In a major benefit to over 1.18 lakh fixed-pay employees in Gujarat, the state government on Wednesday approved a pay hike ranging between 63 and 124%, which will reflect in their salaries from February 1.
“The decision to hike the salaries of the fixed-pay employees, as per the pay matrix of 7th Pay Commission, was taken in the cabinet meeting in Gandhinagar (on Wednesday,” Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said in a press conference.
The decision comes following protests by the fixed-pay employees. The Supreme Court is also in the process of hearing the case of fixed-pay employees regarding pay disparity.
“As many as 1.18 lakh fixed-pay workers belonging to different cadres of class-3 and class-4 will get a salary hike ranging from 63 per cent to 124 per cent. The increase is based on the pay matrix suggested by the 7th Pay Commission,” Patel added.
Some of those who would benefit from this pay hike include, vidya sahayaks (assistant government teachers), Police Sub Inspectors, constables, clerks, nurses and drivers.
In addition, the five-year term served by these fixed-pay workers will now be considered as part of their regular service and it will be taken into consideration while awarding promotions, he said.
The fixed-pay regime was introduced by the Gujarat government in 2006, wherein such direct recruits for these posts were only entitled to get a fixed salary for a period of five years.
As per the provisions set at that time, such fixed-pay employees would be inducted as regular-pay government employees only after completing five years, a tenure not to be taken into consideration upon regular induction and subsequent promotions.
“Now, this five-year tenure will be considered as their regular service and will be taken into account during promotions,” Patel informed.
As per the new pay structure, the lowest cadre employees will get a salary hike of 63 per cent, while those of highest cadre (among fixed-pay employees) will get 124 per cent hike.
As per an official release, there are four cadres of fixed-pay employees in Gujarat. Those having the lowest salary of Rs 10,500 per month at present, will now get Rs 16,224 (63 per cent) while those drawing highest salary of Rs 17,000 will now get Rs 38,090 per month (124 per cent).
Patel said, the government may have to bear an extra financial burden of Rs 1,372 crore every year to implement the hike, which will come into effect from next month.
On January 1, thousands of fixed-pay employees and contractual workers under the banner of Jan Adhikar Manch held demonstrations at Gandhinagar demanding parity in salary and abolition of fixed-pay regime. However, after getting a positive response from Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on January 4, the workers called off the agitation.