Employees of the State Legislative Council Secretariat resorted to ‘Gandhigiri’ on Wednesday to press home their eight demands.
Nearly 100 of the 300 employees of the Council Secretariat took out a peaceful procession on the corridors of the Vidhana Soudha and offered red roses to Council Secretary V. Shreesh urging him to take steps to fulfil their long-pending demands, including issuing of health cards.
The employees boycotted the work in the morning and staged a protest at the entrance of the Legislative Assembly hall for more than an hour. Holding placards and red roses, employees said they had been denied benefits provided to employees of the Legislative Assembly staff.
Karnataka Legislative Council Employees’ Association president H.K. Puttaswamy and other officials met Mr. Shreesh and submitted a memorandum urging early fulfilment of their demands.
The list of demands included issuing Arogya Bhagya (health) cards to employees, creation of more opportunities for promotion, distribution of uniforms to drivers, additional allowances for more than eight hours of work, equal distribution of work to employees, opportunities for employees to go abroad along with Council committee members, need for regular meetings between officials and lower-grade employees to establish cordial ties, and constitution of a core committee comprising officials and lower-grade staff to bring transparency into the administration.
Employees alleged that the Secretary has not been taking any interest in fulfilling their demands.
The Assembly employees had been provided all benefits a year ago. Already, the association had given two petitions to the Secretary, Mr. Puttaswamy alleged.
The total strength of the Council staff is 300, while the Assembly staff strength is 900. Unlike the Assembly staff, the Council staff had been denied regular promotions and other perks, they alleged.
The Secretary, who accepted the memorandum, said steps have been taken to issue Arogya Bhagya cards to employees. It would help employees get in-patient treatment in government and other recognised private hospitals.
The association warned that employees would intensify their stir if the Council Chairman and Secretary did not concede to their demands in the next few days.