UP Municipal Corporation Employees Decry ‘Injustice’, Plan Statewide Protest
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh (UP) municipal corporation employees under the banner of UP Sthaniya Nikay Karmachari Mahasangh are gearing up to launch a massive statewide agitation in support of their demands.
The employees are demanding the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), implementation of the 7th Pay Commission scale, service manual for non-centralised workers, removal of pay anomalies, arrears of increased salaries and regularisation of temporary and contractual workers.
The decision was taken after the state government did not pay heed to their demands despite continuous protests across the state for the last many years.
There are nearly 1.50 lakh permanent employees and around 10 lakh outsourced workers are employed by municipal corporations across the state.
“After 75 years of independence, there is no service manual for non-centralised workers due to which employees, including sanitation and streetlight workers, have been deprived of their basic rights. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government did not bother to listen to us,” Shashi Mishra, state president, Uttar Pradesh Sthaniya Nikay Karmachari Mahasangh told Newsclick.
Mishra, who is on a statewide tour to mobilise municipal workers, further said, “I will visit the state this month, make them aware of their rights and decide a final date for the protest, which will be a do-or-die situation for us.”
Mishra said that legislators and politicians from different parties “support their demands when in the Opposition but do not act after coming to power. All three governments—the BSP, SP and BJP—have done that.”
Chief minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath had “promised to implement ‘equal pay for equal work’ and regularise outsourced employees in a phased manner” but “failed to keep his word” and did “injustice to them”, he alleged.
Besides, state municipal corporation employees should have access to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya State Employees Cashless Medical Scheme, Mishra added.
Last July, Adityanath had issued a standard operating procedure for all medical universities and colleges and autonomous institutions for offering the cashless medical treatment facility to government employees, pensioners and their families but municipal corporation employees were excluded.
The union warned that if their demands are not met in a time-bound manner, the workers will “teach a lesson” to the BJP government in the next elections.
The union said that it had written to the CM, Prime Minister, defence minister, urban development minister and minister of state for urban development to solve the problems of civic employees many times but to no avail.
Union general secretary Rakesh Agnihotri said that state municipal corporations consist of centralised and non-centralised workers. “Class first and second comes under the first category and the rest two fall under the later. Ironically, after 1962, service manuals for non-centralised workers were not implemented due to which there is a huge difference in the salaries of state employees and municipal corporation employees,” he told Newsclick.
“We have also been deprived of government benefits due to service rules. The Yogi government formed a committee and asked it to submit a report after consulting union leaders. The report was submitted long back but nothing has been done on the ground,” he alleged.
Accusing the state government of ignoring their demands, Kranti Singh, state president, UP Panchayati Raj Rural Sanitation Workers Union, told Newsclick, “It is strange that the government is keen on increasing the pay of its ministers and officers on special duty but is ignoring our needs.”
Recently, hundreds of contractual streetlight workers of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation went on strike as their demands have not been met and salaries delayed. They have not been paid their monthly honorarium for the last six months, which has virtually left them on the verge of starvation.
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