The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) is aggrieved over the delay caused by Centre towards the implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations. NJCA convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra is not inclined to call a mass strike, adding that he would like to settle the anomalies through negotiations.
I would be pained if we have to revive the call for strike. We still believe that the government would genuinely take action towards fulfillment of our demands. I would not completely blame the ministers for the delay.
The NJCA chief, however, did not rule out the possibility of calling the strike. “If situation comes down to it, we can call the strike. We have not called off the strike but only deferred it,” Mishra added.
On being asked whether he concede calling off the strike on July 11 as a ‘mistake’, the veteran unionist said, “Whatever decision we took was not taken arbitrarily. It was only after due consultation with our cadres on the ground. And the Finance Minister, Home Minister and Railway Minister had assured us of positively considering our demands. The decision was taken in the best interest of employees. Things cannot be resolved only through confrontation.”
Mishra claimed that the allowance committee headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa would submit its report in the next 4-5 days. “Now the Parliament session has also concluded. So, no one could say that they have no time. The report should be submitted and approved by the Cabinet at the earliest,”
The 7th Pay Commission report affects a total of 47 lakh central government employees. Although it was implemented in July last year, only the basic component of salaries was hiked. Higher allowances were differed as NJCA had raised anomalies owing to the abolition of nearly 53 and subsumption of another 36 out of the total 196 allowances.
Following the settlement of anomalies related to pensions and allowances, we would raise the demand to revise the minimum wages. As per the 7th Pay Commission report submitted by Justice (retd) AK Mathur, the minimum wages were revised from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 per month.