Thursday, 23 May, 2024
Thursday, 23 May, 2024
The Daily Post
Election Commission

Outsourcing workers seeking means to live

MD Naimul Hoque

Outsourcing workers seeking means to live


-2261 of IDEA project to lose jobs

- No opportunity for govt jobs as working age passed

‘There is no place for emotion here. We have to act according to the law.’

Ashok Kumar Debnath, Additional Secretary, EC


Asim Kumar (pseudonym) took a job in outsourcing the first phase of the Election Commission's (EC) Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) project after completing his Honors-Masters from an established college in Rajshahi. After being assured from the higher authority that his job will be made permanent in the future, he did not try to get a job anywhere else.

However, he is in trouble as he has reached the age of government service. He does not know where to go with his wife and family, what to do next. Not only Asim Kumar fell into such a problem, but all the 2261 officers and employees working in the IDEA project of EC have fallen. Because, the second term of the project will be completed on June 25. The EC has started the process of hiring new people by removing the experienced staff who have been employed for a long time. As a result, these experienced workers who have been working for two consecutive terms are becoming unemployed in the middle of their life.

It was reported that the Election Commission (EC) will hire permanent officers for these posts. Their recruitment exam is on 17th May this month. EC has made various efforts not to re-hire those working in outsourcing. The EC wanted to deprive them of the opportunity of examination. Later they took the opportunity to write the exam. At present, many are not getting the opportunity to take the exam due to various responsibilities of the EC.

According to the sources of the Election Commission, in early 2016, the Election Commission appointed manpower in outsourcing through the 'IDEA' project. 1 thousand 130 data entry operators were recruited in this project. They joined the work in the Election Commission secretariat and field office. The employment period of one year with only Tk13 thousand salary was later extended till 2020. Out of this, in 2019, the salary was increased by Tk 4 thousand. In 2020 the project is currently running under the name 'IDEA (Phase 2)'. At various times, the project recruits demanded for permanentization of their jobs, but it was not implemented.

According to the information of the Election Commission, 2261 officers and employees are working in the project. Among them, 20 are Assistant Directors, 20 Assistant Maintenance Engineers, 1 Electrical Engineer, 84 Assistant Engineers, 20 Deputy Assistant Directors, 7 Administrative Officers/Personal Assistants, 31 Senior Computer Operators, 15 Office Assistants cum Computer Operators, 6 Electrician, 4 Assistant Store Keepers, 10 Counters, 45 Office Assistants, 2 Packing Supervisors, 4 Machine Supervisors, 35 Dispatch Operators, 4 Packing Operators, 2 Quality Assurance Incharges, 36 Scanning Operators, 5 quality assurance operators, 1372 data entry operators, 519 scanning and equipment maintenance operators, and 15 drivers.

The data entry operators working in the project said that the workers have been working for 7 years. Still, they are afraid of the announcement of end of the project. There has been talk of job permanence at various times but it has not been made permanent so far. Besides, they did not spend time looking for other jobs while waiting for the job to become permanent. Now they are not of age for government service. In general they get salary like Tk18 thousand. They are not getting any other facilities.

They expressed disappointment and said, we have to do all the work related to national identity. But no one is thinking about us. No initiatives can be seen. We are being left out. Even after working for so many years, our experience is not valued. There was even an attempt to exclude us from the exam. We brought back that opportunity by filing a writ in the court. But even if we get an opportunity for the exam, we don't get an opportunity to prepare. The authorities have held the exam at a time when upazila elections are going on across the country. Where is the opportunity to read, when are having to perform duties at day and night?

Meanwhile, Election Commission Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath said, "There is no place for emotion here. We have to act according to the law.

In response to the question why they do not want to accept their experience after working for a long time, he said, "We have not made any agreement that we have to take them."