The other day, two people were having a conversation on the state of employment in Gujarat under Narendra Modi. One person informed the other, how the Gujarat Government recruits teachers on a fixed pay of Rs 9000 for first five years. Only after the completion of the five years , the employee starts getting the usual salary (the salary which the teacher is entitled as per his/her grade). The person added that the money saved this way is invested in creating infrastructure — the roads, schools etc. The other person took no time to state that : Alright, isn’t it great that the Government doesn’t keep that money to themselves , and instead invests in development work!
It’s not about how the Gujarat Government chooses to spend the money so saved*. It’s more about how it’s playing its role of an Employer. If you’re a regular reader of The Dehradun Post you may remember that Gujarat practices the same model in other recruitments as well. The recruits to the posts of Patwari , constable are also recruited for a fixed pay of something like Rs 5300 for the first four years.
A Government, be it a State Government or a Central Government, is an ideal Employer. That’s it does every thing correct w.r.t. the person who it employs. When an elected Government starts paying fixed pay to the person in its employment, it starts setting a bad example. An example which the private sector, led by profit motive, will be too keen to follow. In short, how can we complain about exploitative salaries and work hours in Private sector (Rs 3000 or Rs 5000 per month) when the Government itself pays that much. The moment an elected Government starts derailing from its role of an Ideal Employer, the wages in the entire governed region becomes exploitative. Let I conclude with an example. After the creation of Uttarakhand, one of the elected governments started employing Shiksha Mitras (Friends of Education) temporarily on a fixed pay. To this day, these Shiksha Mitras have not been able to get a useful employment (ideal employment). But there’s no escape though. As thousands of youths who get employment in private sector in Uttarakhand industrial areas like SIDULs are getting even lower exploitative salaries. See, if the Government fails to remain an ideal employer, the private sector becomes even more exploitative.
* As going by the debt Gujarat managed to have in Narendra Modi’s tenure is the highest among all states (debt of 1.67 Lakh crores ), the image that of a ‘saver’ can itself be debated .