Showing posts with label JAKS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JAKS. Show all posts

JAKS Intensifies agitation, will close GTA offices from June 20

10:33 AM
DARJEELING 17 Jun 2016 Intensifying its ongoing agitation, the Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) today announced it would enforce the closure of the engineering cells of the various offices of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration from Monday till a solution to its demand for increasing the salary of Group A and B employees is arrived at.

Engineers, doctors, managers and curators, who fall under Groups A and B of the GTA, have begun an indefinite cease-work from June 13. Their demand is enhancement of salary as per an order issued in February 2016 by the finance department of the state government.

“We started the agitation on June 13 and will intensify it in phases. We have decided to close all the engineering cells of the GTA from Monday to press our demand. We know our decision could create problems for the general public and feel sorry, but we request everyone to support the agitation,” said Deepak Sharma, the JAKS spokesperson.
Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) at Lal Kothi

At the same time, Sharma said the present deadlock had eased a bit as the GTA had initiated dialogues with them. The GTA principal secretary and secretary, the deputy chief executive and Sabhasads held a meeting in the afternoon with JAKS representatives at Lal Kothi to discuss the issue. It was decided that the principal secretary would hold talks with the state government and a GTA delegation would leave for Kolkata soon.

“The deadlock has been broken and talks have started. However, we will continue our agitation of assembling outside Lal Kothi and close the engineering cells. We will also head to Kolkata as part of the GTA delegation for talks with the state government,” Sharma said.

The JAKS agitation reached its fifth day today with 147 engineers, 120 school teachers, eight doctors, two managers and one curator ceasing work. The other demand the JAKS is spearheading is the regularisation of 5,321 workers of the GTA who were originally on contractual basis with the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.

EOIC


Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan confines GTA officials to their chambers at Lal Kothi

DARJEELING 15 Jun 2016 Members of the Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS), an umbrella organisation of casual workers, today confined the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief principal secretary and a sabhasad to their chambers at Lal Kothi pressing for enhanced incentives.

More than 200 Group A and B employees comprising doctors, engineers, managers and curators of the GTA under the aegis of JAKS are on an indefinite cease-work agitation since June 13.

They have been assembling every morning before the main gate at Lal Kothi, but refuse to do any work.

Today, the agitators reached Lal Kothi around ten in the morning and headed straight into the administrative building. GTA chief principal secretary Ravinder Singh, secretary Don Bosco Lepcha   and Sabhasad Binay Tamang were in their chambers. Executive directors and executive engineers of the GTA had gathered inside for a meeting with the chief principal secretary.
Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) file photo
The officials were all taken aback when informed about the gherao by the JAKS, who by then had blocked their chambers. Visitors were also not allowed to enter the Lal Kothi building.

“It is part of our agitation to press for our demand. We confined the officials to their chambers from morning till evening. We will intensify our agitation and even stop all work of the GTA in the coming days,” warned Deepak Sharma, the JAKS spokesperson.

The officials were confined to their chambers till four in the evening and allowed to leave office only afterwards. The GTA chief principal secretary did not want to talk to the press but the Tamang said,

“The chief principal secretary should initiate dialogues with the agitators. There are several development projects on the pipeline and if the agitation continues, it can be a hindrance. One must also note that the monsoon has started in the hills and there are every chances of calamities occurring."

In February, the state finance department issued Order No.1107-F (P) dated February 25, 2016 to revise the benefits and salary of the GTA contractual workers. The order also stated that it had been  decided to enhance the remuneration by 3 per cent every year. Group C and D workers started getting their enhanced pay from April. However, the JAKS’s contention is that although Group A and B employees, presently receiving Rs13,500 to Rs21,000, are also mentioned in the state government order, they have been kept out of the enhanced pay structure.

There are 5,321 workers employed in the various departments of the GTA, who, initially, worked under the erstwhile Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) on contractual appointment for meager payments.


(EOIC)


GTA casual Group A and B workers to halt work indefinitely for increment - JAKS

10:07 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, June 9: The Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) today said casual Group A and B employees of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) will halt work indefinitely from Monday to protest the government's decision to increase the salaries of only Group C and D contract staff.

The GTA has total 19,000 workers and the 284 Group A and B staff, including doctors and engineers, who will stop work form a small but important section of the workforce.

"The salary of a driver (Group C) is now more than that of a doctor and an engineer (in Group A#). We have decided that Group A and B employees will not attend work from Monday," Kisan Gurung, general secretary of the sangathan, a frontal organisation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said.

The GTA has 5,321 contract workers in total.

"There are eight doctors and 119 engineers in Group A. In Group B, there are 147 higher secondary teachers, seven managers of tourist lodges, two lecturers in primary teacher training institute and one curator," said Gurung. "We will stop co-operating with the state unless the issue is settled."
Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) file photo
On February 25, H.K. Dwivedi, the principal secretary, state finance department, had issued a notification stating that the hike for Group C and D staff would come to force from March 1, 2016. No changes were made for Group A and B.

A Group D worker with less than 10 years experience who got Rs 7,000 a month will get Rs 10,000. Those with more than 20 years experience will get 20,000 instead of Rs 8,500. For Group C workers with less than five years experience, the salary has been made from Rs 8,500 to Rs 11,500 a month. Those with more than 20 years of experience will get Rs 22,500 instead of Rs 11,000. A Group B worker gets a minimum monthly salary of Rs 13,000. Those in Group A get Rs 22,000.

Telegraph


GTA Casual workers threaten agitation over regularization issue

12:48 PM
Darjeeling 12 May 2016 Casual workers employed in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) today threatened to start an agitation next month to pursue their long-pending demand for regularization.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS), today held a ‘pratanidhi sabha’ or a representatives’ meeting and passed a resolution to take up the regularisation issue as also to demand a raise to their salary once the Assembly results are out.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, JAKS general secretary Kishan Gurung said, “We have waited a long time on year after year of government assurances, but nothing concrete has materialised. Our members are frustrated now. We have given the state government a deadline till June of this year to address our demand; otherwise we will take to the streets.”

Today’s meeting was attended by representatives of 42 units, from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik, Bijanbari and Tukdah. The GTA presently employs 5,300 workers on temporary basis. These workers were earlier employed under the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council on meagre remunerations.
GTA Casual workers threaten agitation over regularization issue
Deepak Sharma and Kisan Gurung - spokesman for the Jamukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan - a file photo
After a series of agitations between 2008 and 2011, the then state government had assured to employ 2,372 workers on permanent basis, but that promise has failed to see the light of day. “We will write to the new government about our demand and the resolution we passed today,” Gurung said.

The GJM too, has taken up the regularisation issue in many rounds of bipartite and tripartite talks with the state and central governments as the matter finds mention in the GTA agreement and act.

Further, the JAKS wants the state government to include in practicality the group A and B employees under the enhanced pay structure. Presently, the state government has implemented a pay-band structure with a ceiling for the casual workers. In March this year, the state government enhanced the salary of the workers, but only group C and D workers have benefited. “Only C and D group workers’ salaries have increased and not of the A and B grades even though they are included under the enhanced pay structure as per the state government order,” pointed out Machendra Subba, the JAKS president.

After the enhancement, group C and D workers are getting Rs 22,500 and Rs12,000, respectively per month. Prior to that, the amounts were Rs 8,500 and Rs 6,500, respectively. Meantime, engineers, doctors, high school teachers and managers, who come under the A and B groups, get paid anywhere between Rs 13,500 and Rs 26,000.

Another resolution the casual workers discussed and passed was on the interference in the independent functioning of the GTA. The JAKS has demanded changes in the GTA agreement and act to negate unnecessary meddling by the state government on issues already transferred to the GTA so as to ensure its autonomy in the true sense of the word.

(EOIC)


GTA Casual workers welcome state govt’s salary increase order

9:46 PM

Darjeeling 29 Feb 2016 The casual workers of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have welcomed the state government’s decision to increase their salary even as they said their long pending demand for regularisation should also be addressed ahead of the Assembly election. The state government’s finance department has issued Order No.1107-F (P) dated February 25, 2016 to revise the benefits and salary of the contractual workers. More than 5,000 workers in the GTA are working on contract basis and they have long been demanding for regularisation. The workers were initially inducted into the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) on contract basis and were paid meagre amounts as remuneration.

In 2007, workers under the aegis of the Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) started an agitation demanding permanent status.

In 2011, the state government came up with a formula and put the casual workers in a pay-band structure that included employees of the A and B categories as well. Accordingly, Grade C and D casual workers who had been receiving a monthly salary of Rs2,500 started getting between Rs7,000 and Rs8,500 from 2011. Now, the state government has proposed to increase the salary of the grade C and D workers to Rs20,000 and Rs22,000, respectively, provided the workers have been working for more than 20 years. This aside, the state government has also decided to enhance the remuneration by 3 per cent every year. Welcoming the order, JAKS spokesperson Deepak Sharma said today, “Our primary demand is and will remain regularisation. But we definitely welcome the state government’s decision to increase our salary because this was the need of the hour.” The JAKS had also filed a petition in the high court seeking regularisation and the appeal has been upheld. The state government was directed to start the process of regularisation but it is yet to be implemented. “We sought the court’s help and received a positive verdict. However, the regularisation process has not yet started and we fail to understand why despite the court’s directive. It appears the state government has some plan up its sleeves and the increase in salary is just a diversion,” Sharma said. At present, the GTA has 5,321 casual workers in its payroll with grade C and D employees comprising nearly 90 per cent of the workforce. The state government’s order mentions these workers, but there are no specifications for Grade A and B employees even though they are also included in the existing pay-band structure. “We want the state government to look into this aspect also as the Grade A and B workers are being left out of the increment. We feel that since there isn’t any A and B grade in Bengal, the state government may have overlooked this aspect with regard to the hills while making the revision,” the JAKS spokesperson said.

(EOIC)

Bengal Invites GTA for Talks on Regularizing Over 5000 Casual Staff

8:01 AM

Writes: Vivek Chhetri

The Bengal government has invited the GTA for talks at Nabanna on January 29 to discuss the long-pending demand of the regularisation of jobs of over 5,000 causal employees at the hill body.

"We received a communication yesterday saying the state government had called a meeting on January 29. The home secretary, Moloy De, will chair the meeting as he is also in charge of the hill affairs department," Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha as well as an executive GTA Sabha member, said today.

"I will be attending the meeting at Nabanna (Howrah). The regularisation of casual staff is an important issue for the GTA. That is the only agenda of the meeting," he added.

The state's invitation to the GTA for the bipartite meeting has come a few days after the Morcha rejected chief minister Mamata Banerjee's call for talks on any issue.

Mamata had said in Siliguri on Thursday that if anyone had problems, they should meet her for talks and there should not be agitation in the Darjeeling hills.

The next day, Morcha president Bimal Gurung said he would meet the chief minister only if she declared that she would put an end to the state government's alleged "divide and rule" policy in the hills and agreed to talk on Gorkhaland.

At the moment, there are 5,321 casual employees at the GTA and since 2007, they have been demanding that they be made permanent. According to the Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan, which is an affiliate of the Morcha, the hill body has now 4,011 vacancies.

On May 14 last year, the high court had asked the state government to convene a meeting with the GTA in four months to decide how it would set in motion the process of absorbing the casual employees of the GTA.

In the order, Justice Sanjib Banerjee also told the state to allow two representatives of the JAKS, the sole association of casual employees at the GTA, to attend the meeting on the regularisation.

But soon after, the state filed an appeal with the division bench and the directive was stayed.

On September 17, 2009, following a hunger strike, the state government had given a written assurance to the JAKS.

A fax sent by the then home secretary Ardhendu Sen had stated: "The government has authorised the DGHC to start regularisation process against the sanctioned vacancies in all categories which it is authorised to do as per the existing act and the recruitment rules there under."

The fast was lifted following the assurance. The state government, however, went back on its assurance.

In 2011, the government decided to do away with the six-month contract system for the casual staff.

Source: Telegraph

Morcha not sincere about the increment and regularization of casual workers - Harka

8:30 AM

Kalimpong, Jan. 12: Harka Bahadur Chhetri today alleged that GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung's decision to provide an annual increment of 15 per cent to the 5,000-odd casual employees of the hill body and initiate steps to regularise their jobs lacked sincerity and was nothing but an attempt to pacify an angry work force.

The Kalimpong MLA asked what had prevented the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha from regularising the jobs of the GTA staff in the three-and-half years it had been at the GTA helm.

"If it had the intent and was sincere, it should have been able to do the job by now. In any case, what does the GTA want to do: give the staff a hike or regularise their jobs? If the jobs can be regularised, where is the need for a hike? The Morcha is thoroughly confused," he said.

The 5,321 casual employees of the GTA get between Rs 5,000 and Rs 21,000 a month.

Yesterday, Gurung in a meeting with the Morcha-affiliate Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) in Darjeeling had announced a 15 per cent hike in the salaries of the GTA casual staff and also promised to take some positive steps with regards to their demand for job regularisation.

Chhetri said there was no evidence of the Morcha pursuing the matter with any degree of sincerity and this was a desperate attempt to keep its flock together.

"Where is the evidence of the Morcha pursuing the case of the casual staff with the state government? If it has, let it be made public. This (yesterday's announcement) is nothing but attempts to pacify people who are angry. The casual workers are angry and so are the voluntary teachers. It is a decision taken without much thought by someone who doesn't know what to do," said Chhetri.

The Kalimpong MLA, who quit the Morcha in September, has been drawing good crowd in different parts of the hills in the lead up to the formal launch of his new party on January 31.

Source Telegraph

GTA Promised 15% Increment to Casual Employees and Regularization

8:21 AM

Writes: Vivek Chhetri 

The GTA has decided to provide an increment of 15 per cent per annum to the 5,000-odd casual employees of the hill body and also promised to step up its efforts to regularise their jobs.

The GTA yesterday held a meeting with members of the Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan, an affiliate of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, where Bimal Gurung made the announcement.

After the meeting, Machendra Subba, the president of the JAKS, said: "The meeting, which was chaired by GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung, was very positive. He has announced an increment of 15 per cent to all ad-hoc employees and more importantly, has decided to take all possible measures to start our regularisation process."

At the moment, the causal employees were getting an increment of 5 per cent annually. "Our annual increment will not be 20 per cent following today's announcement. However, the more important issue of us is regularisation of jobs and the hill body has decided to take positive steps," said Subba.

Gurung reportedly told representatives of the JAKS that the GTA would immediately write to the state government to start the regularisation process. "Bimal Gurung has assured us that the letter will be written within three or four days, after which the GTA will wait for 21-days for a response from the state government," said Subba.

"If the government fails to give any response, Gurung has assured us that the GTA will start the process of regularisation by exploring different avenues," said Subba.

The different avenues, however, was not immediately known.

Technically, the state's concurrence is most important as regularisation of jobs entails financial implication.

"The GTA has also decided to send a delegation to Calcutta to meet state officials on this issue. The delegation will include members of our organisation," said Subba.

The GTA Act has empowered the hill body to recruit employees into B, C and D categories but the recruitment has to be done through a sub-ordinate selection board. The board has not yet been formed.

At the moment, there are 5,321 casual employees in the GTA. The hill body has 4,011 vacancies, according to Subba.

"Even Calcutta High Court has given us a favourable ruling on the regularisation issue and we hope justice will not be denied to us," said Subba.

On May 14 last year, the court had issued a directive, asking the state government to convene a meeting with the GTA within four months to decide how it would set in motion the process of absorbing the casual employees of the GTA. In the order, Justice Sanjib Banerjee had asked the state to allow two representatives of the JAKS, the sole association of casual employees at the GTA, at the meeting to decide the regularisation process.

But soon after, the state filed an appeal with the division bench of the high court against the directive.

The casual workers of the GTA have been demanding job regularisation since 2007.

On September 17, 2009, following a hunger strike by them, the state government had given a written assurance to the JAKS. A fax sent by the then home secretary Ardhendu Sen had stated: "The government has authorised the DGHC to start regularisation process against the sanctioned vacancies in all categories which it is authorised to do as per the existing act and the recruitment rules there under."

The fast was lifted following the assurance. However, the government backtracked and said the promise had been given under duress.

In 2009, when the DGHC existed, there were 3,472 sanctioned posts but none of the casual employees had been made permanent. The fate of the remaining workers - there were around 6,800 workers at the DGHC then - was to be decided later.

In 2011, the state government decided to do away with the six-month contract system from August 1 and included employees who had completed 10 years of services under a "pay- band", where they would serve till the age of 60 and would be entitled to Rs 1 lakh on retirement.

The salaries of staff in all four categories, A, B, C and D, were almost doubled. For those who had not completed 10 years in service, the salary was increased by 75 per cent.

Subba said at the moment, the lowest salary of a contract worker was Rs 5000 while the highest salary was Rs 21000.

Source Telegraph

 
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