UoM safai karmacharis to get minimum wages from Jan

The contract employees to get salaries for general holidays too

Chairman of Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karmacharis Narayan said, the University of Mysore (UoM) was the first among the general universities in the State to voluntarily pay minimum wages and extend other benefits to safai karmacharis from January as per the Central Labour Act.

Addressing a joint media conference, along with UoM Vice Chancellor K S Rangappa, he said, following a meeting with the authorities concerned in the UoM, that turned out to be fruitful, 197 safai karmacharis will get Rs 298 per day (earlier Rs 226) from January.

“The earlier wages were paid as per the Service Rules of the Public Works Department. The VC was convinced that the wages were inadequate and he agreed to comply with the rules of the Central government on minimum wages,” he said.

Earlier, Narayan had chaired a grievances meeting of the safai karmacharis of the UoM, attended by the university authorities. He said, Rangappa has also agreed to extend provident fund and health insurance benefits to the safai karmacharis. As per rules, the employees’ contribution to the provident fund will be 12 per cent and that of the UoM will be 13.61 per cent.

He said, the UoM was holding talks with a health insurance provider and a memorandum of understanding would be signed soon to provide health insurance for a small monthly premium of around Rs 50.

Vice Chancellor Rangappa said, the benefits would be the centenary as well as new year gift for the safai karmacharis of the UoM.

“When I took charge, the safai karmacharis were paid a measly Rs 180 per day. Following a meeting convened by Narayan himself, it was revised to Rs 226. Now, in a second revision in just a couple of years, it has been increased to Rs 298. We also have done justice to the employees by bypassing the contractor and depositing the salary into their accounts directly. Except for Sundays, the employees will be paid the wages for all days in a month. They will get salaries for general holidays too,” he said.

The VC, explaining about the welfare measures taken up by the UoM, said, two health centres already provide free medical care to the families of the safai karmacharis. “For advanced treatment, in case of serious ailments, plans are afoot to extend the health insurance plan at minimal costs,” he said.

In Dharwad Agriculture University, the safai karmacharis staged a protest and got their wages hiked to Rs 360 a day. Otherwise, the universities are paying around Rs 6,000 per month. So, the commission will hold meetings in the rest of the universities and urge them to pay the minimum wages to the safai karmacharis, said Narayan.

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