Chandigarh, May 24--With their salary hiked, several allowances raised, and most of other demands conceded, both unions of the agitating safai and sewer karamcharis in Haryana have decided to call off their strike.

 This was announced by the Haryana Urban Local Bodies Minister, Mrs Kavita Jain, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr Krishan Kumar Bedi, and Minister of State for Cooperation, Mr Manish Grover, at a joint press conference after a meeting with office-bearers of the Municipal Workers Union and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, here today. Both unions announced their decision to end their strike with immediate effect.  

 The safai and sewer karamcharis of municipal bodies in Haryana will now get a lump sum salary of Rs 13,500 per month. Besides, it has also been decided to end the practice of contractual engagement and absorb the employees in the payroll of the department. 

  Mrs Kavita Jain said broom allowance would be raised from Rs 2 to Rs 150 per month and safai allowance from Rs 350 to Rs 1,000 per month. It has also been decided to increase the allowance being given in lieu of work on a holiday from Rs 600 to Rs 1,000 and washing allowance from Rs 240 to Rs 440 per month.

  She said the government had already set up a separate directorate of fire services. The vacancies of fireman would be re-advertised to provide benefit to contractual fireman employed at present. They would be given time to meet the revised qualifications  like educational qualification of Class 12, fire fighting course and heavy driving license. Till then, they would not be removed.

Regarding regularization of the services of contractual employees, a committee will be constituted to formulate a policy. It would also include office-bearers of the two employees’ unions.  Employees bereft of the benefit of equal work, equal pay would get the benefit.

 Mrs Jain said the issue of equal work equal pay had been raised by an employee against the Punjab Government. But the Haryana Government has been the first to implement the decision of the Supreme Court. Haryana was also the first state in the country to implement recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission whereas previous governments had implemented recommendations of the fourth, fifth and sixth pay commissions much later. This benefit has also been extended to the employees of Urban Local Bodies.

 In order to implement the decision, the Urban Local Bodies Department has decided to create a webportal application under which any employee of the department who feels that he or she should get the benefit of equal work, equal pay, can apply. His case would be decided within two months, she added.