7th pay commission: This is what pay hike demand by central government employees is all about
On 7th pay commission recommendation on salaries, the report says: "The Commission has designed the pay structure in such a manner that the pay progression recognises the importance of vertical relativities and also assigns a reasonable basis to such progression. This has been done by assigning a uniform fitment factor of 2.57."
7th pay commission: Central government employees have been demanding a hike in pay based on a calculation that is not based on what the committee wanted in its report but much more than that citing rising expenses due to soaring inflation hitting every aspect of life including education for children and other necessities.
On this overarching issue, the panel in the 7th Pay commission report wrote a short and succinct explanation: "One recurrent theme in the representations of various associations relates to 'equity' or 'Equal Pay for Equal Work.' Ideally, the remuneration package should establish horizontal equity: employees should feel that their pay is comparable with the remuneration structure of similarly placed positions outside their organization. The employees should also feel that the pay structure shows linear progression pattern and thus the notion of vertical equity is also maintained."
On 7th pay commission fitment factor recommendation on salaries, the report says: "The Commission has designed the pay structure in such a manner that the pay progression recognises the importance of vertical relativities and also assigns a reasonable basis to such progression. This has been done by assigning a uniform fitment factor of 2.57."
The reason for going for a Uniform Fitment factor for central government employees was due to the fitment recommended by the 6th CPC in the form of grade pay. It led to some discrepancies and differentiations as any inconsistency in the computation of grade pay or in the spacing between pay bands has a direct bearing on the quantum of fitment benefit. After these issues were raised, calls were made by a majority of stakeholders for a single fitment factor which should be uniformly applied for all employees.
While there is no complaint about the system per se, objections have been raised about the actual amount that has been cleared. Fitment factor of 2.57 times was recommended by the 7th pay commission. The report said, "After considering all relevant factors the Commission is of the view that the minimum pay in government recommended at Rs 18,000 per month."
It reasoned that the recommendation would lead to rationalization of pay levels so that the minimum pay at each level will be the entry pay for direct recruits for those levels. Each level has been placed equidistantly.
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The demand by the central government employees has some history behind it. The jump in minimum pay to Rs 26,000 based on a fitment factor of 3.68 times and not to Rs 18,000 based on 2.57 times was made as far back as then and was before the panel. With inflation showing no sign of abating, the demand is being highlighted more and more by the staff.