7th Pay Commission: Latest news on allowance discussion
There has been plenty of insecurity among Central Government employees and pensioners following the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission being cleared.
In the backdrop of these developments, a crucial meeting of the Standing Committee between the NC JCM and official side-DoPT was held.
CG employees in the dark
Secretary (Staff-Side) requested to know the present position on the basic demands made by the Central Government employees about minimum wages, fitment formula, reversion to the old pension scheme and the report of the Committee of Allowances. He recalled that when a notice for strike was given in 2016, the senior Cabinet Ministers in the Central Government had met the staff side representatives and assured a positive decision on the aforesaid demands. Although that strike was deferred on this assurance, the central govt. employees are still waiting. Consequently, it is getting difficult to make the central government employees understand the reasons for delay in fulfilment of the assurances then given by the Senior Cabinet Ministers. Hence Secretary, Staff-Side requested the Chairman to convey to the Cabinet Secretary and Chairman, National Council (JCM) the duty to meet the Government employees in accordance with the JCM Scheme to avoid an atmosphere of confrontation.
10 months we have waited
He stated that a number of agenda items proposed by the Staff-Side have been deleted and no formal communication has been sent to them on the reasons for deletion. He requested that the views of official side on this may be communicated to them. This sentiment was echoed by other members of the Staff Side. He also mentioned that the senior Cabinet Ministers had issued a statement about constitution of a High Level Committee to look into the aforesaid basic demands made by the Staff Side while giving the strike notice. However, even after more than 10 months, nothing has happened and only one meeting was taken by Additional Secretary in Department of Expenditure.
Uncertainty over allowances
On allowances, he informed that there is a lot of uncertainty on whether the allowances would become admissible prospectively or from 01.01.2016 i.e., the date of implementation of 7th Pay Commission. The assurance given by Senior Ministers on 30t h June 2016 on pay panel issues-mainly minimum wage and multiplying factor have not been fulfilled. Only one meeting was held by Addl. Secretary (Expenditure) with the Staff side and thereafter nothing is known with regard to progress made even though 10 months passed. On the recommendation for revision of pension on the basis of option the contents of the Committee's Report are not made available to the JCM (Staff Side). There is need to see that transparency is ensured for preserving healthy industrial relations. On Allowances, the Leader JCM (Staff Side) expressed disappointment as there has been no positive outcome even after lapse of several months. He requested the Chairman that the JCM (Staff Side) demand to revise the Allowances w.e.f. 01/01/2016 should be considered and Staff Side demand be taken to the level of Cabinet Secretary and the Government.
Pay hike not complied with
Although Ministry of finance Resolution dated 25t h July 2016 stipulates that 14.29% hike in the pay of Running Staff in the Railways be ensured, unfortunately, the same has not been complied with. The said hike has not been ensured. He requested the Chairman to kindly take appropriate initiative on the proposal sent by Ministry of Railways which is pending with the Ministry of finance. He also pointed out that the references made by different ministries to the DoP&T/MoF pursuant to the discussions held by the JCM Constituents with the respective Departments/Ministries are pending. He requested that speedy response be ensured by DoP&T/MoF. While concluding, the Leader, JCM (Staff-Side) expressed confidence that the NC/JCM meeting as well Standing Committee meetings will be convened regularly in accordance with the JCM rules for paving way for healthy industrial relations".
Chairman’s reply on 7th Pay Commission
Chairman, in his reply, said that no agenda points had been deleted and, in order to ensure that discussions are complete in a meeting, it was decided in consultation with the Secretary(Staff-Side) to limit the number of agenda points for today's meeting. He further stated that if the Staff-Side insists that the remaining points which have been left out should also be taken up for discussion, they would need to be circulated to the concerned Departments in advance for their comments. He emphasized that the Government attaches the highest priority to the Staff-Side and the concerns expressed over the assurance given after the strike call would be conveyed to the concerned authority. On the issue of the Allowances Committee's report not being shared with the Staff Side, the Chairman stated that the sentiment would also be conveyed to Ministry of Finance along with the concerns over pay revision etc.