Various trade unions had announced an indefinite strike on July 11 to protest over the pay hike, in the 7th Pay Commission, which was declared last week. Following the threat, the central government is "considering" increasing the minimum pay, Mint reported.
Central government employees who were disappointed with the minimum salary set at Rs. 18,000 in the seventh pay commission are demanding that the minimum salary be set at Rs. 26,000.
"They have fixed the minimum wage at a meagre Rs. 18,000 in the 7th Pay Commission. In the last pay commission, the basic pay was Rs. 7,000. They multiplied it by 2.57 (according to the fitment formula) and came to Rs. 18,000. We are demanding 3.68 fitment formula," Shivgopal Mishra, General Secretary of National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), which is a confederation of several government staff unions was quoted as saying by Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).
According to sources quoted by the agency, the central government is considering increasing the minimum pay up to Rs. 20,000 and has indicated that the Rs. 26,000 figure demanded by the associations is not feasible.
"Increasing the minimum pay upto Rs. 26,000 as demanded by the employees union is not feasible in the present situation but the government is trying to find a way out," a government official was quoted as saying by IANS seperately.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and railway minister Suresh Prabhu reportedly met the representatives of employee unions late on Thursday and have assured them that their demands will be looked into.
"Three top ministers called us and we met at Rajnath Singh's house for two hours till 11pm last night. We have been assured that the minimum wage issue is going to be referred to one of two committees that the government is setting up to rectify any anomalies in the pay commission recommendations' implementation," Mishra was quoted as saying by Mint.
The NJCA council claims a membership of 3.3 million and this includes workers of Indian Railways as well.
However, with the assurance of the government of looking into the matter, the trade unions remain divided on whether to go ahead with the strike as planned on July 11, or to call it off. The unions would meet again on July 6 to decide the further course of action.
[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]