Cracks seem to have appeared between various Government Employees’ Associations after the indefinite strike was withdrawn on Wednesday, March 1. The Karnataka State Employees Association President C.S. Shadakshari has been blamed for “unilaterally” taking the decision to withdraw the strike despite the government not agreeing to their full demands by some groups.
Terming the withdrawal of strike as a “leadership failure”, the NPS Government Employees Association President Shantharam said: “It had been decided that the strike will not be withdrawn till 40% fitment is given from July 1 , 2022 and the National Pension Scheme is rolled back. What we have got now is an interim relief from April 1, 2023 and another committee is formed.” He said that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has tried to wriggle out of the problem by setting another committee and bargaining for time. “In the past too, he had announced that withdrawal of NPS in other states would be studied.”
Stating that the strike had been withdrawn unilaterally and without consulting them, the Secretariat Employees Association President Guruswamy said: “It seems to us like a hasty decision and we condemn it. Instead of a minimum 25% interim relief, we have received 17 %. What we went for is not what we got. We will continue with our demands.”
The State Government SC/ST Employees Association President D. Chandrashekaraiah too was sceptical about the announcement of interim relief, and pointed out that the relief should have been since last year. “The decision is not satisfactory. Mr. Shadakshari should have called all the associations for a meeting where decisions should have been taken democratically. When associations lent support for a strike call, it was a joint decision.”
All Karnataka State Government Employees’ Federation (AKSGEF) also expressed reservation about the withdrawal of the strike. They said in a release that the government seems to have no commitment to reverting to Old Pension Scheme and the interim relief announced was not satisfactory.