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Haryana

Posted at: May 17, 2018, 12:01 AM; last updated: May 17, 2018, 12:01 AM (IST)

Sanitation staff continue stir as talks with CM fail

Sanitation staff continue stir as talks with CM fail
Safai karmcharis hold a protest march in Rohtak on Wednesday. Photo: Manoj Dhaka

Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16

Talks between a delegation led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and representatives of striking sanitation workers failed on Wednesday, with the employees deciding to continue their stir.

The government conceded minor demands of the employees and decided on a committee under the Chief Secretary to examine the issue of equal pay for equal work, but the deadlock over major demands of regularisation of contractual staff and minimum salary of Rs18,000 per month persisted.

The executive committee of the Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh would meet in Rohtak on Thursday to chalk out the future course of action.

Khattar claimed that consensus had been reached on some demands of safai karamcharis and their ‘genuine’ issues would be sorted out within the next eight days.

On the other hand, Subhash Lamba, general secretary of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, and Naresh Shastri, president of the Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh, said they were not satisfied with the government’s response to their demands, especially regularisation of staff in all wings of civic bodies.

Earlier, Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain claimed that the Safai Karamchari Union, affiliated to the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, had agreed to call off the strike. She said the committee on equal pay for equal work would submit its report before May 31.

She said it had been decided to enhance special allowance for sweepers from Rs300 to Rs1,000. She said it was decided that municipal bodies would not go in for new outsourcing contracts on supply of safai karamcharis and sewer men.

The present outsourcing contracts would continue till the date of expiry, after which the outsourced manpower would be put on municipal rolls, she asserted.

The government also decided to request the Haryana Staff Selection Commission to relax eligibility conditions for fire personnel currently working on contractual basis.

Regularisation of contractual staff, minimum salary of Rs18,000 per month, ex gratia, pension, risk allowance, cashless facility and absorption of about 1,400 employees of the Fire Department into government grade were some of the demands of employees.

Two major demands — regularisation of contractual staff and minimum salary of Rs18,000 per month — were part of the BJP manifesto for the 2014 Assembly elections.

More than 30,000 employees, including safai karamcharis of nearly 90 municipal corporations, committees and councils, had been on strike since May 9 in support of their demands, putting residents to inconvenience in the wake of non-collection of garbage.

Tanwar backing for regular job demand  

Kurukshetra: State Congress president Ashok Tanwar on Wednesday supported the demand to regularise outsourced manpower in local bodies of Haryana. Tanwar, who was here for a workers' meeting, said it was unfortunate the state government was not ready to address the problems highlighted by the protesting safai karamcharis and other sections. He blamed the BJP for causing a social divide for the political gain. TNS

What they seek 

  • Regularisation of staff
  • Minimum pay of Rs 18,000 a month
  • Ex gratia, pension, risk allowance, cashless facility
  • Absorption of Fire Dept staff into govt grade
  • Implementation of equal-work-equal-pay principle
Govt’s sops

  • Chief Secretary to submit report on equal-work-equal-pay principle by May 31
  • Hike in special allowance for sweepers from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000
  • No new outsourcing contracts by MCs for safai karamcharis
  • HSSC to relax eligibility conditions for regular jobs to contractual fire staff

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