Government employees led by Leftist organisations will go on an indefinite strike from January 8, in view of the failure of talks on contributory pension scheme with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister told the representatives of the employees that the proposed pension scheme would not affect existing employees. There would be provision for commutation of the 60 per cent of the pension under the scheme also. The spouse of an employee too can be enlisted as beneficiary of the scheme, at the option of the employee.
The Leftist organisations wanted the government to withdraw the order on implementation of the pension scheme from April this year. They noted that the Centre had not yet enacted the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill. However, Mr. Chandy declined to withdraw the order. The Pro-UDF organisations urged Mr. Chandy to remove the concerns of the employees regarding the scheme.
Both the pro-UDF and pro-LDF unions wanted the government to raise the pension age. However, the Chief Minister told them that the question of raising the pension age could not be considered. The government had decided to provide leave travel concessions to the staff and the orders in this respect would be issued in a few days.
He clarified that there was no change in the policy on pay revision in every five years. The employees need not be concerned about the recommendation of the Expenditure Commission in this regard.
The Federation of Employees and Teachers Organisations said in a statement that the report of the expenditure committee should be rejected. The proposal to implement the pension scheme should be dropped as it did not even guarantee minimum pension. The pension age should be raised to 60 years, on par with that of Central government employees.