D ward workers protest against BMC for not resolving salary issues
Desperate workers will protest against the BMC's indifference to resolving their salary issue, at D ward today
Forget the one-month additional salary promised by the municipal commissioner to safai kamgaar who went to Sangli and Kolhapur for flood relief work, most conservancy workers from D ward are not getting even their regular salary. A dispute between senior staff responsible to update their attendance is taking a toll on the salary of fourth-grade staff of D ward, a VIP ward which includes Malabar Hill and Tardeo. Thirteen conservancy workers from the ward had gone to Sangli and Kolhapur for flood-relief work.
Diwali is around the corner and while most municipal workers have plans to celebrate it, sweepers and other fourth grade staff from D ward are running from pillar to post to get their regular salary.
Around 500 of the 1,968 conservancy workers in the ward got salary as low as Rs 290 in September. This includes workers who toiled in Sangli and Kolhapur in a challenging situation. Alongwith them, in the past two-three months, other civic staff have also received low salaries. In May this year many BMC staffers had received zero salary.
The municipal commissioner had declared an additional month's salary for staff who worked in Sangli and Kolhapur. Thirteen workers had gone from D ward to the flood-hit districts. Sanjay Gaikwad was one of them. "I received only Rs 4,022 instead of Rs 21,000. I haven't got nine months salary from last Diwali as there is a technical issue with the system. For the past two months I got my regular salary but this month I got only Rs 4,022," said Gaikwad. He is sure that the salary was cut due to non-attendance in August when he went to Sangli. "I worked for 10 days in Sangli market area. I was even hospitalised due to a stomach illness. The BMC declared one-month's extra salary for us but what about the regular salary?" he asked.
Suhas Kambale, D ward staffer
Two other workers, Manoj Makwana and Suhas Kambale, who were part of the relief team, also haven't got the full salary for September. Shanta Algotar, a labourer, got only Rs 207, Bala Kamble, a scavenger, received only Rs 548.
Suhas Kambale, who worked in Sangli for 10 days said, "I have not got my complete salary for the past two months. In August I received 50 per cent of the salary. Despite several requests and complaints, I haven't yet got the rest of the salary. This time 40 per cent salary has been cut. How can we run our house?"
Workers to protest
"The municipal commissioner assured us on August 28, that the administration will work to improve the biometric attendance system till November and until then the BMC will give full salary. The dispute between the concerned staff is responsible for the mess. Now workers will protest on Saturday at D ward office," said Pravin Manjalkar, member of the Municipal Majdoor Union.
"Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi is serious about the issue. Workers will get their full salary and action will be taken against concerned officers if found guilty," said a senior officer from the BMC. Incidentally, Pardeshi attended a felicitation programme for BMC workers on Friday at Damodar Hall, Parel.
'Salary will be deposited'
Though the municipal commissioner approved the extra salary for workers on August 20 and a circular for the same had been issued on September 9, workers haven't got it as yet. As per the circular, those who worked for eight days will get 15 days salary and those who worked for more than eight days will get one month's salary. "Around 650 workers from BMC went to flood-hit districts. The concerned officer has to sent workers' names and number of days he/ she worked there. It is taking time. The extra salary will be deposited next month," said an officer from the Solid Waste Management department.
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