GVMC staff mulls indefinite stir as 15-month wait bears no fruit

VISAKHAPATNAM: With the Finance Department expressing its helplessness to implement its promise to pay the wages of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) workers and employees through treasuries, the staff unions are contemplating to go on an indefinite strike.
The unions, in July last year, went on a strike demanding payment of their salaries through treasuries and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu constituted a sub-committee comprising three ministers to discuss the issues with the unions.
Finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, labour minister K Atchhennaidu and minister for municipal administration and urban development P Narayana held discussions with the unions at Rajamahendravaram on July 25 last year and assured the union leaders that the salaries would be paid through treasuries following which the unions withdrew the strike.
However, with the current severe financial crisis, the Finance Department has suggested not to consider any new proposals and projects in the present fiscal. It has already alerted all the district administrations to not ask the government for additional funds in the present fiscal.
Several projects and proposals are pending in the department, while the GVMC unions wait for their wages as per the agreement made with the three-member panel last year.
The GVMC spends `256 crore per annum on staff salaries and `100 crore per year on developmental works. If the government pays wages through government treasuries, the GVMC funds can be diverted to various other projects like providing better facilities in the city and for beautification works, argue the workers.
“With high hope, we waited for one and a half years for the government to implement the agreement. We have now decided to organise a state municipal employees conference in the city in December and will invite chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu as the chief guest.
"We will remind him about the government’s promise before taking a final call,” general secretary, GVMC Staff and Workers (recognised) Union VV Vamana Rao said.