Last Monday I went to the service center to get my bike serviced. Early morning when I reached there, everyone in the staff was already busy with their work. One of the service advisors greeted me with a smile, patiently noted down the complaints and told me the estimate cost of service. He took my bike after he informed me that I can collect my bike next evening as they have lot of vehicles to get serviced. As promised, the next evening at 7PM I got my bike in as pristine condition as new.
On the other hand I still remember how much I ran from post to pillar and wait for months to get a broadband internet connection from the government owned telecom provider BSNL. Often the connection go faulty and remained down for days. Trying to reach the customer care representatives wss futile as customer care number itself was out of order. I had to take a day leave, wait for the lineman to come near my home and bribe him to get internet working again.
Recently pay of central government employees is increased by 23.5% by the 7th pay commission. Yet the government employees aren’t happy with this and are threatening the nation to go on a strike from 11th July.
Government employees are saying that private sector employees get very fat salaries and a 23.5% pay hike is “meagre”.
Perhaps these government employees are only considering Software and IT industries as private sector jobs. They are conveniently forgetting that the majority of private sector employees in India are actually workers at small scale industries, mechanics at garage, waiters and cooks at hotels, nurses, ward boys at privately owned hospitals and clinics, accountants at small financial firms, guards at private security agencies and the list goes on.
All these employees are not well paid as the central government employees think. These employees regularly work more than 12 hours a day and don’t even have other perks like health insurance or pension schemes like NPS or even a provident fund. Besides private jobs do not offer any job guarantee and an employee can be fired anytime without any notice.
A Private job is an extremely competitive field of work where only the outstanding performer survives and possibly get a promotion or salary hike. On the contrary a government employee gets guaranteed timely promotions, pay hike and DA hike irrespective of performance.
In fact the changing business environment is also a big enemy of a private sector employee. Even the outperforming employees of an organization can lose a job overnight if the organization runs into trouble. Already many of the start-ups in India are firing their employees, not because the employees are bad but because the company is not able to expand their business due to huge competition or due to wrong business strategies.
What happens when government department or a public sector unit makes loss? Most of them are anyway in loss for decades. The employees of such government departments or public sector units are bailed out by the government using the taxpayer’s money. So it’s the common citizens who pay up for the non-performance of a government employee.
All in all, the grass is not as greener in private sector jobs as the government employees think.
Lastly a bigger salary hike to government employees will not make them richer. A bigger salary hike will bring unprecedented inflation and the income to expenditure equation will remain the same. Already many of the products and services have become costlier as government has imposed new taxes so that the government employees increased salaries can be paid out. I don’t really buy the argument that the money collected by Swachh Bharat Cess is all used to make India cleaner.
Still if government employees believe that a private sector job offers better salaries and perks, they must quit their cosy government job and get into a private sector job.
Idea of going on a strike is the most wasteful and useless idea ever. It helps no one, even the one’s who are participating in the strike.
Just imagine a situation where Mr. Sharmaji, an officer at passport office, is frustrated as his daughter will lose her admission in the medical college because education loan approval got stuck as PSU bank employees are on strike.
While Mr Vermaji, a manager with a PSU bank, is in big trouble because his son is losing a job opportunity abroad as his passport application is stuck because employees of passport office are on strike.
Government employees going on strike is a vicious circle that won’t help anyone.
I hope the government employees understand this fundamental concept and work sincerely towards making a better India for their kids and for the next generation.