7th Pay Commission: Protests continue to sting state governments

It seems protests related to the implementation/non-implementation of 7th Pay Commission under various departments across the country will not die down soon with government employees in several states resorting to protest demanding the Seventh Pay Commission benefits on regular basis.

In several states, the demands of the employees have been met but…still a long way to go.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the employees of Jammu Development Authority (JDA) were on strike and now a similar path has been chosen by the teachers of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) of the North Indian state, as per news agency ANI.

In May, postal services in rural areas across the country remained affected due to the strike by Gramin Dak Sevaks.

The countrywide strike was started on May 22 against the non-implementation of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

There are around three lakh ‘Dak Sevaks’ across the country who act as delivery agents at rural post offices.

Similarly, about a lakh employees of 22 state-run and affiliated banks in Karnataka participated in the nationwide two-day strike called by bank employees’ trade unions to press for wage revision and other benefits, news agency IANS reported.

They also protested the alleged ‘indifference’ of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to their demands alleging that the IBA had earlier reluctantly increased their wages 15 per cent as against 17.5 per cent demand in the previous bipartite agreement.

A couple of months ago, the Railway employees’ union had called for a 72-hour relay hunger strike protesting non-implementation of the provisions of the 7th pay commission.

The union had released a statement stating:

“Despite requests to the government of India to consider the demands of the Central Government Employees — improvement in minimum wage and fitment factor after implementation of 7th CPC recommendations, provision of guaranteed pension and family pension to all the NPS (National Pension Scheme) covered employees, irrespective of their date of appointment…contractorisation leading towards wholesale privatisation, no fruitful outcome has emerged as yet despite lapse of around two years’ precious time.”

In June, the employees of the Manipur Secretariat resorted to cease-work strike as their demand for the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission was not fulfilled, despite an appeal from Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

Besides, power and water employees of the state had also threatened to join the strike.

To encapsulate, 7th Pay benefits are the rights of government employees but the incessant delay are often met with resentment and protest. The cease-work and strikes have also impact on other common people- indirectly or even directly.

Hope, government will sort this out soon and also look into the demand of the Central government employees who have been demanding a hike in their minimum pay from the present Rs 18,000 to Rs 26, 000.

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