Salary woes across the country

Employees have been protesting against non-payment of salaries in various sectors across India

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In Kerala, aided school teachers are paying a heavy price for a technical snag. The Service and Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala (SPARK) has developed some glitch due to which teachers haven’t been able to withdraw their salaries for the February-May period. As a result, their scales will not be revised when the revision is implemented.

The aided school teachers complain of SPARK being unable to deduct provident fund. More than a 1,000 teachers from various government-aided schools will, in all likelihood not receive their salaries from January 2022.

With pandemic-related mobility restrictions, the teachers are unable to meet the concerned officials and get their issues resolved.

Elsewhere in the state, members of the COVID brigade who had been taken on to work at government-run health centres, on contract, ever since the pandemic struck, have been protesting their termination from service. They have been unjustly terminated without their dues being cleared.

This has happened because the Centre has stopped contributing 50 per cent of their salaries and not to renew the contract of about 20,000 members, including doctors, nurses and attenders. As a result, most will be rendered jobless by the end of October. Therefore, the brigade is actively protesting demanding that their dues be cleared.

In Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, all 410 members are boycotting duty in protest today, that is, October 11, 2021. Similar protests will be held in other medical college hospitals as well against this unfair termination of members who have been diligently serving COVID patients, sometimes even in the absence of permanent staff.

Meanwhile, some staff members of SpiceJet, who went on a strike at the Delhi airport to protest against the reduction of salaries and delayed salary disbursement, have been pacified. Ajay Singh, chairman and MD, SpiceJet, has intervened to resolve all issues and has assured that full salaries are being disbursed now, and on time. According to him, the airline has been able to establish a new cargo business, which has helped to lessen the liabilities of the Company to a great extent. The new ‘interim fixed salary system’ for captains and first officers introduced recently has a fixed pay structure that reflects fixed salary components. It will ensure a fixed minimum salary to all existing pilots. Those who fly more than the specific minimum hours will be paid overtime.

In Punjab, about 129 doctors, 500 paramedics and about the same number of class 4 employees have been complaining about non-payment of salaries. These doctors and other staff were merged into the Health and Family Welfare Department, from the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats.

However, they have been working without salaries for the past four months.

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