Demands Met; Striking J-K Employees Return To Work

20 February 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: After days of agitation and protest demonstrations, the state government employees were back to their work when offices reopened on Friday morning, as Jammu Kashmir government approved recommendations of Centre's sixth pay commission in respect to its own employees. “We have decided to call off the strike,” said President of the Civil Secretrariat Employees Union, Nazir Ahmed Mir. The decision to approve the pay hike was taken in a cabinet meeting which was held under the chairmanship of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah. State cabinet approved the recommendations of cabinet subcommittee on the implementation of the 6-th pay commission recommendations and also modified its earlier decision which had barred the withdrawal of the funds from the GP fund account. Giving details, Chief Secretary, S S Kapur, said that the revised pay structure in the state will be made effective from July 1, 2009 with notional increments from January 1, 2006. The salaries for the month of July, 2009 will be drawn in the revised pay structure and disbursed to the state Government employees on August this year. As for the arrears, the same will be admissible from January 2006, however the revision in the payment of arrears will be considered only after the proper settlement which will come after the funding was available fully. However the arrears of payments will be credited into the account of the employees in five equal instalments. Cabinet decided that the benefit of pay revision would be extended to the employees working in the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) as well. For this the modalities will be worked out by the Finance department in consultation with the other stakeholders. Cabinet also decided that the long pending demands of PSU employees for conversion of COLA into DA will be given serious consideration by the Finance department. The daily-wage rates will be increased to a reasonable level after further consultations from July this year. By another decision, the Cabinet decided that a Committee comprising the Advocate General, Principal Secretary, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Commissioner Secretary, Finance and Commissioner Secretary, GAD, will examine the legal and financial issues involved in the regularization of the ad hoc, contractual and consolidated employees and submit its report in a time-bound manner before August, 2009. The Cabinet also constituted a sub-committee to go into the extent of financial, legal and administrative problems related to causal workers that may arise in the regularisation of such temporary workers and work out an appropriate policy in this regard. The Minister for Finance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs will be the Convenor of the Sub-committee with Minister for School Education and Public Enterprises, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Minister for Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control and Minister for Industries and Commerce, Labour and Employment as members. About the demand for enhancement in the retirement age of the State Government employees, there was a consensus that it may not be possible for it to be taken independent of the problem of rising levels of unemployment amongst the educated youth in the state. Therefore, with a view to ensuring that a balanced view is taken in the matter, it was decided that the matter will be debated at a much wider level involving all concerned stakeholders.