Aggrieved by the drastic fall in salaries and lack of structured working hours, these personnel are knocking at the doors of the state government-appointed commission. In yet another effort by the police constabulary to bring the anomalies in their salary and service to the government’s attention, scores of police personnel from across Tamil Nadu have started sending letters and e-mails to the one-man committee appointed to look into the complaints among the police.
The primary issue in the letters that are being send to MA Siddique — the expenditure secretary to the state government who was appointed as the one-man body on pay anomalies — revolves around the demand to change the salary structure so as to end the disparity between their wages and that of other government employees.
In the letters sent to the committee – all of which are similar in content – the constabulary explain how the salary structure of the personnel and other staff changed after each Pay Commission recommendations.
As per the First Pay Commission which came into effect on April 1960, the salary of a newly joined police constable and elementary teacher was same. This continued till the Third Pay Commission recommendation that came in 1978. However, from 1984 when the Fourth Pay Commission was implemented, the pay scale started to vary.
The gap in salary then grew wider in the in the subsequent Pay Commission recommendations.
For instance, the scale of pay of teacher as per the Sixth Pay Commission ranges from Rs 9,300 to 34,800 + Rs 4,500, while the pay of constable was only Rs 5,200 – 20,200 + 1,900. Apart from the disparity in salary, another important demand from the constabulary is to fix a day’s off for them every week.
For working on a Sunday, the constabulary had been getting Rs 200 and which does not even equal to a day’s salary. The letters also point out that the constabulary never get a chance to celebrate important festivals like Pongal, Deepavali etc.
“We are forced to work on those holidays, without any break,” one of the letters stated. The policemen have also asked for the risk allowance be increased from Rs 800 to Rs 5,000, and medical allowance be hiked from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000. The police personnel have also asked for an increase in travel allowance from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.