Bengaluru

Pay of pourakarmikas doubled

The increase, however, does not address the disparity between the pay of contract and permanent workers,says S. Balan, president of BBMP Contract Pourakarmikas Association.— Photo : K. Bhagya Prakash

The increase, however, does not address the disparity between the pay of contract and permanent workers,says S. Balan, president of BBMP Contract Pourakarmikas Association.— Photo : K. Bhagya Prakash  

The salaries of thousands of civic workers (pourakarmikas) across the State have been nearly doubled, starting August. The hike represents the single largest increment for the often low-paid contract workers. Labour Department officials say it would make pourakarmikas of Bengaluru among the highest paid in the country.

The hike – which civic workers have been demanding for years, often through protests and bandhs – was officially declared on August 4 by the Labour Department. While civic workers employed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) were being paid Rs. 7,730 (including provident fund and Employee’s State Insurance Corporation) till July, the minimum wage has been hiked to Rs. 14,040.

A similar hike was announced for civic workers associated with other urban local bodies in the State. This is apart from the Rs. 3,000 that is being given as risk allowance each month since March. “Hikes in the past have only been a few hundred rupees. With this hike, thousands of workers across the State can expect to lead a better life. The disparity in minimum wage for those in private employment and those in government departments has been set right,” Narayana, Chairperson of the Karnataka Safai Karamchari Commission, told reporters on Tuesday.

The increase, however, does not address the disparity between the pay of contract and permanent workers, said S. Balan, president of BBMP Contract Pourakarmikas Association. “Our demand was Rs. 21,000 to match what permanent employees are getting. It is still not equal work for equal pay,” he said. With the State government promising regularisation of all pourakarmika posts by March 2017, Mr. Balan said the civic workers will have to ‘wait and watch’ if pay parity will be implemented.



Judicial probe sought

The Karnataka Safai Karamchari Commission has sought either a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or a judicial probe into the Rs. 384 crore ‘scam’ over payments of PF and ESI to pourakarmikas by the BBMP.

“The accounts in which PF and ESI should have been deposited for over a decade is nearly empty. While the issue is being probed by personnel from the PF and ESI as well as the Social Welfare Department, we want the State government too to conduct a probe,” said Narayana, president of the Commission.



HIKE IN NUMBERS

Pourakarmikas

in the State: 35,000

Permanent employees:

20 per cent

Civic workers in BBMP

Contract: 17,709

Permanent: 3,178

Pay hike

BBMP and 11 municipal corporations: Rs. 14,041 Hike — 80 per cent

City Municipal Councils:

Rs. 13,650

Hike — 96 per cent

Town Municipal Councils, other Urban Local Bodies: Rs. 12,740

Hike — 106.7 per cent


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 3:48:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Pay-of-pourakarmikas-doubled/article14562022.ece

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