Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 23
Keeping in view the financial hardship being faced by the cook-cum-helpers employed under the Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme, the Chandigarh Education Department has proposed to the Finance Department for enhancement of honorarium to the cook-cum-helpers.
However, the department clarified that the workers cannot avail equal pay equal work as the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has observed that this is a part-time job and the workers cannot be paid honorarium equivalent to minimum wages given to labourers.
A letter designated to Vikram Singh, GMCH Worker Union, Sector 32, by the District Education Officer (DEO), redressing the grievance regarding minimum wages or equal pay to MDM workers reads, “The cook-cum-helpers are engaged for three or four hours per day for preparing, serving and washing of utensils in the schools. Those who are getting honorarium under the MDM scheme are governed by the terms and conditions of service of contract and they cannot claim equal pay on the basis of equal work.”
Presently, the cook-cum-helpersare being paid Rs 3,000 per month out of which the Centre contributes Rs 1,000 per month and the remaining expenditure of Rs 2,000 is paid from UT budget, said the Education Department.
“However, the Education Department has already taken up the matter with the Finance Department, Chandigarh Administration to consider the proposal for enhancement of honorarium to the cook-cum-helpers and the same is under consideration of the Administration,” it further read.
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