Gram panchayat workers demand minimum wages

Gram panchayat workers demand minimum wages

Maruthi Manpade, state president of the Karnataka Rajya Grama Panchayat Naukarara Sangha, addresses protesters in front of the Zilla Panchayat office in Mangaluru on Monday.

Members of the Karnataka Rajya Grama Panchayat Naukarara Sangha have urged the state government to ensure fulfilment of their demands at the earliest.

They have also warned of taking out a Vidhana Soudha Chalo campaign if the demands are not met before September 15.

The protest was staged under the aegis of CITU outside the Zilla Panchayat office in Mangaluru on Monday.

The association has asked for implementation of minimum wages as well as provision for other facilities on par with the state government employees.

Maruthi Manpade, who addressed the protesters, said that the gram panchayat employees have been deprived of government facilities for many years. “They have not been promoted too, even after putting in several years of service. Workers such as bill collectors, clerks, data entry operators, sweepers, pump operators and water supply workers are not even covered under the Minimum Wages Act,” he pointed out.

He urged the government to frame C and R rules for the gram panchayat employees on the lines of ULBs in the state.

The leader said that there are as many as 62,000 gram panchayat workers in the state.

Continuing, Manpade said, “Bill collectors who have served for 10 years or more should be promoted as Grade 2 secretaries. Pension, gratuity and PF should be made available for the bill collectors. On the basis of the 2011 census, gram panchayats should be upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1. The recommendations of the M S Swamy committee report should be implemented. Accordingly, various posts should be created, as per the requirements of the gram panchayat.”

Manpade said that a statewide protest will be held on August 9. “A memorandum will be submitted to the principal secretary and the minister for rural development. In addition, statewide conventions of gram panchayat workers will be organised in Mysuru from October 28 to 30,” he informed.

Association honorary president K Yadava Shetty and general secretary Abdul Salam took part in the protest.

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