Port Blair, June 11: Mr. Abhay Kumar, the President of LOTE (Living On The Edge) a local NGO, has approached the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Administration to address the issue of 15 contractual staff members working in the Department of Sports.
He has requested the Chief Secretary to consider granting them 1/30th of the minimum pay and dearness allowances.
Mr. Abhay Kumar expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the A & N Administration for Order No. 1283 dated May 9, 2023. This order, issued by the Lt. Governors of the islands, directed the provision of 1/30th of the minimum pay plus dearness allowances to the remaining Daily Rated Workers who had been engaged for regular work but not against any sanctioned posts.
Highlighting the key points of the matter, Mr. Kumar presented the following details:
1. Fifteen individuals were initially engaged on a part-time basis and later on a contractual basis after successfully completing the recruitment procedures outlined in the notice published on January 25, 1997, under the Department of Education.
2. These candidates were selected from the list of successful candidates who had completed all the required tests conducted by the Education Department and their names appeared on the shortlist.
3. They were appointed under the Directorate of Education with appointment order No. 497 dated February 10, 1999, in various Group “D” positions such as Peon, Ground Man, Security Man, Attendant, and Sweeper cum Mali. They reported for duty after passing the medical examination and their service books were opened in the department. In 2010, the Sports Department was separated from the Education Department, and these individuals continued their service under the Directorate of Youth Affairs and Sports.
4. Throughout their tenure, they have served the department diligently and efficiently, leading to annual extensions of their services from 1999 until the present year.
5. While the salaries of other contractual staff members in different departments have been adjusted to include 1/30th of the minimum pay plus dearness allowances, these fifteen individuals have been denied the same benefit.
6. It has been observed that some individuals junior to them on the list prepared by the Education Department on February 10, 1999, through order No. 497, were appointed on a regular basis, leaving many others behind, for reasons unknown to the department.
7. Mr. Kumar humbly pleads that these unfortunate candidates, who have successfully completed all the required qualification exams and tests conducted by the department, have dedicatedly served the department for the past 24 years without a single day’s break, yet they remain as contractual staff.
8. Most of the staff members in question are in their fifties, and despite their dedicated service of over 24 years, their future remains uncertain, with extensions being granted year after year.
Mr. Abhay Kumar requested the Chief Secretary to consider absorbing these fifteen qualified candidates who have undergone the recruitment procedures and have served the department under the A&N administration for more than 24 years. If granting regular positions is not possible due to unforeseen circumstances, he requests that they may be granted 1/30th of the minimum pay plus dearness allowances as a one-time relief, similar to what has been extended to employees in various other departments.