New Delhi, Apr 17: The National Council Staff Side called a meeting on May 2 of the Joint Consultative Machinery to discuss the next course of action over the negotiations related to 7th Pay Commission. The NC (JCM) meet is called amid the delay in allowance hike for central government employees. The committee on allowances, formed under the chairmanship of Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, is yet to submit its report to the Centre. (ALSO READ: NJCA may call for strike if Committee on Allowances further delays report)

“The JCM meeting is called on May 2. Whether the Lavasa Committee submits it report or not (by the end of the month), the meet would be held. If the report on allowances is not tabled, then we will plan the next step of action. I cannot rule out the option of reviving the call for strike. After all, how long should the employees wait?” said Shiv Gopal Mishra, NJCA convenor, while speaking to India.com.

Apart from delay in higher allowances, the JCM would also formulate the strategy for availing ‘option 1’ for pensioners. Option 1 allowed pensioners to avail their pension hike as per the pay band in which they were enrolled at the time of retirement. Since option 1 has been rejected, pensioners were forced to accept option 2, which simply multiplies their existing pension using 2.57 fitment factor.

In the JCM meeting, union leaders would also chalk out the strategy to ensure revision of minimum salary. “It is the centrifugal issue. All pay commission so far had kept the issue of minimum salary at the centre. We will negotiate with the government and attempt to persuade them.”

The NJCA has demanded the revision of minimum salary from Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000, using a fitment factor of 3.86. On being asked by India.com whether they would agree for a fitment factor in the range of 2.86 to 3.15, Mishra replied, “We will consider it. Whatever proposal the government offers, we would negotiate with them.”

Mishra, who drew flak from a section of central government employees for deferring the strike planned in July 2016, says he has no regret for deferring it. “Whatever decision was taken was not taken in the air. We consulted with our ground root cadres. Yes, there could be a fraction which did not agree with the decision (of deferring the strike), but moreover, we had to take a decision which was in the interest of the employees,” he said, further adding that confrontation could had only vitiated the conditions for negotiation.