Vijayawada: Government employees, teachers and pensioners who have formed an umbrella body called ‘PRC Struggle Committee' on Monday served notice stating that they would strike work from midnight hours on February 7 to protest against the move to implement revised payscales as per recommendations of the 11th Pay Revision Commission which they were not agreeable to.
The leaders of the panel wanted to meet Chief Secretary Dr Sameer Sharma and serve the notice but he was away in New Delhi. They handed over the notice to the general administration department principal secretary Sashi Bhushan Kumar.
The employees’ main contention was that the government issued orders on 11th PRC without taking into consideration the objections and concerns expressed by all the service associations in all rounds of consultations. They said that the pay revision was detrimental and adversely impacting the earnings of employees, teachers and pensioners.
They maintained that several associations had expressed their disagreement by demonstrating with a demand to withdraw the government orders implementing the PRC recommendations. With no response from the government and given its efforts to implement the pay revision unilaterally, without providing even an option to choose the effective date, the steering committee of their panel had unanimously decided to proceed with the agitation programme demanding immediate settlement of their demands.
Later, AP Government Employees Association (APGEA) president K.R. Suryanarayana said that they never thought of going on a strike but were forced to do so as the government had issued the GOs on the PRC without taking their view into consideration. He said that they had discussed issues like Ashutosh Mishra Committee report, fitment, house rent allowance (HRA) and others during the roundtable meeting held on Sunday and decided to serve the strike notice.
He said there were 13 lakh employees and pensioners involved in the movement, and expressed concern over the way the HRA was trimmed. He said that the struggle committee did not have any information pertaining to the government-appointed five-member committee to hold discussions on the PRC issue.
APNGOs Association president Bandi Srinivasa Rao, who heads the AP Joint Action Committee (APJAC), alleged that the government was mounting pressure upon treasury employees to pay wages as per new PRC and wondered why it was hurrying when the employees were not showing interest to accept the revised scales.
Srinivasa Rao demanded the government give old wages if it wanted the support of the employees. However, he cautioned the employees not to cast personal aspersions on anyone while being part of the agitation and asked them to be self-restraint.
AP Secretariat Employees Association president K. Venkatrami Reddy said that the injustice being meted out to them through PRC had united employees in the Secretariat to fight for a common cause. He said they could join talks with the government if it released wages as per old norms.
Amaravati APJAC chairman Bopparaju Venkateswarlu opined that the government should have constituted a committee of ministers before commencing its exercise on PRC and wondered how it could do so after issuing the GOs. He said that the government resolve issues pertaining to fitment, HRA, abolition of the contributory pension scheme (CPS), regularisation of contract staff, hike in wages to outsourcing employees, regularisation of non-muster roll (NMR) staff and declaration of probation to village/ward secretariat employees. He urged the police to support them to take up their agitation without any tense situation....