Jun 5, 2016

Pay panel report: Central govt staff to serve strike notice on June 9

About 32 lakh Central Government employees including railways, defence and postal department staff, have decided to go on an indefinite strike from July 11, for which they will serve strike notices to their respective departments on June 9.

This has been decided by the Joint Action Committee (NJAC), according to a statement. Shivagopal Mishra, Convenor of NJAC, said there has been no action on the Seventh Pay Commission report, six months after its submission. The charter of demands calls for settling issues related to recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission implementation sent to the Cabinet Secretary on December 10, 2015.

"Remove injustice done in the assignment of pay scales to technical/ safety categories in railways, defence and different categories in all Central Government establishments," NJAC has demanded.

It has also called for scrapping of the PFRDA Act and the new defined contribution pension scheme – National Pension Scheme – and restoring defined benefit schemes of pension/ family pension rules. Since 2004, all Central Government employees — except defence personnel, who are covered by a defined benefit pension scheme — have been shifted to a defined contribution scheme.

NJAC is a joint body of federations and unions representing 32 lakh employees in Central Government departments, including postal, railways and defence. Indian Railways is the largest government employer with 13 lakh employees.

Earlier this year, in February, almost 95 per cent of 9.69 lakh railway employees had voted in favour of an indefinite strike from April 11, which was deferred after the Cabinet Secretary requested the NJAC not to do so in the backdrop of the then forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.

Other demands of the NJAC include stalling privatisation/ outsourcing/ contractorisation of government functions, apart from treating Grameen Dak Sevaks as civil servants and extending proportional benefit on pension and allowances to them.

No FDI in railways and defence and no corporatisation of defence production units and postal department are among the other demands of the employees.

They are also against the amendment of labour laws, which would take away the existing benefits of workers.

The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen General Secretary Dr M. Raghavaiah, who is also the Chairman of the NJAC, said the response of the Centre on the Charter of Demands submitted to the Government in December 2015 has been “very disappointing and casual”. Consequently, the organisations of the Central Government employees – Railways, Defence, Postal, Income Tax, Central Customs and Excise -- representing over 32 lakh employees, took the unanimous decision on June 3 to go on an indefinite strike from July 11.
SOURCE - thehindubusinessline