Maha CM Urges Govt Employees to Withdraw Strike, Says Govt Positive on OPS Demand

published by, Poorva Joshi

Last Update: March 15, 2023, 10:08 AM IST

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (File photo: PTI)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (File photo: PTI)

Lakhs of state government employees went on an indefinite strike from Tuesday demanding the restoration of OPS.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday urged the state government employees, who were on an indefinite strike demanding restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), to call off their agitation.

Speaking in the assembly, Shinde said that when there is no scope for discussion, one can take big steps, but in the present case, the government is ready to hold talks with the agitating employees as any decision on the pension scheme will have financial implications.

“I request them (government employees) to hold discussions and call off the strike. They will have to consider and discuss this issue with the government and call off the strike in view of the problems faced by the people.

Lakhs of state government employees went on an indefinite strike from Tuesday demanding restoration of OPS. OPS is a defined pension scheme in which 50 per cent of the last drawn pay is given, thereby interrupting the functioning of various services and facilities in hospitals.

He said that there was plenty of time for the employees who joined the service after 2005, when National Pension System (NPS) was introduced in place of OPS, to retire.

“You can decide to go on strike whenever you want. But it is not necessary to go on strike today. We also told them (employee unions) that those who will retire before the decision (by the government on OPS) is taken will get full benefits,” the chief minister said.

The new pension scheme was implemented in the state on November 1, 2005.

Shinde said his government was committed to ensure dignified and secure life after retirement to the employees.

“But before going back to the old pension scheme, it is necessary to think about all the available options and this has been brought to the notice of all the employees,” he added.

The CM said that after a meeting with the employees unions on Monday, it was decided to form a committee to study the new and old pension schemes. The panel will submit its report in the next three months.

“The government will take a sympathetic view (of the OPS demand of the employees). Every decision we make has financial implications and should be well thought through. The government has not taken any negative stand (to the demand) and a solution will emerge only through dialogue.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)