Published On: Mon, Nov 27th, 2017

7th Pay Commission: Employees unions again seek minimum pay hike

New Delhi: A group of central government employees unions and trade unions again agreed to push for monthly minimum pay not lower than Rs. 21,000 and debates heats up as Modi government and the unions exchange accusations.

“we ask FM Arun Jaitley to order the NAC to look after the minimum pay and fitment factor,” central government employees unions leaders said angrily.

“We ask FM Arun Jaitley to order the NAC to look after the minimum pay and fitment factor,” central government employees unions leaders said angrily.

“The monthly minimum pay Rs. 21,000, we asked are mostly same with the current inflation, so the minimum pay that we ask would not be too much for the government,” the central government employees unions’ top leaders said.

The lowest earning central government employees now get Rs 18,000 per month on the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission from Rs 7,000 under 6th pay commission recommendation, while the maximum pay from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2.25 lakh per month and Rs 2.5 lakh for the cabinet secretary—the senior-most civil servant and a fitment factor of 2.57 has been implemented to apply uniformly for all employees.

“We can’t ask for hike in other allowances except Dearness Allowance (DA),” they said. “We would be paid hiking other allowances if government were generous. DA is a part of the monthly pay as a means to reduce the burden of inflation on employees. So, government don’t need to add more,” the leaders said.

The central government employees unions’ leaders argued that the current minimum pay Rs 18,000 is not enough to live on.

“So, the government must take responsibility to solve the minimum pay issue for the central government employees,” they said.

The unions leaders also said the pay gap between the highest maximum pay and the lowest minimum pay in the 7th Pay Commission recommendations is 1:14, which was 1:12 in the 6th pay scale.

“We don’t want any other extra facilities that will be given by government out of its generosity. We only want the that the minimum pay with 3.00 fitment factor be enforced efficiently,” they added.

“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had promised for hiking minimum pay after discussions with all stakeholders, we ask him to order the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) to look after the minimum pay and fitment factor,” they said angrily.

The central government employees unions accused Jaitley for ignoring the NAC for looking after the minimum pay and fitment factor because  a letter of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) dated October 30, states that the hike in minimum Pay and fitment formula do not appear to be treated as an anomaly, therefore, these do not come under the purview of the NAC.

Earlier, according to Finance Ministry sources familiar with the situation said, “the NAC is likely to give its nod to minimum pay Rs 21,000 with raising fitment factor 3.00 times from 2.57 times at the behest of the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”

Current minimum pay of Rs. 18,000 was announced by the government on June 29, 2016. The minimum pay was supposed to be reviewed when Jaitley had agreed to hike minimum pay, who had met representatives of several central government employees’ unions leaders on June 30, 2016 in home minister Rajnath Singh’s house and assured them a high level committee would look into the increasing minimum Pay and fitment formula.

Jaitley’s assurance had prevented several central government employees’ unions to go indefinite strike from July 11, 2016.

The high level committee has not yet been constituted. The government had said the NAC would discuss any pay hike agenda because it has been formed in September, 2016 to look into pay anomalies arising out of the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

However, DoPT letter now says minimum pay and fitment factor doesn’t come under the purview of the NAC.

“If the government doesn’t hike the minimum pay for us, then we will proceed on an indefinite strike over pay hike ,” the unions’ leaders said.

The government sources said top officials will hold discussions with the unions to call-off the strike.

TST

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