Friday 17 June 2016

Improve VII CPC recommendations. Revise Central Govt. employees wages immediately.

In the face of the unprecedented rise in the inflation of the Indian Economy during 2006-16, the Central Govt. employees demanded the Government to affect wage rise, for the emoluments fixed on the basis of the 6th CPC was incapable of meeting the both ends of an employee. Though under threat the then Government conceded the demand for setting up of the 7th CPC, they  refused to grant any interim relief or DA merger, which alone would have mitigated the difficulties of the low paid employees.

 When the NDA Government came to power, the NJCA & CCGGOO approached them also with a request that the difficulties of the low paid employees in Central Government must be appreciated and the demand for Interim Relief or DA merger be conceded. The NDA Government too did not respond to the plea made by the NJCA & CCGGOO.

The 7th CPC was to submit its report in August, 2016. However, at the intervention of the Government, the report was further delayed and it ultimately reached the Government only in November, 2015.

The report of the 7th Central pay commission was totally disappointing as it did not address any of the issues projected before them in a proper manner and most of the demands were rejected sans reasoning and logic. The increase they recommended was a paltry 14%, the lowest any Pay Commission had ever suggested. 

Except setting up an Empowered Committee of Secretaries, the Government did not do anything so far on the report. It is now more than six months the report is with the Government. Normally the revised allowances which form part and parcel of the salary of the employees are granted with prospective effect i.e. from the date of the issue of the orders. The delay in taking decision on the 7th pay commission report will rob the employees of the increased allowances for ever.

The Staff side had been pursuing to have a meaningful negotiation and settlement of the issues. Except hearing the leaders of NJCA & CCGGOO, the empowered Committee did not go further. It acted as if it was powerless and the final decision will have to be taken by the Government. At the request of the Cabinet Secretary on 1st March, 2016 the strike action which was to commence in April, 2016 was deferred.

The determination of the Minimum wage on the basis of Dr. Aykhroyd formula enunciated in 1957 to which the Government of India was a party is the most significant issue. A right settlement thereon will have far reaching impact in the wage determination of the entire working class in the country. The confrontation is between the forces who wanted India to be the destination for cheap labour and others who fight against the exploitation.

 The new Contributory Pension scheme introduced by the Government in 2004 has made one third of the Civil servants unsure of their entitlement at the evening of their life even though they were to contribute huge sums from their wages every month compulsorily. The PFRDA bill became an Act in the country as the members of Parliament both belonging to NDA and UPA voted in favour of the loot of the employees. Even the recommendation made by the Standing Committee of the Parliament to provide for a minimum guaranteed annuity pension was rejected when the Bill was passed. The other issue which must have a satisfactory settlement is about the contributory pension scheme.

The new pension scheme is a curse on the employees. As far as employees are concerned, they are worried that in future they may be deprived of their pension in total. They are also worried that there is no guarantee of either family pension or gratuity as per 7th pay commission recommendations. Scrap the PFRDA Act and NPS and grant Pension/family Pension to all CG employees under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 & Railways Pension Rules, 1993.

The one and only positive recommendation made by the 7th CPC was to provide some relief to the in the pension entitlement of the past pensioners. The Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare has unfortunately recommended to the Cabinet Secretary that, even that recommendation must be rejected on the specious plea that the requisite relevant records might not be available.

The central government employees are very much annoyed and anxious with the 7th pay commission recommendations. As there had been no fruitful negotiations or discussions and having realized that the Government has no intention to settle the Charter of demands, the NJCA & CCGGOO have served strike notices. The indefinite strike will commence on 11th July, 2016, if no satisfactory settlement is brought about on the charter of demands. Prime Minister should intervene immediately for improvement of VII CPC recommendations and revision of Central Govt. employees wages.

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