Tribune News Service
Bathinda, December 20
Continuing their protest, members of the Punjab State Suwidha Centre Employees Union and the Punjab State Ministerial Staff Union today gheraoed the office of Bathinda (Urban) MLA Sarup Chand Singla and raised anti-government slogans.
Demanding regularisation of their jobs and scrapping of the system of outsourcing of work at Sewa Kendras across the state, employees working on a contractual basis at the Suwidha Centres in the state assembled in the city and then marched towards Singla’s office. Later, the MLA came out of his office and interacted with the protesters.
“I have listened to the demands of the workers of Suwidha Kendras who have been working on a contractual basis. I have promised them that their demands will be presented before Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and a solution will be arrived at,” Singla said.
Meanwhile, the protesters refused to accept a mere verbal assurance given by the MLA and demanded that a concrete decision be taken to address their demands. Terming all promises made by the state government and ministers to the protesters as “fake”, the Suwidha Kendra employees demanded that their demands be discussed by the state government at the earliest.
“We know that the ministers and leaders are misleading us by making hollow promises when we know that these promises are being made to delay the decision till the model code of conduct is imposed ahead of the Assembly elections. Even if the code of conduct is imposed, we will continue our stir and make sure that the vote bank of the SAD and BJP leaders are dented,” said Ravinder Singh, state president of the union.
Meanwhile, stalling work for an indefinite period, members of the Punjab State Ministerial Staff Union also joined hands with the Suwidha Centre employees and protested with them. While the Suwidha Centre employees are demanding regularisation of their jobs, the ministerial staff had been demanding changes in policies.
Leaders of the ministerial staff union, Megh Singh Sidhu, Harbans Singh and others demanded that the government must immediately cover the employees recruited after 2004 under the pension scheme, complete implementation of all rules of the 6th Pay Commission, immediate release of the dearness allowance instalment which have been pending for the past 33 months, filling all vacant posts in government departments to ease the burden of work on the existing employees, revival of all the allowances of ministerial staff which were stopped, recalling the announcement dated January 15, 2015, declaring that new recruits will have to work only on basic salaries for the first few years of their service, regularisation of the jobs of all employees working on a contractual basis in government departments.
They further demanded upgrade of the post of superintendent engineer in the PWD, Irrigation, B&R and Health departments, upgrade of posts of circle superintendents in the Excise, Health and Cooperative departments, extending Rs 5,400 grade pay to superintendent grade 2, giving
conveyance allowance to election kanungo, waiving of the condition of appearing for test for upgrade of steno to junior scale stenographer among others.
The protesters also threatened to divide themselves into groups and conduct a door-to-door anti-government campaign, stage gherao of SAD leaders at functions where they are scheduled to address public meetings.
“If the SAD-BJP alliance thinks that it can return to power even after ignoring its own employees working in various departments, it will have to struggle hard for doing so. The employees will now make the leaders struggle,” the protesters said.
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