA at that post from nearby post offices without hampering customer service at that post office. The incidence of closer of single handed post offices for some days can be avoided.
4) The Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) will also be benefited getting better salary working in the vacant posts of PA cadre.
5) All the works related to post offices will be updated quickly. So the Circle Office / Regional Office can get any type of report quickly whenever they require from the Divisional Heads. The works in respect of CBS (Core Banking Solutions) can be started early in near future , if all records/ works of a post office remain updated / completed.
6) Better accountability can be expected from the GDS officials regarding their work in the vacant post of departmental PA, which can not be expected from the DRMs (Daily Rated Mazdoors ) presently engaged in many post offices. As the GDS are working in this department , so they usually do not try to misappropriate anything / any record for sake of safety of their service. The same accountability and responsibility can not be expected from some unemployed youths, who are presently engaged as DRM in many departmental post offices and working in post office counters.
Presently a GDS can work in the vacant post of Postman or Gr. D (i.e. MTS). A departmental PA can work in the vacant post of Inspector as officiating SDI(P). So a willing GDS/Postmen/ Gr-D should not be prohibited to work in the vacant post of Departmental PA . Please give them this opportunity changing the present rules and regulations in this regard for the sake of better customer service in post offices as well as for the benefit of staff side.
Sirshendu Sundar Sahoo
email : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com