Kakinada: The employees of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), which enforces the Juvenile Justice Act, are in a pathetic situation as their salaries have not been enhanced for years. They have been taken on a contract basis and their salaries range from Rs 14,000 to Rs 33,000 as per their cadre.
According to the guidelines of ICPS Contract Employment, their salaries should be enhanced once every five years. They are under the purview of the Central government and the salaries are paid by the Central government through the state government. According to the guidelines, their salaries should have been revised in 2019, but the general and the assembly elections stalled the process. In 2020, due to Covid-19, the hike was again postponed.
“When the employees took the issue of salary hike to the notice of the state government, it said it is for the Central government to hike their salaries. But the state government has cut 10 per cent of salaries for Covid-19 assistance. We are left in the lurch by both the governments,’’ deplored one of the leaders of ICPS Contract Employees Union. He said that there are 350 ICPS employees in the state and they are not getting salaries for the past four months as their contract agreements have not been renewed on the pretext of Covid-19. The contract agreement had to be renewed every April. He said that both the state and the central governments were ignoring the value of their services, even though the work they were doing was very valuable. He said that the prices of all essential commodities increased abnormally and they were facing hardships for their livelihood.
Another leader said that for the past 10 years, they had been working under distressing conditions due to lack of job security and their age also crossed the limit for government jobs. Another pity is that the state government is cutting Rs 3,000 from the salaries of District Child Protection Officers and it is not understood why they cut the amount of their salaries. He requested both the state and central governments to enhance their salaries immediately and pay it without any cuts as their salaries were very meagre in comparison with other employees.