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Cassian Baliarsingh

Succumbing to pressure, Odisha government on Monday promised to look into the plight of thousands of Odisha government contractual employees who are staging protest at Lower PMG, Bhubaneswar amid heavy downpour.

The government would look into the matter and take necessary steps in 15 days before Dussehra, sources from the of Odisha Government Contractual Employees Association (OGCEA) revealed.

A delegation of OGCEA met officials and held a discussion in this regard. The officials assured of immediate solution and urged the protestors to call off their strike and go back home. They assured that the government is with them and requested them to call off their protest.

However, the employees warned of further demonstration if the government failed to come up with a solution or reneged. 
Entering the second day of their strike, the agitation has garnered more support from different sections of the society. Pressure also came from Opposition parties like Congress and BJP who showed their support.

Notably, the OGCEA members are staging dharna against the contractual appointment rule of the Odisha government. The members of the association demand that the state government abolish the contractual appointment rules which were implemented in 2013.

Under the system, a contractual employee is appointed after clearing the necessary exam, tests conducted by OPSC. Later, they are engaged as contractual government employee for a period of six years which entitles them to a meagre salary compared to the regular counterparts.

“The six years of contractual service is not added to the original service period for which the promotion is delayed by six years. The contractual employees are also not getting DA, HRA and other benefits. In such circumstances and amid the price hike of essential commodities, the contractual employees suffer the harshest,” said a demonstrator.

The Odisha Government Contractual Employees Association (OGCEA) has also demanded implementation of one rule for all the government employees.

“We are demanding equal pay for equal work as the contractual employees also work as the regular employees,” said a senior member of the association

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