Kathmandu, October 31
Agitating temporary civil servants today demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration at Singha Durbar with various demands, including automatic permanent status, additional perks and dignified exit for those laid off.
The temporary civil servants resorted to agitation after the government decided to lay off 8,000 of them with effect from the beginning of the fiscal (July 17), offering them three months salary. Those laid off include computer operators, office assistants and drivers.
Kumar Raut, central vice-president of the All Nepal Government Temporary, Contract and Daily Wage Workers Union and coordinator of the agitation, said laying off staff, some of who had served more than 20 years, by offering just three months salary was an injustice and they would not accept it.
He said those eligible to work should be reinstated if there were vacant posts and if there were no vacant posts then those ineligible should be given a dignified exit ensuring that they could make a living even after losing their jobs.
“What we are demanding is implementation of the Cabinet decision of 4 May 2017, whereby a government employee who has served at least five years gets one-month salary and 15 days treatment expenses per year of service when they live,” said Raut.
The union has warned of stern protest if the government fails to address their concerns in talks scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00pm.
Talks between agitating temporary civil servants and the government held at the ministry this evening agreed to take the issue to a logical conclusion in tomorrow’s talks. The union has agreed to postpone its agitation until the talks.
Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, secretary at the ministry, said the government had to lay off temporary staff after the bureaucracy was reorganised following the adoption of federalism. Various ministries have been merged and divisions, committees, commissions and projects have either been scrapped or have been placed under provincial governments after the formation of provincial and local governments.
“This had led to redundancy of posts that needed to be scrapped. As a result, we have the challenge of managing around 20,000 temporary or contract staff,” he said. “So in the first phase, the government decided to lay off 8,000 such staff by offering them three months salary with effect from the beginning of the current fiscal.”
Thapaliya, however, said the government was positive about the demands put forth by the agitating temporary civil servants.
According to Thapaliya, the government is ready to offer three months salary to those laid off on the basis of raised minimum pay of Rs 13,000 per month and more to those who have served for more than 10 years, and adjust the eligible ones in provincial and local governments.
“Hopefully, we will reach a conclusion in tomorrow’s talks,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on November 01, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.