Employee associations in W. Bengal demand higher DA; to strike today

The Finance Department has, however, warned that employees who remain absent from work will be issued show-cause notice for ‘unauthorised absence’

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West Bengal government has warned employee unions / associations that strict action will be taken against those who remain absent from work. The employee associations in the State have been threatening to go on strike today, 10 March 2023 — despite requests to cancel the protest — if their demand for increase in dearness allowance (DA) is not met.

The strike call by the Joint Forum of State Government Employees will see participation by staff across the State, including government offices, schools and colleges. However, on 9 March 2023, the Finance Department had made it very clear in its circular that leave will not be permitted to any state government employees on 10 March, unless it is a medical or family emergency or if the leave has been already sanctioned earlier. All education institutions and state government offices and establishments aided by the state government have been ordered to remain open today.

Those who stay away from work will be issued a show-cause notice, as per the circular. That means, those who choose to join the strike today or fail to report for duty will be treated as absent without authorisation and will be required to explain why they should not be penalised for their absence. Not only will they not be paid any salary for the day, their absence will be considered as break of service.

However, it looks like the circular has failed to deter the protestors.

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