If Demands Not Settled, Agitations Even In COVID-19 Pandemic Inevitable
The 32 lacs Central Government Employees working in Railways, Defence, Postal, Income Tax, Central Secretariat, CPWD, Account and Audit etc. are a disturbed lot. They are one of the most affected group which has been attacked not only by COVID-19 virus but also by the various policies of the Modi Government. Taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic last year the Government took various arbitrary decisions due to which the employees are very much demoralized and de-motivated. Government took a decision to Corporatize the 41 Ordnance Factories in violation of the previous agreements, corporatize Railway Production Units, Privatize all activities of the Government etc. Apart from this their DA hike has also been frozen for 18 long months from 01.01.2020. The Government Employees and the Pensioners are due for 28% DA / TR from 01.06.2021, whereas they have been paid only 17%. Government is silent on restoring the DA from 01.01.2020. Thousands of Central Government Employees have already died due to COVID-19 infection.
However, neither compensation nor compassionate appointment was given to the family of the deceased employees. Even employees while attending duty if they are affected by COVID-19 pandemic they have to apply their own leave till they become medically fit for resuming duty. Even the medical expenditure for COVID-19 treatment is not fully reimbursed. Their guaranteed Pension under the Old Pension Scheme is also withdrawn. In this situation the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) of the Central Government Employees have now decided to plunge into an agitation protesting against the unhelpful attitude of the Government. Accordingly, Shiva Gopal Mishra / Convener of the NJCA have issued a notice to the Cabinet Secretary that incase the following 14 demands are not settled immediately, then the Central Government Employees will be left with no option other than to go for an agitation.
1) Payment of the freezed DA / DR to all employees and pensioners with arrears from 1-1-2020 by issuing Government Orders.
2) Settlement of the following COVID-19 related issues.
(a) To declare the Central Government Employees as frontline warriors and to ensure free COVID-19 vaccine to all the employees and their family members.
(b) Employees who are tested COVID-19 positive may be given quarantine leave till they are medically declared fit.
(c) Ex-gratia payment / compensation of Rs.20 lakhs to the family of all those employees who died of COVID-19 infection.
(d) Immediate out of turn compassionate appointment to the dependents of the employees who died of COVID-19 infection over and above the 5% ceiling limit.
(e) Full reimbursement of Medical treatment charges of COVID-19 infection.
(f) Declare all CGHS dispensaries/ wellness centers, Railway Hospitals and Dispensaries, Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Dispensaries etc., as vaccination centre where the Central Government will provide free vaccine.
3) Withdraw the decision to Corporatize the Railway Production Units and Ordnance Factories.
4) Withdrawal of National Pension System (NPS) and restoration of the Defined Pension Scheme under CCS (Pension)Rules 1972 to the employees who are recruited on or after 1-1-2004 at par with Armed Forces Personnel .
5) Provide compassionate appointment to all the wards of Central Government employees without adhering to the illogical ceiling of 5%.
6) Implementation of the Supreme Court decisions considering them as decision in ram especially in the following cases:
(a) Notional increment for those who have completed one year prior to retirement i.e. On 30th June and 31st December.
(b) To give effect to the MACP scheme from 1-1-2016, which had already been done in the case of armed personnel.
(c) Any other such decisions of the Supreme Court, which have already been subjected to discussions at the Standing Committee.
7) Evolve a health insurance scheme for all employees and pensioners to cover up all pensioners, who are outside the ambit of CGHS.
8) Take steps to revive all PSUs which are either closed down or privatized, which are capable of manufacturing vaccine in the background of the acute shortage as also the oxygen units.
9) Provide full wages to all workers who are engaged on daily rated basis even for the days they could not attend office due to COVID related reasons.
10) Settlement of MACP related issues.
11) Grant of one more option to the Central Government Employees to switch over to 7th CPC pay scale.
12) Implement Delhi High Court Judgement as implemented to CGHS employees by regularizing the legal strike period as “ No Work No Pay” and not as dies non which is illegal.
13) Settle all 7th CPC anomalies represented by the Staff Side.
14)Grant of Night Duty Allowance in 7th CPC Pay Scale without any Basic Pay ceiling limit.
Views expressed here are those of C.Srikumar, General Secretary, AIDEF and a member of NJCA