Tamil Nadu

Govt. employees’ demands unmet

Many years after political parties promised the State government employees that the old pension scheme would be restored, the issue still remains a matter of discussion. In its 2016 Assembly election manifesto, the ruling AIADMK vowed to revoke the contributory pension scheme (the new pension scheme). But not much has happened since.

Correcting pay anomalies, payment of arrears for 21 months in accordance with the pay commission’s recommendation and timely promotions are the other expectations of the employees from the next government to be formed after May 2.

“Several months have passed since the T.S. Sridhar Committee, constituted for the purpose, submitted its report. But the government has not made it public. We only want what was originally our right,” says P. Frederic Engels, State coordinator of the Contributory Pension Scheme Abolition Movement.

“The only difference between private jobs and government jobs is the pension. Having spent several years working for the government, it is only our right to ask for a pension,” he reasons. The contributory pension scheme does not do justice to the service rendered by workers, he says.

G. Venkatesan, a State coordinator of the Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teacher Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO), regrets that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has not invited the union for talks. “The next Chief Minister should do so. Even former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had called us for talks in 2004. Ministers are only messengers, The Chief Minister must hold talks.”

Pointing out that the demands raised by JACTTO-GEO in January 2019 are still to be conceded, Tamil Nadu Government Employees Association president M. Anbarasu says, “The Chief Minister has called upon the government employees to ‘forget and forgive’ [for the action taken against the striking employees]. But what was our mistake in the first place? We had only asked for what the political parties promised in their manifestos.”

A Section Officer at the Secretariat in Chennai alleges interference of a Joint Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms in the promotion of employees. “Whichever government comes to power, it should make the Department independent of any individual, who is manipulating the department heads and misguiding them,” he says.

Former president of Tamil Nadu Secretariat Association J. Ganesan urges the government to come up with a transparent housing scheme for the workers. “Those nearing retirement are anxious about their retirement benefits. The government must settle the pension benefits and gratuity the very next month of superannuation.”

He also wants the government to desist from outsourcing human resource. “Files have sensitive information, and outsourcing them would be dangerous. Only qualified employees, recruited through the Public Service Commission, should deal with the files, and not unqualified persons whose credibility is questionable.”

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 10:50:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/govt-employees-demands-unmet/article33992844.ece

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