The long pending demands creating unrest among government employees in Telugu states is the common thread that runs through the discomfiture of two Telugu Chief Ministers.
The heartburn among employees is attributed to the inability of the Chief Ministers, K. Chandrasekhar Rao of Telangana and YS Jaganmohan Reddy of Andhra Pradesh, to effectively handle various issues.
Although the two governments have claimed that various issues had been amicably settled with the ‘co-operation’ extended by the employees, the employees are sore at the attitude adopted by the governments with regard to staff issues.
Government employees in Telangana have raised their voice almost unitedly against the government’s policy over their nativity. The government has allotted employees to various districts for temporary adjustment, following the setting up of 35 new districts in place of 10 districts in the erstwhile Telangana region that later became a separate state of Telangana in the backdrop of reorganisation of the combined state of Andhra Pradesh.
Initially employees had thought that they were being adjusted in another district. So, they left their native districts. They expected such movement of employees to the newly created districts of Telangana to be temporary with the possibility of returning to their native districts after spending some time there.
But the government has decided to consider those employees who had gone to other districts for the purpose of administrative adjustment permanent ones in those places. In effect, the place of working became ‘native’ district for them. This development has shocked employees.
There is now apprehension in the minds of these employees that people at their workplaces may eventually become their ‘enemies’ and show the door to them by considering them as ‘non-locals’.
The GO number 317 has contributed significantly to the unrest among employees. Several employees’ organisations are vehemently opposing this Government Order. They want it scrapped for restoring normalcy among employees. Few organisations affiliated to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS) have sided with the government on this, probably because of the pressure mounted on them.
So, the protests launched by the employees over their ‘nativity’ issue have gained momentum.
The granddaughter of legendary poet in Telangana Kaloji Narayana Rao too has raised her voice against the issue and has taken part in the employees’ stir. She tore into the attitude of the government that make employees ‘non locals’ in their places of work.
One thing that needs to be mentioned here is the perception of ‘nativity’ in the combined Andhra Pradesh state during the tenure of its last chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. When representatives of employees ‘organisations met him to address the issue of nativity, he is believed to have told them that they would face the same issue of nativity even upon bifurcation.
Some of the employees say his prediction has come true today! If the Telangana government really does not want to exacerbate matters, it must put a full stop to the issue by modifying the G.O.no. 317.
Likewise, employees in Andhra Pradesh are on a ‘war path’ against the ‘injustice’ done to them in implementing the recommendations of the Pay Revision Commission (PRC). The fitment announced by the AP government headed by YS Jaganmohan Reddy has disappointed the employees. They are crying foul over the government’s attempt to project as hike in salaries simply by adding DA.
The employees are game for a considerable increase in the basic pay. The government has projected that implementing the PRC recommendations would dent the exchequer to the tune nearly Rs 10,000 crore. It has tactfully knitted an idea of increasing the retirement age for employees from 60 to 62 years. Although the government has tried to make employees organisations fall in line, the latter have not come put openly in support of the government’s attempts.
The increase in retirement age by two more years is basically because of the government’s inability to pay retirement benefits to thousands of employees who are going to be superannuated. The state’s fiscal health is in a bad shape. Paying salaries is always far better than making payments on retirements! So, the problem of ‘fiscal burden’ has only been postponed, not solved!
Increasing the retirement age has posed another threat to the government from restive youngsters who have been eagerly waiting for the issuance of notifications for recruitment to fill government jobs.
Former chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh Dr.Marri Channa Reddy had decided to increase the retirement age for government employees from 55 to 58 in 1978. TDP’s founder and former chief minister N.T.Rama Rao, in 1983, reversed that decision and claimed that his decision was a revolutionary step in filling the administration with young blood. Unemployed youth had hailed the decision of NTR, while employees opposed it vehemently. When employees approached the court, the final outcome was in their favour.
Observers say the government’s decision on increasing the retirement age may lead to a situation where there can be no recruitment drives, including DSC (Teachers’ recruitment) as no vacancies may surface in future. Vacancies come largely upon retirements.
Employees of village secretariats across AP are on a warpath demanding declaration probation and hike in salaries. This is another headache for the government. They have continued their stir despite the state government’s assurances that their probation would be declared by June end. Amidst all this, legislators of the ruling YSR Congress party are simply staring at ‘unwanted’ developments!
As the Chief Ministers of the two Telugu states ready for the next electoral battle (2023 in TS & 2024 in AP), these intractable staff issues are causing embarrassment to both of them. #KhabarLive #hydnews