Tag Archives: employees

Shown the door: Decision to reinstate 73 govt employees overturned



PESHAWAR: 

The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday declared the decision of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to reinstate 73 sacked Local Council Board employees as null and void. 

The division bench of the SC Peshawar Branch Registry, comprising Justices Mian Saqib Nisar and Sheikh Azmat Saeed, endorsed the decision of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to sack the employees while hearing an appeal against the PHC decision.

The attorney of the Local Council Board, Malik Haroon Iqbal, told the bench that the previous provincial government appointed candidates as sub engineers and administration officers based on political affiliation rather than merit.

Iqbal stated that when the present government assumed power, it terminated 73 employees from service because they were not appointed through the proper procedure.

“Once removed, the employees approached the PHC, which subsequently suspended the provincial government’s order and reinstated them. The decision of the high court was not based on facts and many legal points were not considered,” the counsel argued.

The division bench upheld the decision of the K-P government and declared the verdict of PHC to reinstate the employees as null and void.

On July 4, the PHC bench of Justices Yahya Afridi and Musarrat Hilali set aside the provincial government’s decision of not issuing posting orders for employees of the Local Council Board. The decision was declared illegal and the government was directed to issue posting orders.

The petition of the sacked employees stated that authorities had advertised for positions of accountants, sub engineers and administration officers on March 11, 2013. It added that the candidates were selected for employment after being tested and all legal formalities being completed.

“The petitioners are neither being given jobs on their appointment letters nor are they being sent for training. They fear that duties are not being assigned due to ulterior motives and mala fide intentions,” it read.

“The whole exercise of testing and interviewing was conducted and eligible candidates were issued appointment letters afterwards. However, the refusal of the respondents to issue posting orders and release the salaries of the petitioners is against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” the counsel of the employees had stated.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2014.


Unmotivated employees: Ill-equipped workers reluctant to clean up during Eid



KARACHI: 

If the chief minister and commissioner had not called an urgent meeting to pacify the municipality’s sanitary workers, the city would have been quite dirty.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) sanitary workers had refused to work with the few machines at their disposal. The city will sacrifice nearly 0.8 million animals in the three days of Eidul Azha and it needs the sanitary staff to work diligently to dispose of the animal waste.

The president of KMC’s collective bargaining union, Syed Zulfiqar Shah, told The Express Tribune that the municipalities are facing a dearth of equipment. “Of the 1,200 vehicles that we have, nearly 50 per cent are out of order,” he said, adding that the batteries and tyres of the remaining ones are also out-of-order.

Another problem that these workers have is that they have not been paid the honorarium from last year’s Eidul Azha. This bonus amount is paid by the government to these workers to appreciate their work but the amount from last year as yet to be released. “How can the government expect them [workers] to work willingly now,” he asked.

“Last year, several workers were injured during Eid service as 50 per cent of the vehicles were either out-of-order or were malfunctioning,” Shah pointed out. Even if the animal waste is lifted, Shah admitted their vehicles will not be able to spray different neighbourhoods. “This is the real picture and people must be prepared for it,” he said.

He advised people to dump their animal’s waste at designated dumping points so they can be lifted on time. “People must help us and avoid putting the remains on roads, streets, parks, empty plots and into drains,” he said.

Last week, when the commissioner and the KMC administrator met the sanitary staff, they requested them to carry out their duties during Eid and assured them their honorarium would be released after Eid.

To protest the delay in payment, the union’s president threatened the officers that their workers will wear black armbands when they carry out cleaning work during the Eid holidays. An urgent meeting was called at the chief minister’s house on Saturday, when the commissioner and the KMC administrator tried to convince the workers to work during the Eid holidays. They assured them that all their problems would be resolved after Eid.

“I know the crises are serious but for the sake of the city, the staff must perform its duties,” commissioner Shoaib Siddiqui requested. “We cannot leave the city with several types of diseases,” he added.

Meanwhile, KMC administrator Rauf Akhar Farooqui admitted that the situation of the corporation was not ideal. “But we have to work, we have to own the city,” he said. He claimed to have settled the honorarium issue of the KMC staff and assured that the machinery issue will also be resolved as soon as possible.

CBC dedicates 900 vehicles

The Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) will dedicate 900 vehicles for cleaning up after the sacrifices, said Kabir Ali, the head of the sanitation’s staff at CBC. Nearly 1,000 of our sanitary staff workers will be performing duties on all three days of Eid, he said.

“We will perform our duty all days and nights and a 24-hour emergency help line will also be working,” said Ali, adding that they will spray the entire neighbourhood after the remains are lifted. In case of any complaints about cleanliness, the CBC team can be contacted at 021-35847839 and 0333 314 2662.

Vehicle POWER

Number of vehicles dedicated to cleaning during Eid

District South             200

District West              210

District East               200

District Malir              230

District Central          260

District Korangi          180

CBC                             90

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2014.


Roof goes up: PM okays 35% rent allowance hike for govt employees



ISLAMABAD: 

The prime minister has approved 35 per cent increase in the rental ceiling for over 500,000 federal government employees across the country.

The Ministry of Housing and Works forwarded a summary requesting a 100 per cent increase in the house-rent ceiling for all federal government employees, which would have cost around Rs7 billion. The supporting argument was that this would reduce demand for government accommodation, especially in the federal capital. A ministry official said that the approved rental ceiling would cost about Rs2.5 billion.

“The Prime Minister only approved a 35 per cent increase because of the economic crunch in the country,” commented Housing and Works Minister Akram Khan Durrani.

On September 23, the minister told the Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works that there were about 19,500 applicants in Islamabad alone who wanted government accommodation. “If the PM approved the summary for doubling the house-rent ceiling, the demand for on government housing may reduce to some extent,” he stated.

House-rent allowances are granted to eligible government employees who are not living in government housing. According to ministry records, there are about 172,000 federal government employees in Islamabad Capital Territory.

A ministry official said on the condition of anonymity that the 100 per cent hike was proposed after a countrywide market survey and an analysis of inflation trends.

The government has increase the rental ceiling after four years, the usual time-frame of reviewing the process.

Pakistan Public Works Department Director General Attaul Haq said the hike will decrease pressure on the ministry, which was flooded by complaints regarding the lower ceilings.

All not well at ministry

Since the arrival of the new minister in June, the ministry has yet to see the appointments of heads of several departments that have spent years with the positions vacant. National Housing Authority and Pakistan Works Department both lack directors general, the latter since 2009.

Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation Director General Waqas Ali is a grade-19 officer but also holds acting charge of joint secretary (grade 20). Meanwhile, Estate Office Management is being run by a section officer for the last three months.

The absence of officers and arrival and departure of secretaries has put many projects on halt. Announced by the prime minister in October last year, the PM Housing Scheme plan entails building 500,000 houses in five years. The government has also allocated Rs60 billion for the project in the current budget but no further progress.

The minister has also accepted that there was already delay in the housing schemes of capital and soon the hurdles would be removed.

Besides, 588 housing units are also being developed on Kuri Road under Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation (PHAF). The project was started in March 2012 and was due for completion in 18 months, but the ministry has yet to settle issues between the contractor and the department.

Construction of over 3,200 residential plots of Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) in Bhara Kahu has also been in the doldrums since 2009.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2014.


Pending dues: PWD employees to protest today



ISLAMABAD: 

Employees of the Pakistan Public Work Department (PWD) have decided to start protest from today (Wednesday) against the stoppage of their salaries.

During a meeting of the PWD union on Tuesday, it was decided to start protests outside the main office of the department. The employees claimed the government has decided not to give monthly salaries of lower employees from grade 1 to 7 on Eidul Azha which is scheduled to fall October 6, most likely.

The employees requested the prime minister to look into the matter and order the Ministry of Finance to release the salaries of 3,000 PWD employees across the country. “It is unfair that thousands of employees will celebrate their Eid without salary. It is prime responsibility of the govt to ensure the release of salaries in time,” said Malik Methab Khan, secretary general of the CBA union of PWD employees.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2014.


Contractual employees: IHC orders formation of commission to regularise services



ISLAMABAD: 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the federal government to constitute a commission for regularisation of over 100 daily-wage and contract employees and decide their fate in three months.

Justice Athar Minallah, while hearing identical petitions filed by 117 employees of various government departments, directed the government to constitute a commission comprising members of secretary-level and decide the matter in three months.

The employees claim the government has adopted a ‘discriminatory policy’ against them and requested the court to pass the order of their regularisation.

The petitions were filed by the people working in the education and health departments, Auditor General of Pakistan, National Commission for Human Development, Pakistan Public Works Department, Capital Development Authority and others. The petitioners’ counsel, Shoaib Shaheen, maintained that his clients are working in different government departments since many years, however, the government has yet to regularise them despite the recommendation of a committee which was formed by the previous government.

The counsel maintained that it was discriminatory that half of the employees were regularised by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government and the other half were deprived of it. He informed the court that the previous government had formed a cabinet sub-committee for the regularisation of daily wagers headed by Pakistan Peoples Party’s Syed Khursheed Shah, which recommended their regularisation.

It is noted that IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had declared null and void the recommendation of the committee but in May this year, a two-member bench of the court set-aside that decision.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2014. 


Investigating sect-based motives: Two govt employees arrested for murder



GILGIT: 

Two men accused of killing a prominent member of the Gujjar community in Gilgit have been arrested by the police and booked under the anti-terrorism act.

“The accused are government employees and have confessed to the crime. It appears to be a sectarian killing but we will investigate this from every angle,” SSP Ali Zia told reporters at his office on Monday.

Hayat Khan was shot dead at Danyor Chowk on September 3 while he was on his way back to Gilgit from Sultanabad. The regional president of Gujjar Ittehad Council, a representative body of Gujjars across Pakistan, and a Sunni, Hayat was 63 at the time of his death.

Applauding the role of locals in apprehending the accused, Zia said the arrests would not have been possible without their support.

The culprits were identified as Qasim Shah and Gul Zaman, both residents of Danyor. Shah is a stenographer at the Gilgit-Baltistan Ministry of Minerals and Zaman works as teacher in a school set up by the police.

Zia said Zaman plotted Hayat’s murder, while Shah carried it out. Zaman also helped Shah in escaping from the crime scene, added the SSP. The two men confessed to the murder during interrogation and have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. According to the police, Shah has also been involved in a couple of other murders.

Gilgit has remained largely peaceful since 2012, the year which was marred by the worst sectarian bloodshed in decades.

Hayat’s murder created panic in the town but the arrests seemed to restore some of the public’s faith.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2014.


Threatening agitation: Employees Coordination Council seeks transfer of DSP



ABBOTABAD: 

All Employees Coordination Council, Abbottabad has demanded the transfer of the DSP Cantonment within the next 24 hours over what it called the harassment of health officials at the hands of the police.

The council has also threatened to go on strike across the district in case no heed is paid, All Employees Coordination Council President Qazi Tanvir told the media on Thursday.

Tanvir said a newborn was abducted from the gyneacology ward of Women and Children Hospital, Abbotabad last week and despite the fact the some of the staff members were off-duty on the day of the incident, DSP Cantonment Khankhel Khan called two senior nurses, Shabana and Farzana, to his office on the pretext of investigation and allegedly misbehaved with them.

Tanvir claimed the nurses were harassed and the police officer also used abusive language. He said the DSP’s behaviour with the two paramedics was unlawful and derogatory.

Tanvir added a meeting of the All Employees Council was held on Wednesday where participants condemned the incident and demanded the immediate transfer of the DSP from Abbottabad. He warned they would be compelled to go on strike if no action was taken in this regard.

A newborn was abducted from the gynaecology ward of Women and Children Hospital on August 19, but later recovered from a childless woman of Banda Jalal Khan on August 26. The accused, later identified as Saima, confessed she could bear no children for the past 14 years and abducted the baby on her own with no support from the hospital staff. She told the police that she was unhappy after repeated taunts by her husband and in-laws.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2014.


Demonstration: GPO employees protest attack on colleagues



DI KHAN: Employees of the general post office (GPO) in DI Khan city on Tuesday took out a rally to protest against the attack on their colleagues which left the head postman dead and two others injured a day earlier.

The attack took place in Zafarabad Colony where gunmen opened fire and hurled grenades at a van carrying cash. An official at the DPO office told The Express Tribune three men on two bikes ambushed the vehicle near Malang Pul as it was on en route to the main GPO office in DI Khan city.

On Tuesday, GPO employees took out a rally that started from the GPO office and marched towards Topan Wala Chowk. There, protesters convened and heard speeches denouncing the attack. Speakers demanded the immediate arrest of the perpetrators along with financial compensation for the injured and the bereaved family of the postman.

Traffic was disrupted on Circular Road as a result of the demonstration, creating problems for commuters for over an hour. Later, the protesters dispersed peacefully.

Meanwhile, a search to arrest the culprits is also under way. The police have arrested some suspects and shifted them to an unknown location.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2014.


Criminal negligence: Police book K-Electric employees after girl electrocuted to death



KARACHI: Police have booked the employees of the K-Electric after an eight-year-old girl died due to electrocution in Korangi on Sunday.

An eight-year-old girl, identified as Iqra, daughter of Ayaz, was electrocuted to death when she was playing outside her house in Bilal Colony, Korangi. Her body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for autopsy. An FIR No. 617/14, under Sections 319, 322/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, was registered at the Korangi Industrial Area police station on behalf of Niaz Muhammad. K-Electric’s Qayyumabad office incharge and four other employees were nominated in the FIR.

SHO Saadat Butt said that the case was registered against the K-Electric employees for negligence as they had failed to repair the pole despite several complaints by the residents. He said that no arrest has been made while further investigation was underway.

The family of the deceased claimed that they had made several complaints, but the K-Electric had paid no heed.

Iqra was a class-one student and was the second of three siblings. Her father is a factory worker by profession. “We had been complaining about the current in the electricity pole since August 13 but they (K-Electric) were not responding,” the victim’s paternal uncle, Niaz, told The Express Tribune. “A couple of days ago, a cow was also electrocuted to death after it came into contact with the same pole. Two other children luckily survived the electric shock.”

On the other hand, the K-Electric spokesperson said that an inquiry was being conducted and a decision will be taken after the findings.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2014.


Looking after your own: PML-N MPAs push for job options for relatives of deceased government employees



PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPAs in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa seek the reactivation of a government notification on jobs for relatives of deceased government employees.

According to official sources in the Civil Secretariat, in 2006 the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government had incorporated amendments in service rules. These were meant to afford job opportunities to deceased employees’ immediate relatives – offspring or spouse. One immediate member would be employed on vacant posts which might lie anywhere between grade 1 to 15.

“The MMA government had amended the service rules of 1999 to provide relief to relatives of deceased government employees,” an official of the Civil Secretariat’s law department told The Express Tribune on Thursday.

“If any relative—son or daughter or spouse—was to be appointed on the post vacated by the deceased employee, they would need to be duly qualified for it,” said the official. “It was meant for grade 1 to 15,” he added.

However, the coalition government of Awami National Party and Pakistan Peoples Party amended the rules again on August 31, 2012 and relatives of the deceased could then only be accommodated on grade 1 to 10 posts.

Now PML-N MPAs Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha and Muhammad Sheeraz have submitted a notice in the K-P Assembly Secretariat to bring the issue to the assembly floor and to convince the house to re-activate MMA’s September 2006 notification which opened up jobs from grade 1 to 15.

Those familiar with the matter at the Civil Secretariat said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government upgraded senior clerks, assistants and superintendents to grade-10 and above. This, they said, has rendered the ANP government’s change to the service rules useless for relatives of deceased employees.

“Now government departments can only induct deceased employees’ relatives as Class-IV employees or as drivers in any department,” added one official.

The PML-N law makers were not available for comments despite several attempts.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2014.