Temple staff to get wage arrears in two weeks

M.R. Murali takes charge as Malabar Devaswom Board president

M.R. Murali took charge as president of the Malabar Devaswom Board at a function held at the Azhakodi Devi Temple hall here on Tuesday.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the swearing-in ceremony in which the new member, K. Mohanan, also took charge. A. Pradeepkumar, MLA, presided over the function, and Kozhikode Mayor Beena Philip was the chief guest.

Mr. Murali, who held a meeting with the agitating unions, said steps had been taken to disburse wage arrears. “Funds for the purpose have been received, and arrears will be distributed within two weeks,” he added.

On wage revision, he said the State government was committed to adopting legislation in the matter. Outgoing Devaswom president O.K. Vasu was present.

Mr. Murali held talks with various organisations, including representatives of Kerala State Employees Coordination Committee, Malabar Devaswom Employees Union (CITU), and Malabar Devaswom Staff Union (INTUC).

Committee convener V.V. Sreenivasan said the agitation had been called off following conciliatory talks with the new president. Over 6,000 employees attached to 1,600 temples in north Kerala will benefit from distribution of arrears. Wages had not been paid to employees in last three years.

“However, wage revision is more important for employees. Wages were not revised for the last 12 years. A proposal in this regard submitted two years ago was pending with the State government,” Mr. Sreenivasan said, adding that employees were now offered an advance of ₹2,000 a month.

Temples in Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts come under the Malabar Devaswom Board. They include the famed temples of Kadampuzha, Angadipuram, Thirunavaya, Thirunelli, Thali, Cheruppalassery, Ayyappankavu, and Ottappalam Chinakathoorkavu.

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