Govt teachers demonstrate for pay, pension raise

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Islamabad : The government employees gathered in front of the Pak Secretariat here on Wednesday to protest and demand higher salaries and pensions.

Organised by the All Government Employees Grand Alliance (AGEGA), the demonstration was staged ahead of the unveiling of the federal budget in the National Assembly, emphasising the urgency of their demands. In preparation for the protest, the government took precautionary measures by locking the gates of the Pak Secretariat early in the day to prevent any disruptions. The Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), being a component of AGEGA, joined the protest. Carrying banners and placards and shouting

slogans, the protesters advocated for a hike in pay, pensions and allowances.

The major demands included a 200% increase in house rent, medical, and conveyance allowances, a reduction in pay disparities between employees of ministries and attached departments, and a 100% increase in pensions. Additionally, the protesters opposed amendments to current pension rules, suggesting that any new rules should apply only to new employees. Dr Rahima Rehman, president of the FGCTA, highlighted the significant disparities in salaries between employees of ministries and divisions and those working in attached departments. She called for measures to reduce that gap. Professor Farhan Azam, senior vice-president of the FGCTA, demanded the unfreezing of allowances in line with inflation. He criticised the government's policy of maintaining these allowances.

"These allowances should be adjusted to reflect the rising cost of living," he said. Professor Tahir Bhatti urged the government to prioritise the development of its less privileged employees. "Instead of adhering to IMF policies, the government should focus on improving the conditions of the lower-income employees to alleviate poverty," he said.

AGEGA chief coordinator Rehman Bajwa opposed the proposed amendments to pension rules. He argued that any necessary changes should only affect new employees, ensuring that current employees and retirees are not adversely impacted.