New Delhi: The National Joint Council Action (NJCA), a confederation of 3.3 million central government employees has deferred the nation-wide indefinite strike from July 11 , as the central government has formed a committee of Ministers to negotiate with union leaders on their demands including hike in minimum pay from Rs 18,000, which was recommended by the 7th Pay Commission and was approved by the cabinet on June 29.
“Since the Prime Minister has intervened and initiated the process of negotiation, the top leaders of NJCA have decided to differ from the indefinite strike which was planned from July 11 and further talks will be carried out,” said N Kanniah, NJCA convener (South Zone).
It may be noted that the NJCA had earlier announced plans to go on nation-wide indefinite strike from July 11, followed by cabinet approval of 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
The Cabinet ditto with the 7h Pay Commission recommendations, the commission recommended 23.55 per cent hike in salaries, allowances and pensions and a 14.27 per cent increase in basic pay for Central government employees, the lowest in 70 years.
The cabinet has increased the minimum pay from existing Rs 7000 to Rs 18,000 while NJCA is demanding minimum pay Rs. 26,000.
“They have fixed the minimum wage at a meagre Rs. 18,000 in the 7th Pay Commission. In the 6th Pay Commission, the basic pay was Rs. 7,000. They took fitment factor 2.57. We are demanding 3.68 fitment fitment factor,” said Shiv Gopal Mishra, General Secretary of the National Joint Council of Action.
The government has come under intense pressure on indefinite strike of central government employees and dedided to hike the minimum pay of central government employees beyond Rs 18,000.
Accordingly, Three top ministers of Union government- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Railways Minister called NJCA leaders at Rajnath Singh’s house on June 30 and assured that the minimum pay issue is going to be referred to one of two committees that the government is setting up to rectify any anomalies in the pay commission recommendation implementation with a better and reasonable offer of pay increase and expedite the settlement at the earliest.
The decision regarding going on strike will be taken at the meeting of NJCA today but speculations were rife that the NJCA will defer the July 11 indefinite strike after government heeded to their demand of increasing minimum pay to over Rs 25,000 from Rs 18,000 fixed after considering the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.
The indefinite strike of NJCA will be tentatively postponed from July 11. If the negotiations with the government are fruitful, there will be no strike from July 11, top leaders of NJCA said before today’s meeting. However, a final decision will be taken only after consultations with all six central government employees unions, they added.
The six major Unions of the central government employees formed NJCA, including Confederation of Central Government Employees (CCGE), All India Defence Employee Federation and National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association, which had called for the indefinite strike from July 11, protesting 7th Pay Commission recommendations.