Joint Consultative Machinery – Introduction
1. A Scheme for joint consultation with the organizations of Government servants on the pattern of the Whitley Machinery in the U.K. was recommended by the Second Pay Commission (1959). After working out the details in consultation with the leaders of the employees, the Scheme (Appendix I) was introduced in 1966.
It broadly covers over 95% of the regular civil employees of the Central Government including industrial employees working in departmentally run undertakings like the Railways and the Workshops/Production Units of various Ministries.
The Scheme is a voluntary one, and the Government as well as the Staff Associations/Unions participating in the Scheme are required to subscribe to a Declaration of Joint Intent (Appendix II), which inter alia provides for abjuration of agitational methods by the Staff Unions/Associations for redressal of their grievances.
2. The Scheme has been introduced with the object of promoting harmonious relations and of securing the greatest measure of cooperation between the Government, in its capacity as employer, and the general body of its employees in matters of common concern, and with the object, further, of increasing the efficiency of the public service.
3. The Scheme covers all regular civil employees of the Central Government, except:
the Class I services;
the Class II services, other than the Central Secretariat Services and the other comparable services in the headquarters organization of the Government;
persons in industrial establishments employed mainly in managerial or administrative capacity, and those who being employed in supervisory capacity draw salary in scales going beyond Rs. 2900/- per mensem;
employees of the Union Territories; and
Scope of Joint Councils
4. The scope of the Joint Councils includes all matters relating to conditions of service and work, welfare of employees and improvement of efficiency and standards of work, provided, however, that (i) in regard to matters of recruitment, promotion and discipline, consultation is limited to matters of general principles only, and (ii) individual cases are not considered.
While the National Council deals only with matters affecting Central Government employees generally, such as pay of common categories of staff, allowances, etc., the Departmental Council deals with matters affecting only the employees in the Ministries/Departments concerned. The Office/Regional Councils deal with regional or local issues only.
Structure of Joint Councils
5. The Scheme provides for setting up Joint Councils at the National, Departmental and Regional/Office levels. The National Council is the apex body. Its Constitution is given in Appendix III.
The detailed rules governing the Conduct of Business of the National Council are given in Appendix IV. Departmental Councils under the Scheme are set up in the Ministries/Departments.
A Model Constitution of the Departmental Council is added at Appendix V. There will normally be one Departmental Council for each Department. For two or more small Departments under a Ministry, there may, however, be a single Council, especially if the nature of duties in the departments are similar. The instructions governing the Conduct of Business of the Departmental Councils are at Appendix VI.
There will also be Regional/Office Councils where the structure of a department permits the setting up of such a Council. The Model Constitution of the Office Council is at Appendix VII.