A group of Public Administrative Service employees handed over a letter today (June 14), to the minister of public administration management at the ministry premises amidst an islandwide protest.
The protest was held over the appointment of a cabinet committee to look into an allowance of between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 50,000 that has been proposed for Public Administrative Service employees.
According to the Public Administrative Service Union, it is the first time the public service sector has engaged in a strike.
Minister of Public Administration Management and Law and Order Ranjith Madduma Bandara said:
“The Public Administrative Service is one of the highest ranks of the state service. They had asked us for an allowance and I submitted a Cabinet paper in this regard last week. The president and prime minister have expressed their support for this Cabinet paper. They have agreed that this allowance should be granted. A committee has been appointed to look into the possibility of granting this allowance. We have accepted their request. The state administrative officers should not panic about this. I am not aware of any other background information to this protest.”
Instead of looking into the source of this request, the Cabinet should focus their attention on the multifaceted roles that are executed by the Public Administrative Service that would warrant such an allowance being granted in the first instance.
The Public Administrative Service provides the state with a diverse range of service with the support of several professions such as the medical profession, the engineering profession, and the accounting profession. Therefore, unrest amongst other trade unions cannot be prevented when an allowance is being granted to the Public Administrative Service.
A flaw in the state service can be seen when an allowance is being granted to 2376 employees of the Public Administrative Service at a cost of Rs. 800 million notwithstanding and Amendment to Circular No.6 of 2006 being passed last year with regard to the salaries of the state service.
It was observed that although the Public Administrative Service officers had called in sick today, the blatant use of public property was witnessed in and around the premises of the Ministry of Public Administration.
Whether or not these state administrative service employees were aware that they were violating the provisions of the Establishments Code and the Public Property Act is not known. Almost all public administrative officers had travelled to the ministry premises in vehicles belonging to the Public Administrative Service which is a clear violation of regulations.