PESHAWAR: Employees of the provincial government’s 34 directorates and attached departments took to the streets here again on Thursday to demand an end to pay disparity among different cadres.
The protest was staged following the failure of several sessions of their dialogue with the government’s representatives.
The protesters, including many, who had showed up from districts and divisions, gathered outside the education directorate’s premises opposite the Malik Saad Shaheed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations.
Local MPA of the ruling PTI Fazal Elhai met the leaders of protesters and tried in vain to persuade them to go away.
The employees later marched on the GT Road to reach the Assembly Chowk, where they staged a sit-in for several hours and dispersed peacefully in the afternoon.
Say will stage sit-in every week
A heavy police contingent was deployed there to prevent any untoward incident.
A portion of Khyber Road, which connects GT Road with University Road, was closed due to the sit-in leading to traffic diversion to nearby roads.
The employees have been observing a pen-down strike under the aegis of the Attached Departments Officers Association for 150 per cent pay raise on the pattern of the Provincial Management Service employees since July 13 after the police broke up their rally near the provincial assembly building by using tear gas and water cannon and making arrests.
Attached Department Officers Association (ADOA) president Amin Khan told Dawn that the protesting employees would continue their pen-down strike until their demands were met.
He, however, said the officers would take to the streets once a week to protest pay disparity among different cadres of the provincial government employees.
Mr Amin said the weekly protest had been planned keeping in view the issues of the officials coming in from other districts as it was not possible for them to assemble in the provincial capital every day in the hot and humid weather.
“We will stage street protest next Wednesday or Thursday,” he said.
The ADOA president said the association had held several sessions of dialogue with the government but had yet to receive the latter’s ‘positive and clear stand’ regarding demands.
He, however, said the ministers, who held talks with protesters, had realised the issue and promised to take it with the chief minister.
“The chief minister should take notice of the issue and meet our demands, which are genuine,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021