Amaravati, Jan 19 (IANS) Government employees in Andhra Pradesh have threatened to go on strike to press for their demand of roll back of the Government Order (GO) relating to implementation of the Pay Revision Commission (PRC) recommendations.
The employees on Wednesday attended the offices wearing black badges while some protesters among teachers set afire the copies of the GO.
Leaders of Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee (AP JAC) and AP JAC Amaravati will be holding a meeting later in the day to chalk out future course of action. They said if necessary, the employees will go on strike to press for their demands.
Stating that the pay revision announced by the government is far below the Interim Relief (IR), AP JAC chairman Bandi Srinivasa Rao and AP JAC Amaravati chairman Bopparaju Venkateswarlu demanded that the government continue paying IR and also release the arrears of Dearness Allowance (DA).
They said there is no instance in the state's history of a pay revision being lower than IR.
Following the announcement made by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy early this month, the government on Monday issued a GO for a 23 per cent hike in the basic pay. The employees had been receiving 27 per cent IR for the last few months.
"Let the government continue paying earlier salaries with 27 per cent IR along with DA. We don't want pay revision," said Srinivasa Rao. He said the employees were even ready to go on strike for their demand.
The employees' associations also demanded that the Chief Minister invite them for talks again.
Both Srinivasa Rao and Venkateswarlu made it clear that their protest will continue till the government rolls back the GO. The government would be responsible for the inconvenience caused to the public, they said.
They said the chief minister had promised 23 per cent fitment but the salaries were far below the IR. A Central government scheme was introduced doing away with the House Rent Allowance (HRA). The government had promised five DAs, but while implementing the same, it had done away with other benefits, they said.
They also strongly opposed the government's proposal to implement PRC every 10 years against the existing five years.
Secretariat Employees' Association president Venkatarami Reddy also voiced unhappiness over the GO and said that association would seek an appointment with the chief minister to apprise him of the situation.
The opposition parties have also slammed the YSRCP government for what they called injustice to government employees. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and member of state Legislative Council Paruchuri Ashok Babu termed the GO "pay reverse orders".
He asked the leaders of the employees' JAC and associations to resign from their posts following their failure to ensure a better deal in the PRC. He said these leaders should have rejected the 23 per cent fitment and continued their agitation, but they had accepted it and lost the trust of 14 lakh employees.
Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president S. Sailajanath alleged that the government denied employees their rightful benefits under the PRC.
Sailajanath said it was unfair to deny the employees what had been promised to them after making them wait for more than two years.
He said the government employees were angry for being let down, and would teach a fitting lesson to the government.
The chief minister had announced a 23.39 per cent hike in salaries on January 7 and had appealed to employees to accept the same in view of the financial problems faced by the state due to Covid-19 pandemic. He had also declared that pending DA instalment arrears would be paid along with the January salary.