Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gujarat State employees on mass casual leave

Over 9.50 lakh workers did not report for work in protest against govt’s tardy approach towards implementation of Sixth Pay panel’s recommendations

Over 9.50 lakhh Govt. employees in Gujarat, including those serving in various boards/corporations and panchayats, went on a day’s mass casual leave (CL) on Friday to protest against the government’s sloppy and tardy approach towards the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations to hike their salaries.

Representatives of various government employees’ unions stuck to the call for a mass CL they had given earlier, after an hour-long meeting with senior officials here on Thursday failed to break the ice.

During the one-day protest programme, the employees will not only abstain from work, but will also stage demonstrations in all districts against the government's ‘anti-employees policy.’

Gujarat State Employees’ Co-ordination Committee chairman, Vishnu Patel, said: “At the meeting, the officials from the State Finance Department and GAD advised us to be patient, as the government was still in the process of working out the details to implement the Pay Commission’s recommendations. The officials, however, refused to give a written assurance on the issue to the employees’ representatives. Hence, we are left with no other option but to stick to our mass CL programme.”

The employees’ representatives were particularly annoyed by the remarks of Secretary (Economic Affairs) Tapan Rai, who reportedly said during the meeting that the government could not rush to implement the Commission’s recommendations in view of the prevailing economic crisis.

They were also enraged when one of the officials at the meeting reportedly held out a threat that the government would act tough and might even consider a service break and cut a day’s salary if the employees go on a mass CL on Friday, sources said.

H K Dash, Principal Secretary (Ports and Transport), who holds the additional charge of GAD, and Joint Secretary (GAD) Harsh Brahmbhatt were also present at the meeting.

Attacking the government for not announcing its decision to implement the Pay Commission’s recommendations, Patel said: “If Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati can accept the Pay Commission’s recommendations in toto for her government employees, what prevents our Number 1 CM Narendra Modi from making a similar announcement.”

He added that even BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had accepted these recommendations and decided to implement them in their respective states.

“After Friday’s mass CL, the employees will intensify their agitation if the Modi government fails to make a similar announcement,” he said.

Source Indian Express.

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