In the meeting with NJCA on September 1, the Committee of Secretaries is expected to negotiate the demand regarding revision of entry level pay to Rs 26,000.
The high-powered Committee of Secretaries, constituted by Centre to look into the anomalies regarding the implementation of 7th Pay Commission, has scheduled an important meeting with the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) on September 1 to note down the grievances of the aggrieved central government employees. The NJCA would be represented in the meeting by its convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra, who is the leading voice among those articulating the cause of employees. Although a range of issues would be discussed in the meeting, the three most prominent issues which employees want NJCA to raise in an uncompromising manner are: hike in Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA), enabling ‘Option 1′ for pensioners and revision in the hike of minimum salaries. The employee unions have demanded the government to use 3.68 fitment factor to hike the minimum salary, instead of current 2.57. However, there is a possibility that the Committee of Secretaries could find a middle route by using fitment factor between 2.86 to 3.16.
The entry level salary as per the 6th Pay Commission is Rs 7,000. As per the recommendations of Justice (retd) AK Mathur led 7th pay panel, government used the 2.57 fitment factor to determine the minimum wage. This increased the existing salary to Rs 18,000. The decision came as a major shock to the employee unions and staff side JCM as in several meeting during the preparation of 7CPC report, it was indicated that a fitment factor ranging from 2.86 to 3.68 would be applied. Confederation of Central Government Employees collectively stated that considering the current inflation, government should use the 3.68 fitment factor which would increase the minimum salary to Rs 26,000.
If one takes cue from the revisions made in 6th Pay Commission, government could likely to take the middle route again. The 6CPC had recommended a minimum salary of Rs 6,600, ignoring the demand of staff side JCM which vowed to go on a strike on anything less than Rs 10,000. Later, the salary was upgraded to Rs 7,000 which reconciled the dissidents. Similarly, the government could find a middle route and restructure the minimum pay as per 7th Pay Commission by using a fitment factor between 2.86 to 3.16.
If the Committee of Secretaries use 2.86 fitment factor to hike the minimum salaries, the new entry level pay would be Rs 20,020. If the government uses 3.16 fitment factor, the minimum salary would be hiked to Rs 22,120. If a fitment factor of 3.00 is applied, the minimum salary would be restructured to Rs 21,000. Although some reports in the past week had suggested that the minimum salary of Rs 18,000 would remain unaltered, there is a strong possibility that the government could soften its stance after the September 1 meeting. Aggrieved central government employees have indicated that they would call for a mass strike if the NJCA convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra fails to effectively negotiate with the government.