Owing to the absence of proper mechanism for accreditation, hundreds of clerical staff and junior office superintendants in Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) are waiting to be promoted to higher grades.
There are four levels of clerical staff working for Pesco – audit, account, revenue and establishment.
The issue has its roots in 1995 when the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) promoted audit clerks to grade 11 account and revenue clerks, but ignored the establishment clerks.
There are junior office superintendents in Pesco, who get promoted to senior superintendant and then become superintendents. This hierarchy is not used for superintendents in Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), where junior superintendents are promoted to full superintendents, who may then be appointed assistant directors (AD).
The three categories of clerical staffers from audit, revenue and account are now directly promoted from grade 7 to grade 14 and subsequently termed audit assistants, revenue assistants and account assistants. The establishment clerks, on the other hand, are not accorded promotions in this way since they have to move through superintendent levels in order to be appointed assistants.
“We have the same job as the rest of the clerks”, said Pir Qahirullah, Pakistan Hydro Electric Central Labour Union (PHECLU) provincial convener, adding that the establishment clerical staff have remained in the same category without promotion for prolonged periods of time. “There are instances where a junior clerk has been working in the same position for 30 years”, he added.
These remain in the same position for years while others are promoted, though they are inducted through the same merits, he added.
Fazal Maghbood Akhtar, PHECLU deputy provincial convener, said that the clerks are not categorised through a separate induction process but based on the concerned officer’s discretion. He added that the preparation of service books, completion of travelling allowance bills, making pay lists, permission of new power connections and its due check, dispensary of material and its record and the house requisition for employees are some of the vital duties that establishment clerks carry out.
“These service structure problems create anxiety among employees which in turn cast a negative impact on their performance,” said Sagheer Ahmad, a junior office superintendant adding that a superintendant is given grade 16 in other government departments but in Pesco they get grade 15.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.