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Government signs deal with official trade union

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Jan 5, 2019-

Despite reservation from the Nepali Congress-affiliated trade union, the government and the Official Trade Union (OTU) signed a nine-point agreement on Thursday to resolve the standoff regarding civil servant adjustment plan.

The deal has possibly paved the way for smooth adjustment of government staff at all three layers of the government.

The government’s team, led by Secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration Dinesh Thapaliya, and the delegation of the Official Trade Union, headed by Punya Dhakal, were close to signing the agreement on Wednesday. But it was postponed for Thursday after the NC-affiliated Nepal Civil Service Employees’ Union (NCSEU) refused to endorse the deal.

Subodh Devkota, general secretary of the OCU, told the Post that he did not sign the agreement on Wednesday at the counsel of the NCSEU representatives.

The NC-backed trade unionists  were allegedly not pleased with the deputation of staff under the revenue service to sub-national governments. The issue, however, did not prevent the signing of the deal.

“The agreement has been reached with the official trade union. Whatever internal issue a trade union affiliated to a political party is going through is not the government’s matter to address,” said Suresh Adhikari, spokesperson at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration.

According to the agreement, the government has assured to address the demands concerning civil servants’ career growth while the OTU has pledged to assist the adjustment process by setting up a help desk.

Earlier, the civil servants were protesting against the adjustment plan after the Civil Servant Adjustment Ordinance, endorsed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, failed to include a provision on career growth as they had desired.

“We will draft the Federal Civil Service Bill by accommodating the agreement reached between the two sides,” Adhikari said.

“We will send the draft of the bill to the Cabinet within a few days.”

As per the agreement, the government will allow the civil servants adjusted at the provincial and local levels to join to the federal agencies through promotion.

The proposed bill will also ensure conditions and facilities enjoyed by the civil servants in line with the current Civil Service Act and include a provision in the bill to guarantee that the salary, allowance, retirement benefits, pension, family support, medical treatment, among other facilities, enjoyed by the civil servants are not deducted upon their transfer.

The existing seniority of the civil servants will not be affected even after they are adjusted at the provincial and local levels, the agreement states.

Similarly, the necessary legal provisions will be made for the promotion of non-gazetted staff adjusted in three layers of government.

The government side has also agreed to incorporate the issues of education, health and employees’ welfare fund in the Federal Civil Service Act. It has also agreed to recommend the provincial and local governments to introduce laws for transfer of civil servants to the areas where they have permanent address after certain years. 

The government has also agreed to ensure the representation of the OTU while drafting of policies and laws related to staff adjustment.

OTU Vice-president Bhola Pokhrel said the government agreed to address the key demands of the civil servants through Federal Civil Service Act. “A joint team from

both sides will discuss the draft of the Federal Civil Service Bill to ensure that it is compatible with the agreement,” he said.

Published: 05-01-2019 08:44

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