Thursday Mar 05 2020

Federal Secretariat employees observe pen-down strike over no pay raise

Pakistan Secretariat employees observe a peaceful pen-down strike at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 5, 2020. Geo News/via

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Secretariat employees on Thursday observed a peaceful pen-down strike here at the federal capital's Constitution Avenue over an ongoing delay in pay raises.

The employees informed that they had staged an 11-day-long protest earlier in February as well, after which the government had engaged in talks with them and promised to revise up their salaries by March 5 (today). That promise failed to materialise, forcing the employees to go on strike. 

Their counterparts in other public institutions have already been awarded pay raises, they said. 

Standing outside Block Q near the Secretariat with pens in hand and black ribbons on their arms, the employees continued their protest despite rain. 

They were informed that there would be no anti-government chants — just slogans to voice their grievances.

The protesters — which included Grade 1-22 officers and their staff — noted further that despite being of the same rank and grade, their remuneration was less than half of what civil servants in other public departments were being paid. 

They claimed they had been promised a 120% pay raise in prior discussions with official representatives on February 27.

In a notification issued earlier, the protesters had said they had met the federal special secretary of finance, who had assured them they would soon hear good news and requested postponement of the pen-down strike till March 5.

The protesters vowed to continue their strike if their demands were not met in line with the Secretaries Committee's recommendations.