‘Finance Department juniors have better perks’

Dozens of undersecretaries who joined the Tamil Nadu Secretariat Service (TNSS) before January 28, 1994, in various cadres, are an aggrieved lot as their peers in the Finance Department who are much junior to them, draw higher salaries. The issue has become the rallying point among officials as Tamil Nadu Secretariat Officers’ Association (TNSOA) is scheduled to go to polls on Friday.
File photo of TN Secretariat at Fort St George
File photo of TN Secretariat at Fort St George


Sources said, while 34 departments in the Secretariat come under a single unit and officials there wait a longer time to get promotions, those at the Finance Department, which is one of the few besides Law and Assembly Secretariat service to be excluded from the general umbrella, get promotions and salary raise at a faster pace. 
Explaining the situation and concentration of the issue, a senior official who requested anonymity noted that One-Unit (which comprises all 34 departments) has as many as 18 officials in the rank of Joint Secretaries, whereas the Finance Department alone has as many as 27 officials of the same rank. The disparity was attributed to promotions, foreign service deputations and new posts offered to those who were chosen to work in the Finance Department from the common pool of TNSS prior to 1994. 
This disparity has affected officers in the cadres of undersecretary and above. To put things in perspective, another senior official said this was not only limited to pay but also to the hierarchy as well. “We want the government to promote one-unit officers on a par with the Finance Department staff. We had already approached the court which had directed the state to set right the anomaly. We have been pressing the government to implement the court orders,” another official in the rank of Joint Secretary told DT Next.
Sources said the revision of pay as per singular seniority list within the TNSS would only ensure the principles of natural justice for about 450 personnel in one unit. As much as 90 per cent of them would retire by 2020 and there would not be a recurring expenditure as averred by the state while fighting the case.

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