Local level staff protest ‘unfair’ provisionsThe government is reluctant to fulfil the demand of local level staff for similar provisions as civil servants in their adjustment process.
The government is reluctant to fulfil the demand of local level staff for similar provisions as civil servants in their adjustment process.
At the same time, it has been receptive of the concerns of civil servants over their career growth once they are adjusted to the provincial and local administrations.
During a meeting between the representatives of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration and trade unions of local level staff on Sunday, ministry officials categorically rejected the demand for one-level promotion for those serving five years at one level.
As per the Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance, a federal government worker adjusted to the provincial or local level is supposed to be adjusted to a rank higher by one level if s/he has served five years or more in one rank of civil service.
For instance, if one has worked as a section officer for five years or more, s/he is eligible to be adjusted to the eighth level. However, one who has served less than five years will have to work at the seventh level with the benefit of two additional pay grades.
The ordinance denies the perks to the local level employees recruited by the erstwhile municipalities and Village Development Committees. As per the ordinance, local governments give them letters of adjustment for whatever post they are currently holding.
This has infuriated local level staff across the country as they are protesting by halting the services and wearing black armbands. A dialogue was held at Singha Durbar on Sunday amid the protests.
“We could not agree to their demand as promoting them to a higher level would be against the spirit of the ordinance,” said a senior Federal Affairs Ministry official privy to the meeting. “We told them that the government could not address their demand for promotion immediately but we’ll consider their concerns while drafting necessary laws.”
The official, however, said that the issues of local level employees should be dealt by the local federal unit concerned, instead of the central government. Local level trade union leaders said the talks were unproductive even if they had not broken down.
“The federal government has not been positive towards our demand but they have sought more time to consider our demand,” said Ram Prasad Poudel, general secretary at the Local Level Employees Union Nepal, a member of the dialogue team.
Poudel said they would continue their protests until their demands are addressed. The government has already started adjusting local level employees by issuing them letters.
On the other hand, the federal government has assured the protesting civil servants that they carrier path would not be blocked even after they are adjusted to the provincial and local levels.
On Sunday, Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit assured the representatives of the official trade union that the government would allow them to return to the federal civil service through the Federal Civil Service Act. “There has been general understanding that a certain share of vacancies in the federal service would be filled through staff from the provincial and local services,” said a senior official.
The Official Trade Union of Civil Servants has forwarded a 22-point demand that includes door for the adjusted employees to rejoin the federal civil service. According to the ordinance, the civil servants once adjusted to the provincial and local levels can only go back to the federal service through open competition with civil servants from the federal service.