Employees not too pleased

Wanted HRA from 2016, regular jobs for contract staff

Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who spent the entire day meeting various employees’ unions today, claimed that they went back satisfied as the government has accepted their long-pending demands of revising House Rent Allowance (HRA) and reintroducing ex-gratia employment policy, which was discontinued 23 years ago. However, the unions were partially satisfied with the decisions.

Though Khattar tried to woo the employees ahead of the Assembly elections in Haryana to be held in October this year, the union representatives said that the government had only partially accepted their demands and rejected the main demands.

Subhash Lamba, president of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, said that the government rejected their demands for the regularisation of the services of contractual employees, implementation of the old pension scheme, and pay scales on a par with Punjab and was adamant on the introduction of the kilometre scheme, which is a step towards privatisation and continuation of contractual appointments.

“We have announced a state-level meeting of our union from August 16 to 18 where we will discuss the government’s stance on our demands and decide the future course of action. The HRA and the ex-gratia policy decisions of the government are not in keeping with our demands. We wanted the revised HRA from 2016 and did not want the clause of five-year employment in the ex-gratia policy,” Lamba said

The Chief Minister need to understand that the Punjab Government pay scales were being sought only for the police, revenue, forest and ministerial staff, he added.

The Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh, which had given a 24-point demand charter, termed the meeting as partially successful with the government accepting the demands of cashless treatment for indoor patients, and increase in the insurance of employees, who work under risky conditions. “The government also assured us of filling vacancies with regular employees and through promotions,” said Virender Dhankar, state general secretary of the Mahasangh.

Jang Bahadur Yadav, an office-bearer of the Haryana Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said that some of the demands of the unions were not accepted. “However, the chapter has not closed yet. A fresh round of talks will be held to deliberate on the demands,” he added.

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