A never ending agony | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:20 AM, March 02, 2018

A never ending agony

Postmaster, postman, runner get insufficient monthly honorarium over years

Even after 47 years of independence, they are yet to get salaries under the national pay scale despite their huge contribution to government postal service. 

Instead, they are being treated as postal agents and get insufficient monthly honorarium.

According to the postal department in Gaibandha, there are 126 post offices in the district -- one head post office, six upazila post offices, five sub-post offices and 114 branch post offices.

Employees of head post office and upazila post offices are enjoying government pay scale, but at least 340 people including postmasters, postmen and runners of 114 branch offices are being called extra department agents and get a lump sum amount of stipend every month.

The official designation of branch postmaster is extra department agent, said the postmaster of the district office.

They got Tk 37 per month as stipend after independence. In 1973, the amount was enhanced to Tk 75 and subsequently till 2016 the stipend of postmaster stood at Tk 2520, postman Tk 2460 and runner Tk 2360.

The branch post offices mainly have been set up at the dwelling houses of post masters or shops in the locality and they perform all sorts of work relating to receiving and delivery of letters and documents, money order and other activities.

They don't even get any government livery, bag, shoes or umbrella. Not only this they even don't get any festival or overtime allowances.

“After performing duties, we could not engage in any other works for additional earning, so it is difficult to maintain family in these hard days,” said Nazrul Islam, postmaster of Mohishbandi branch post office in Sadullapur upazila.

“Every day we are moving from door to door of people for delivering letters, documents and parcels and have no leisure time for taking rest, but we cannot maintain our families with the little amount of money,” said Abdullah-Al-Mamun, postman of Gopinathpur branch post office in Palashbari upazila.

Abdul Ghani Mia working as runner in Lengabazar branch post office of Sadar upazila said poverty gripped his family due to very little stipend money.

They continued agitation, including submission of memorandum to the ministry concerned, sit-in and human chain to press the government for nationalisation of branch post office workers' job.

Sukumar Chandra Modak, secretary of Bangladesh Abibhagio Dak Karmochari Parishad, Gaibandha unit, said it is essential to nationalise the branch post offices for the survival of postal services.

Nationalisation of services of the branch employees and equipment to cope with the present digital system of information are necessary, he said.

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