The employees of the Manipur Secretariat have called off their indefinite cease work strike held under the umbrella of Manipur Secretariat Services Association (MSSA) with immediate effect with the signing of a 10-point memorandum of understanding with the state government.
The secretariat employees launched the strike demanding nine points charter of demands that included cancelling the order number ESTT-201/148/2020-GAD-GAD, dated 02/08/2022 about the transfer/ utilisation of secretariat assistant (GAD), M Romen Singh to Manipur Bhawan, Kolkata.
The employees also demanded payment of grade pay at the rate Rs 1,800 in respect to group-D secretariat employees; to pay the grade pay in respect of the post of caretaker at the rate Rs 4,200; to pay the grade pays in respect of ASO/SO and PS at the rate Rs 4,600 and Rs 4,800 respectively.
They also demanded to issue orders on payment of DA at the rate of Central government with effect from January 2023 as agreed upon; to immediately discontinue the engagement / re engagement of retired employees; to expedite the whole promotion process to immediately fill-up all vacant posts; to immediately release/clear all the retirement benefits and pension and to scrap the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
In connection with the demands, the MSSA had submitted a memorandum to the chief minister and with the failure on the part of the government to give a positive response, the MSSA launched the indefinite cease work strike on September 5.
In continuation of the strike, the employees staged a sit-in-protest at the secretariat campus where on Thursday a team of police including SP, Imphal West, Ksh Shivakanta detained a total of 53 protesters from the secretariat office, Babupara, Imphal.
The detainees were carried to Sajiwa jail, but due to the absence of warrant issue the detainees were kept in front of Sajiwa jail till late evening.
On the evening of the same day, a meeting with MSSA was held at 3:30 under the chairmanship of consumer affairs food and public distribution (CAFPD) L Susildro Meitei at his office chamber located in the north block of the secretariat office, Babupara.
During the meeting, the demands raised by the association were deliberated upon in detail in the presence of Special Secretary (DP), Secretary (GAD), Additional Secretary (FD), Joint Secretary (DP), Joint Secretary (FD/PIC).
After detailed deliberation, MSSA and the government agreed to sign a 10-point memorandum of understanding (MOU) which was signed jointly by the president, MSSA, Purujit Larikyengbam; general secretary MSSA, S Rabi Singh; joint secretary, FD/PIC, Regina Hongray; special secretary/ DP, N Geoffrey and secretary, GAD, A Michael.
The MOU included the proposal for upgradation of grade pay to Rs 1,800 in respect of Group D Secretariat employees which will be examined along with those of all other Group D employees of the State Government; GAD will initiate steps for amendment of service rules in respect of the post of Caretaker of GAD; the matter for upgradation of Grade Pays in respect of A.S.O./S.O./ P.S. will be examined further; FD/PIC will take steps regarding payment of DA at the Central government rates as per decision taken earlier; Government has already discontinued engagement / re-engagement of retired employees except under exceptional circumstances.
Both parties agreed to drop the demand at agenda number 7 (to expedite the whole promotion process to immediately fill-up all vacant posts) as the matter is sub-judice; finance department is already processing for adoption of the Central Civil Services (Implementation of National Pension Scheme) Rules, 2021; the concern of the association regarding demand at agenda no. 1 was noted; the State Government will release the strikers immediately and the association agreed to call off the ongoing cease work strike with immediate effect.
With the signing of the MOU the detainees were released unconditionally in the late evening on the same day.