7th Pay Commission: Meet pension, wages demand or face strike, BSNL, MTNL threaten NDA government
7th Pay Commission: It is not just central government employees who have showed disappointment in government's recommendations and implementation of 7th Pay Commission panel report. In a latest development, it has been revealed that state-owned telecom operator BSNL employees have also complained in regards to their wages and pensions for retirees. In fact, the anger is such that they are now threatening to carry on a protest next week on December 3, till the government meets their demands. Since the time 7th Pay Commission recommendations were approved, various departments of government employees right from teachers to Indian Railway employees have started a series of strikes to highlight their demands. However, the government has given various reliefs in past few months, but not all queries have been taken care of.
According to reports, BSNL employees union will hold a strike on December 3, for a list of demands. Among which is also a professional demand for the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL! After 4G spectrum, the second most important demand is implementation of the government rule in respect of payment of pension contribution by BSNL. Additionally, BSNL has also demanded wage revision of the employees and pension revision of the retirees, from January 1, 2017.
It is not just BSNL, another state-owned telecom operator MTNL employees too will join the strike. Convener, Joint Forum of Retirees, S S Nanda said in a PTI report earlier, that BSNL and MTNL pensioners, who were absorbed from Department of Telecom under the banner of Committee of BSNL and MTNL Pensioners’
Associations, observed a fast today throughout the country demanding pension revision from January 1, 2017 with 32 percent fitment factor hike, which was given to central government pensioners numbering more than 60 lakh from January, 2016.
Nanda reportedly added that, the pension of nearly 62 lakh central government pensioners were revised with effect from January 1, 2016 as per recommendation of the 7th pay commission.
Furthermore, Nanda reiterated that, "BSNL/MTNL retirees are also covered under the same rules of central government pensioners but not getting similar benefits."
Meanwhile, as many as 50 lakh central government employees have been waiting for some good news on their demands for a hike in their minimum pay scale and fitment factor. These employees are demanding a fitment factor of 3.68 times with minimum pay scale of Rs 26,000. This is after the Union Cabinet revised their minimum pay to Rs 18,000 from previous Rs 7,000 per month, along with fitment factor of 2.57 times in June 2016 leading to a major hike in all central government employees salaries.
It has been revealed that, the government may hike minimum pay to Rs 21,000 and fitment factor to 3.00 times, but there is absolutely no certainty about this course of action. It is an option that can be explored by the NDA government. Centre claimed that they are not really looking to hike minimum pay beyond the recommendations provided in the 7th Pay Commission report recommendations. With elections looming, the stand of the government may well change.
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