Salaries have been deducted for almost 70,000 employees, including Class 4 workers and deputy municipal commissioner-rank officers, of which 20,000 had to be happy with no pay in April. Employees have now threatened to carry out protests and agitations if the deductions are not reversed within a week.
The employees who have had to face deductions have blamed the department responsible for handling and keeping track of attendance/leaves of employees. Most of the affected workers claim they were assigned poll duty, and blame the negligence of the department for not registering their attendance. They have also alleged that the biometric system has issues, and the leaves availed by employees are not updated in the system regularly, due to which the salary deductions have taken place.
According to the Municipal Mazdoor Union (MMU) about 20,000 employees went without any salary in April, most of whom anyway receive a salary of about 10,000 to 20,000 only. Such class 4 workers, who already receive low salaries, have had to face a financial crisis, as some of them are the only earning members of their families. Union representatives have been demanding refund of the sum deducted before 12 May.
Most of the affected employees claim that they were sent on election duty and were therefore unable to register their attendance in the official biometric system. The ones who were on leave claim that their leaves were not updated in the system. They believe that it is a system-generated error. According to the employees paying no salary at all is against labour laws, and that they should get at least a third of their salaries.
Of the approx. one lakh strong workforce, about 11,000 were sent on election duty last month. Approx. Rs 350 crore is spent on disbursing salaries to the employees of BMC. But, in April, the figure came down to Rs 30 crore. Adjustments are now expected to be made in the May salaries.