Employees take mass casual leave, Sectt deserted

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IMPHAL, Oct 25: On account of the mass casual leave taken by employees today demanding implementation of the 7th Pay, normal functions of Government offices were crippled.

Even the Chief Minister’s Secretariat was affected while the Civil Secretariat which is said to be the backbone of State administration wore a deserted look.

Meanwhile, police arrested five employees from the gate of Secretariat North Block at around 10.30 am today.

Taking strong exception to the arrest, representatives of MGSF sought an appointment with the Chief Secretary. Even though they waited till late evening for a meeting with Chief Secretary RR Rashmi, Rashmi reportedly snubbed them and left his office.

Responding to the call of the Manipur Government Services Federation (MGSF), vast majority of State Government employees stayed away from their respective offices and their office rooms remained locked.

Apart from department sections, office rooms of IAS and MCS officers located in the Civil Secretariat were also found locked.

In view of the mass casual leave notified in advance, many Ministers too did not attend their offices.

This reporter visited the North Block and the South Block of the Civil Secretariat this afternoon. Office chambers of most Ministers and office rooms of almost all bureaucrat officers were found closed.

A few Ministers came to their office but they went back soon after they found they most employees were absent.

Some employees who were found attending their offices were persuaded by MGSF members to leave.

The mass casual leave had severe impact on the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. With most of the employees staying away from their offices, urgent works were done by staff hand picked by Ministers and not officially appointed.

As for those few officers who attended their office under compelling circumstances, there was no staff to receive even telephone calls.

It was not only at Imphal. All the Government offices located at other district headquarters were also crippled by the mass casual leave. Not long after MGSF announced its decision to take mass casual leave, the Chief Secretary wrote to the MGSF president to call off the proposed agitation. The Chief Secretary further informed that the fitment committee has been working on 7th Pay modalities, revised pay scale etc.

However, the MGSF refused to call off their proposed agitation contending that the Chief Secretary’s letter did not give any definite time frame for implementation of the 7th Pay.
In the meantime, the fitment committee reportedly sought 10 days’ time to work out 7th Pay modality and fixed a revised pay scale. In response, MGSF gave 20 days.

During this period, there will not be any agitation. As such, the proposed cease work strike scheduled on November 2 has been called off temporarily.

However, if the fitment committee fails to take up any concrete action during these 20 days, MGSF would be constrained to undertake more intense modes of agitation, informed a source.

A letter signed by MGSF general secretary Purujit Lairikyengbam was submitted to the Chief Secretary to this effect today.

Source: The Sangai Express

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