Hundreds of temporary civil servants serving at various ministries and government offices at lower levels held a protest inside Singha Durbar on Tuesday demanding permanent status.
Civil servants working as contract employees and daily wage staff assembled in front of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration to press their demand, not caring that the government has declared Singha Durbar as a protest exclusion zone.
The protest comes on the heels of the government’s decision to lay off around 32,000 lower level staff from various ministries and their line agencies to reduce burden on the state coffer. As part of civil service adjustment process, the government has renewed the contracts of some temporary staff, but must have been told to leave their jobs.
Dinesh Thapaliya, secretary at the Ministry of General Administration, said around 17,000 civil servants have been adjusted in various government offices and nearly 5,000 others waiting in line for adjustment in various government offices.
The agitating workers have pressed a six-points demand to the government, including automatic permanent status in the government service and a provision of temporary civil servants in the Civil Servant Act. They have also urged the government to provide addition perks and remuneration, inflation perks, house leave, sick leave, medical expenses, insurance and guarantee to social security on par with the permanent staff. Thapaliya said that it was impossible to meet all the demands forwarded by the agitating staff.
“I have adjusted temporary staff of my ministry. The staff from other ministries have come to picket my ministry. I cannot do anything to address their demands,” he added.Several government offices and departments were merged following last year’s general elections. The merger not only reduced the number of agencies, but also put many workers out of their jobs.
“We cannot adjust the staff of those offices that have ceased to exist,” Thapaliya said. The protesting workers have accused the government of putting them out of their jobs. “Our protest will continue until our demands are addressed,” one protester said.