Assam Civil Service decided to observe a one-hour pen-down strike

Expressing dissatisfaction over the recommendations of the State Pay Commission, the Coordination Committee of Assam Class-I Service Association has urged Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to ‘ensure justice and a fair deal’ for the officers by awarding a ‘respectable pay structure and allowances’. In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, thecommittee said that the Pay Commission recommendations fell way beyond securing pay parity with the Central Government employees - something promised by the State Government. Pointing out that the pay disparity which starts when a new entrant joins State Government service in the rank of a Class-I officer would worsen when he/she in completes 14 years of continuous service.

“The discrepancy in pay structure has disheartened all sections of Class-I officers, which could be detrimental to the development of the State,” it said.

Again, the committee said, the grade pay band of (4) in the Sixth Assam Pay Commission ranges from Rs 5,400 to a maximum of Rs 7,400 whereas in the Central Government the same is from Rs 5,400 to Rs 7,600 to start with, and Rs 8,700 after 14 years of service.

The committee was also critical of the annual increment of one per cent of the total pay in the pay band, saying that the increment and the corresponding grade pay is too insufficient and that the Commission’s recommendation for introducing new schemes of ‘increment based on performance’ is likely to cause dissatisfaction among the employees as “there is likelihood of assessing one’s performance by the assessing officer on the latter’s personal likes or otherwise.”

The committee called for awarding yearly increment at the rate of three per cent as is the case with Central Government employees. It further urged the Chief Minister to implement the allowances such as medical, city compensatory, daily, rural and difficult area, hill, traveling, conveyance, house rent, leave travel concession, etc., at par with Central Government employees.

The Assam Civil Service Officers’ Association has also expressed its “deep anguish, disappointment and dissatisfaction” over the pay panel recommendations as well as the report of the Committee constituted to examine the report of the pay panel.

In a statement, the association said that in spite of numerous representations, memorandums and submissions made to the commission and the committee, the pay scales and allowances granted to the Assam Civil Service are not commensurate with the “nature of service and the premier status of the ACS.”

The association also expressed concern over what it said were sweeping remarks in respect of ACS cadres made by the commission which at the same time failed to give adequate consideration to the submissions of theassociation.

The association decided to observe a one-hour pen-down strike from 12 pm to 1 pm on January 5.

The Coordination Committee of Assam Class-I Service Association represents ten officers’ associations, i.e., Assam Medical Service Association, Assam PWD Engineering Association, Assam Agricultural Officers’ Association, Assam Finance Service Association, Assam Engineering Service Association (Irrigation and Water Resource), All Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Service Association, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Officers’ Association, Association of Engineering Officers of Factory Inspectorate in Assam, and Assam Boiler Directorate Officers’ Association.

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