Hyderabad: More than two years after they were sacked for going on strike, over 7,000 field assistants are set to return to work in Telangana as the state government has decided to reinstate them.
The field assistants work for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).
Panchayat Raj and Rural Development secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania issued oral instructions to all district collectors and rural development officers to reinstate the field assistants.
The government in the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh had appointed 7,561 field assistants to supervise works under MNREGS, prepare muster rolls of workers employed under the scheme and ensure employment to all job card holders.
They were initially appointed with a pay scale of Rs 1,200 a month which was subsequently increased to Rs 10,000 a month.
In February 2020, the government sacked the field assistants for going on strike in support of their demands, including regularizing their services and payment of salaries through treasury offices.
Since then, the sacked field assistants have been staging protests demanding reinstatement. The opposition parties also backed their agitation.
The field assistants made repeated requests to the government seeking their reinstatement assuring that they would abide by the rules and would not resort to unnecessary agitations.
On March 15, Chief Minister K. Chandarsekhar Rao promised to reinstate the field assistants. He had said the government would reinstate them on ‘humanitarian grounds’ and warned them not to resort to strikes in the future.
Panchayat Raj Minister E. Dayakar Rao has said that the chief minister kept his word and reinstated field assistants in services.