Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, June 9: The Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan today said casual Group A and B employees of the GTA will halt work indefinitely from Monday to protest the government’s decision to increase the salaries of only Group C and D contract staff.
The GTA has total 19,000 workers and the 284 Group A and B staff, including doctors and engineers, who will stop work form a small but important section of the workforce.
“The salary of a driver (Group C) is now more than that of a doctor and an engineer (in Group A#). We have decided that Group A and B employees will not attend work from Monday,” Kisan Gurung, general secretary of the sangathan, a frontal organisation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said.
The GTA has 5,321 contract workers in total.
“There are eight doctors and 119 engineers in Group A. In Group B, there are 147 higher secondary teachers, seven managers of tourist lodges, two lecturers in primary teacher training institute and one curator,” said Gurung. “We will stop co-operating with the state unless the issue is settled.”
On February 25, H.K. Dwivedi, the principal secretary, state finance department, had issued a notification stating that the hike for Group C and D staff would come to force from March 1, 2016. No changes were made for Group A and B.
A Group D worker with less than 10 years experience who got Rs 7,000 a month will get Rs 10,000. Those with more than 20 years experience will get 20,000 instead of Rs 8,500. For Group C workers with less than five years experience, the salary has been made from Rs 8,500 to Rs 11,500 a month. Those with more than 20 years of experience will get Rs 22,500 instead of Rs 11,000. A Group B worker gets a minimum monthly salary of Rs 13,000. Those in Group A get Rs 22,000.