Kohima: Aggrieved with the state cabinet’s June 29 approval of incorporating the post of officer on special duty (OSD) to skill development as a cadre post equivalent to assistant development commissioner/economist in schedule I &II of the Nagaland Planning Machinery Service Rule, 2019, the Nagaland Planning Machinery Services Association (NPMSA) has said that it will observe a three-day state-wide pen-down strike from July 16-18 for its first phase demanding the state government to review and rectify the department’s service rules.
Addressing the media on Monday, NPMSA president Imlikokba Longkumer said that the decision to organise the three-day strike was collectively decided by the employees after a memorandum submitted to the government on July 9 fell on deaf ears. Though the association had preliminary talks with the chief secretary right before the press briefing, no written assurance was made and the aggrieved employees had notified him of the pen-down agitation.
In the memorandum, NPMSA has demanded the removal of the OSD to skill development from the cadre post of the Nagaland Planning Machinery Service Rule, 2019.
Longkumer, who is also an assistant planning officer, said that in 2011, the planning and coordination department had appointed I Sino Phom to the post of OSD to skill development on deputation for a period of two years. Later, the post of OSD was converted from ex-cadre post to a regular cadre post and the deputed OSD was absorbed permanently against the said post with effect from December 19, 2012.
In a copy of the letter in possession of EastMojo, the appointment to the said post is declared to be 100% based on promotion as per the Nagaland Planning Machinery Service Rules, 2010.
With the growing fear that the said officer, who has been serving in the department for just nine years, will claim promotion in regular cadre by illegally blocking the promotional avenues of the cadre employed in the State Planning Machinery of the Planning and Coordination department, various petitioners in the rank of planning assistants; assistant planning officers; planning officers; and some assistant development commissioners (ADC) of the department approached the High Court by filing WP (C) No. 53 (K)/2013 assailing the cabinet decision dated December 18, 2012 and notification dated March 25, 2013.
The writ petition was dismissed by judgement & order dated June 30, 2014 on grounds that the writ petitioners are not aggrieved persons since the absorption of the said officer does not affect the promotional avenue of the writ petitioners pointing out that the post of OSD (Skill Development) and Assistant Development Commissioner (ADC) are not of the same cadre, not-identical, not inter-transferable and that their functions, duties and responsibilities are different and hence “not a cadre of the State Planning Machinery”.
Meanwhile, the recent cabinet decision on June 29 had approved the draft Nagaland Planning Machinery Service Rule, 2019 by incorporating the post of OSD (Skill Development) as a cadre post equivalent to assistant development commissioner/economist in schedule I &II of the Nagaland Planning Machinery Service Rule, 2019 which contradicts the WP (C) No. 53 (K)/2013.
The agitating employees demanded the state government to remove and expunge the cadre post of OSD (Skill Development) from the cadre post in the new service rules through a written memorandum to be responded before July 12. However, with no response from the government, the association will be observing the first phase of the strike from July 16-18, following which its second phase will be next week and if left with no response, it shall observe an indefinite strike, said Longkumer.