Punjab Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) employees and Women Development Department (WDD) secretary
Lahore (TheNation / Monday, February 4, 2013) – A rift between the contractual employees of Punjab Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) and their boss – the Women Development Department (WDD) secretary has reached its peak after the secretary forwarded a summary to end their services with ending of their contracts on June 30.
A total of 143 GRAP employees have been observing pen-down strike for three days. According to the employees, WDD Secretary Irum Bokhari forwarded a summary on January 29 to the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) Regulation secretary mentioning that services of GRAP staff were not required from June 30.
“This department does not support regularisation of GRAP employees for the purpose of establishing field offices of WDD. Futuristic career planning for project employees does not fall under the purview of PC-I form – revised PC-I has no legal binding upon the administrative department,” the summary added.
However, a GRAP staffer claimed that the strategy regarding the regularisation of the staff as well as the adjustment of the staff had been given and approved in PC-I by Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) – the highest forum headed by P&D chairman to approve planned intervention in Punjab for which the WDD secretary had stated that it had no legal binding. “It portrays that the secretary has no worth of PDWP in her view,” he added.
Irum Bokhari while talking to TheNation said the employees insisted time and again to decide the matter of their service and she forwarded summary on their pressure. She said it was clearly mentioned in the appointment letters that their services was contract base and they would have no right to claim regularization.
She was of the view that the employees were not hired on merit. “It is ridiculous that some employees want to get regularised in BS-18 directly,” she added.
However, an employee said the way out regarding regularization of contract employees of GRAP had already been approved in 3rd and 4th revision (2010 & 2011) of PC-I (page-16) by PDWP.
“GRAP including the field staff will be merged in the Directorate of Women Development after completion of GRAP June 30. Organizational structure of the directorate will be revised.
District offices of GRAP will become field arm of directorate, while GRAP officers in line departments will be adjusted in the directorate head office. However, it will be preferable if the staff posted in Gender Mainstreaming Unites (GMUs) is continued to be placed in the line departments,” he quoted.
The employees demanded of their regularization on immediate basis. They said the summary already sent to the chief minister via Regulation and Finance Department secretary should be taken back on immediate basis and a new summary should be sent to the CM as per approved PC-I and contract employees of GRAP should remain vigilant about the matter of summary.
“PC-I has nothing to do with the service of the employees. It is only a form which describes about feasibility of the any project,” Bokhari added.
GRAP is an initiate of as a national campaign for the promotion of gender equity in government sector. The Provincial Cabinet approved the implementation of Punjab GRAP on May 20, 2004.