If the party’s spectacular win in the just-concluded bypolls and the bail to its vice-president Rajat Majumdar provided relief to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the upcoming meeting with the Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Federation would likely be a sore. The reason: State employees are set to raise their demand for the dearness allowance (DA) not being in tandem with their counterparts in the Centre.
The core committee meeting of the federation, affiliated to the Trinamool, will be held on February 20. The meeting is set to be a stormy one, as state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee — in charge of the federation — will have to preside over the session largely comprising belligerent employees.
The state government employees continue to raise the issue of dearness allowance not being on par with the central government. At this point, while the Bengal government staff draw a DA of 65 per cent, the Centre pays its employees 107 per cent — a difference of 42 per cent, which will increase to 49 to 50 per cent when the January revision of DA for central employees is cleared.
“A situation has come when any day one of us can be lynched by our colleagues. People are seething with anger. We have written to the Chief Minister seeking her appointment but she is listless. The party (TMC) now wants us to convene the meeting of the core committee of our organisation since it needs our help and co-operation for the coming civic elections. But unless we can give the employees some of what they demand, there will be large scale desertions from our rank and file,’’ a senior office bearer of the federation said.
The federation has about 2 lakh members among the government employees. Other members of the federation say they were were under constant pressure from the employees. “We agree that the DA should be increased and the government should set up a pay commission,” Biswajit Bhattacharya, member of the core committee, said.
Others, at the same time, are hopeful. “We have full faith in Didi (Mamata) and she will do something. We are certain,” Dibyendu Roy, convenor of the federation, said.
The state education minister who is also the TMC spokesman and who supervises the work of the employees, says he has nothing to do it. “What do I do about the DA?” he shot back when asked to comment. The last such meeting of the federation had taken place on October 27 last year.