Maharashtra: Over 17 Lakh Government Employees Go On Strike To Protest For Old Pension Scheme Implementation

Maharashtra: Over 17 Lakh Government Employees Go On Strike To Protest For Old Pension Scheme Implementation

Though state government officials held a meeting with representatives of the employees’ unions on Wednesday evening to avert the strike, the talk ended in a stalemate.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Thursday, December 14, 2023, 08:37 PM IST
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Maharashtra government employees raise slogans during a protest to demand restoration of the old pension scheme, in Thane, Thursday, December 14, 2023. | PTI

Around 17 lakh Maharashtra government employees participated in a strike on Thursday to protest the administration's failure to implement the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).

Though state government officials held a meeting with representatives of the employees’ unions on Wednesday evening to avert the strike, the talk ended in a stalemate.

Second such strike by government employees

This is the second strike by the employees, who had earlier struck work this March after which Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had announced the setting up of a committee comprising former senior bureaucrats Subodh Kumar, K P Bakshi, and Sudhir Kumar Shrivastava to study the old and new pension schemes. The panel was asked to submit a report with recommendations in three months.

The three-member committee submitted its report to Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar in November 2023. Speaking at the Legislative Council in the ongoing Winter Session of the state legislature, Ajit Pawar said the government was positive about the demand, and a decision on OPS was likely before the next budget session.

Government's stance and appeal

Thursday's strike covered all government departments, including schools, colleges, hospitals from the block to the state level, hitting public services in many places.

The staffers, under the banner of the Maharashtra State Government Employees Association (MSGEA), have taken out processions in Nagpur, where the winter session of the Legislature is being held. Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has also committed that the government is positive towards the OPS but appealed to the state employees to call off their agitation.

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