Members of the Tiruchi branch of the Tamil Nadu Noon Meal Employees' Association took out a procession in the city in support of their six-point charter of demands.
Their demands, among things, included regularisation of all categories of Noon meal scheme staff as government employees, with time scale of pay for each category; a pension scheme with family benefits; introduction of General Provident Fund scheme on par with the government employees; priority for qualified Noon meal staff while filling up the vacant posts in government establishments.
Earlier, a conference of the Association was held in which resolutions in support of these demands were adopted. Speaking on the occasion, V.V. Krishnamurthy, State vice-president of the Association, urged the state government to increase the unit cost for preparing the noon meals at Rs.2, in the wake of the hike in essential commodities.
S. Thangavel, District president of Association; J. Elizabeth Rani, District vice-president; P. Thangaraj, District secretary spoke. They underlined the need for granting ‘weightage' in the service for senior cooks who had completled 10 or 20 years of service.
Similar ‘weightage' had been granted for the Noon meal organisers, they saidK. Pazhanisamy, state president of the Association, urged the state government to extend the GPF benefits to the Noon meal employees, taking into consideration their prolonged service.
The ‘weightage' in service should be extended to Assistant cooks too. P. V. Chandrasekaran, former state president, said that necessary amendments should be introduced to the recruitment rules for recruiting the qualified Noon meal employees for filling up the vacant posts in government establishments. He sought amendment with equal opportunities for women Noon meal staff. Earlier, S. Thangavel was elected president of the Association and J. Elizabeth Rani, A. Thilagavathy and V. Bakkiam as vice-presidents.