Employees of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) have resolved not to accept the one month salary that is being provided to them later this month as they wait for 30 months’ worth of arrears to be paid to them.
Angered at the work of the GHADC Secretary, employees have also demanded her transfer from the council, failing which they will launch agitations.
The decision not to accept the salary comes after a meeting between employees of the council held yesterday. More than 320 employees attended the meeting.
Council employees had earlier threatened an indefinite strike over the clearance of their pending salaries. However, the announcement of the GHADC Administrator to clear one month’s salary to employees, albeit at the old scale from 2018, has further angered them.
Miffed by the development, the Non Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) has refused their salary, saying that this was a like a knife in their backs.
The NGEA demanded that the employees be paid at least three months’ salaries from the money the GHADC is to receive from the central government.
“They are only paying us one month’s dues and that too at the old scale. What are we supposed to do with this largesse?” NGEA Joint Secretary Flaming Marak asked sarcastically. “We refuse to accept the salaries being provided at the old scale despite our desperation.”
According to the employees, a revision of salaries, at par with the state’s fifth pay commission, had been made by the former Secretary through letters to the employees.
“While the rest of the state was given the revision from April 2017, we were to start with the revised scale in April 2018. However, despite the promise, they still want to pay us at the earlier scale. This is unacceptable to us,” said NGEA President Senora Johny Arengh.
Yesterday, the District Council Affairs (DCA) Department of the state government released an amount of Rs 18.2 crore from the Centre meant for the GHADC but this will not help in aiding the employees as it has been earmarked for developmental activities.
“We were hoping that the government would understand our plight and use the money to relieve us of our suffering. We have lost trust in the government in helping us resolve our situation,” the NGEA added.
It stated that they did not mind the money being spent for developmental work but demanded that they be paid at least three months’ salary from the GHADC’s funds. If their demands are not met by tomorrow the employees have resolved to agitate.
The situation for most employees is such that they have pending dues in almost all aspects of their lives.
“Shops have stopped giving us credit since we have not been able to clear our old dues. Some of us have not been able to clear our children’s education dues as a result of which even last year’s results have not been given to us. Now we have the holiday season coming and we are at our wits end,” said one of the employees on the situation.