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Clerical staff suspend strike after govt assurance

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Jammu, May 08: Workers in clerical cadre of different government departments in Jammu and Kashmir today announced suspension of their three-week-long strike hoping the state government would shortly address their long-pending demand for removal of pay anomalies.

They however threatened the resume their pen down strike after May 29 if the government fails to issue an order within the given time frame.

The clerical staff went on an indefinite strike on April 16 which badly affected work in government offices across the state.

Leaders of various clerical cadre bodies formed a coordination committee to press for their demand of removal of pay anomalies of clerical cadre by giving grade pay of Rs 4,000-Rs 6,000 to junior assistant, Rs 4,500- Rs 7,000 to senior assistant and Rs 5,500-Rs 9000 to head assistant and junior stenographers notionally with effect from January 1, 1996 and monetarily with effect from February 19, 2003.

Leader of all department’s clerical staff association Babu Hussain Malik said, “We have resumed the work yesterday after suspending the strike till May 29 on the assurance of the Finance Minister Syed Altaf Bukari that our demand for removal of pay anomalies will be addressed within three weeks.”

Malik, flanked by over a dozen other leaders of the coordination committee which held parleys with the finance minister in Srinagar on Sunday, said, “We hope the exact roll-out of the framework for the issuance of order for removal of pay anomalies of clerical cadre will be completed within the time frame in which all necessary modalities will be worked out.”

“After the firm commitment from the minister and in the larger interest of public, the coordination committee suspended the agitation till May 29 and if the government fails to issue order within the given time frame, the committee will be left with no other option except to resume the pen down strike,” he said.

Malik said they were forced to go on strike as the successive governments failed to address their demands despite directions from the high court in 2015.

He said several committees were formed over the years but they failed to submit their reports till date.

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