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Temporary staff seek review of government decision

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, JUNE 22. Sacked employees, recruited on a temporary basis to tackle employees' strike in July last, were today reportedly informed that the Government had decided to terminate their services at the Secretariat and the Collectorates due to financial constraints.

After receiving the relieving orders, 500 assistants, belonging to various departments, gathered near Gate No.8 at the Secretariat to convey their plea to the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa.

A three-member delegation, which met officials at the Chief Minister's cell, submitted a memorandum requesting her to reconsider the move. The delegation was told that there was no motive behind the decision to disband the posts with immediate effect, its members, Malathi, Krishnakumari and Sanjeevikumari, said. Attributing the decision to financial constraints, it was pointed out that the consolidated pay at the rate of Rs. 4,000 each for the 15,000 employees cost the exchequer Rs. 6 crores a month, they said.

The delegation was also reminded of the nine conditions laid down by the Government at the time of recruitment and the employees were appointed on a temporary basis at the Secretariat and the Collectorates only after they accepted them, they said. However, the officials assured the temporary employees that their plea would be forwarded to the Chief Minister.

The delegation members said the sacked employees had immense faith and confidence in the Chief Minister that she would reconsider the decision, in view of their family condition. They would decide on their future course of action only in consultation with their colleagues, they said. But they made it clear that they would not seek the assistance of the employees' unions to highlight their plea.

Some dismissed employees said most of their colleagues were breadwinners in their families. The names of most of them were on the live registers of employment exchanges for nearly 20 years at the time of appointment. They said they were under the impression that their services would be regularised in course of time. They have many dependents, they claimed.

A sacked employee, Delsy, of the Rural Development and Local Administration department, fainted even as she was waiting outside Gate No. 8 to know the Government's response to their plea. She was rushed to a Government Hospital.

Separate orders were issued by the heads of departments and the Collectors terminating the services of the temporary employees.

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