The State government will regularise the services of 11,000 contract pourakarmikas in the next three months, announced Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting held to discuss the demands of contract pourakarmikas here, the Chief Minister said civic workers who are getting a monthly salary between ₹4,000 and ₹5,000 will now get a minimum salary of ₹17,000. This will be paid directly to their accounts by the municipal corporations, he said, adding that the subject will be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting.
A total of 20,000 pourakarmikas are employed on contract by various civic bodies across the State. While the services of 11,000 pourakarmikas, including 4,000 working for the BBMP will be regularised in the first phase, the remaining will be done subsequently, he said.
Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya said the government had extended various welfare measures for pourakarmikas, including food and health insurance. They will be covered under the Jyothi Sanjeevini health scheme, he said.
Thousands of contract pourakarmikas working for various civic bodies across the State had struck work recently, demanding regularisation of services and direct payments.
Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George, Municipalities and Local Bodies and Public Enterprises Minister Eshwar B. Khandre and senior officials were present at the meeting.
The workers, who were promised an increased wage of ₹14,400 plus risk allowance of ₹3,000 in August 2016, toilets, safety gear, and regularisation of services by March 2017, were upset that none of the promises had been fulfilled.
They had called off their protest following an assurance by Mr. Anjaneya that a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister would be convened by June 21 to discuss and consider their demands.
Meanwhile, K.B. Obalesh of Safai Karmachari Kavalu Samiti called it a partial victory.
“One of our main demands was to do away with the contract system, which was like a form of slavery in some places. We are happy that this demand has been accepted and a timeline announced for it,” he said.