2-day strike for Jammu and Kashmir employees

The impasse between the state government and its employees is likely to take a turn for the worse in the coming days as the latter are going on a 2-day strike from August 19 to press their demands on the 6th pay panel recommendations and to protest “the use of brutal force” against employees on August 12.

The Joint Consultative Committee, conglomerate of various employees’ associations, has threatened an indefinite strike from 20th in case the government failed to honour its commitment on the 6th Pay Commission report. To make it worse for the government, doctors are going on an indefinite state-wide strike from August 18.

JCC member and president of Employees Joint Action Committee (Q), Abdul Qayoom Wani, told Greater Kashmir that the agitation would intensify in the coming days. “We have given a state-wide 2-day strike call but if our demands are not met we may go on an indefinite strike from August 20. There will be protests at all district headquarters and the new program will be announced on the second day of the strike,” he said.

“Emergency services were exempted from strike so far, but seeing the government’s approach, we will not be so lenient this time,” he added. Wani said the government was deliberately putting people to inconvenience to create misconception about employees in the society.

“The government is forcing us to take extreme steps to present a negative picture of employees in the society,” he said, adding it was not serious about finding a permanent solution to the issue. “The meetings called so far were only attempted to abort the strikes and protests. But practically nothing has been done to accept our demands,” he said, adding, “We are just two days away from strike but no one from the government approached us with any proposal.”

Endorsing Qayoom’s views, another JCC member and president EJAC (K), Khursheed Alam, said the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, should intervene. “What prevents the CM from entering into a dialogue with us and solve the issue amicably. But the administration is dilly-dallying the issue,” he said.“We were silent for four months after assurances from the government. But it left us with no choice but to come on streets,” he said.

Around 4 lakh employees of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have been on roads earlier this year demanding implementation of the pay commission recommendations in full. The agitation was suspended in May after an agreement between a cabinet sub-committee and the JCC. The government had issued SRO 92, 93 and 94 as part of implementation of the 6th pay panel report. The JCC, however, has refused to accept the SROs saying they did not fulfill all recommendations of the pay commission, leading to a fresh tussle.

Alam said, “We are not demanding anything new. Let the cabinet sub-committee sit and check if these SROs are as per the agreement.”To make the matters worse, all doctors are launching a state-wide indefinite strike from August 18. They are demanding risk allowance, increase in the stipend of postgraduate students besides other incentives.

The strike has been called the Doctors Joint Action Committee Kashmir - a conglomerate of various doctors’ associations of the valley- endorsing the call of Jammu counterpart.When contacted, the secretary, Finance, Sudhanshu Pandey, refused to comment saying, “The General Administration Department has issued a notification and that is all I have to say.”

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