Central government employees are feeling let down by the political authority of the country for denying them their due in terms of better monthly salary and allowances.
Despite representations to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister, Railways Minister, Departmental heads and Committees set up by the government to look into the pay and allowances related grievances, the employees have expressed utter disappointment that they have not been heard so far.
“ We had sought a minimum pay of Rs 26,000, they gave us Rs 18,000. After every meeting they do not say anything. We ask, how much you can improve upon, you tell us how much you can go, buy they don’t say anything, said K. K. N. Kutty, President, Confederation of Central Government employees and Workers, on the discussions the union has had over Allowances.
“There is no discussion in real terms, they simply listen to us and do not commit anything. We think the political authority, we don’t know, it could be Prime Minister, has not authorized the bureaucracy to commit anything to us,”added Kutty.
When around 33 lakh central government employees threatened to go on strike on July 11 protesting the implementation of 7th Pay Commission, the Finance Ministry had agreed to set up Anomalies Committee, and Allowances Committee who would be mandated to go through the fine print of the 7th Pay Commission.
Even after the formation of 22-member Anomalies Committee headed by Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) with members from both the official and staff side, and Allowances Committee headed by Finance Secretary, no settlement on the wage hike or allowances issue appears in sight.
The Government is yet to set up the high level committee on minimum wage, fitment formula revision and other main demands of central government employees as assured by Cabinet Ministers in July 2016.
The National Joint Council of Action, a front formed by six government staff unions, including Confederation of Central Government Employees (CCGE), All India Defence Employee Federation and National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association representing the staff side of the central government employees have even threatened to go on a large scale agitation and hold a march up to the Parliament on December 15, if government fails to improve on pay and allowances over what has been implemented under 7th Pay Commission.
As per the notification for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission, central government employees got 14.27 percent hike in basic pay at junior levels, which is said to be the lowest in 70 years.
The salary hikes of government employees indeed appear meager when compared to the 100 percent hike expected by the Members of Parliament soon.
The point not to be missed is that, while the salaries of central government employees were revised after 10 years, the MPs’ salaries were last revised in 2010.