An application has been filed before the Bombay High Court on Thursday urging the court to direct 17 lakh government employees to withdraw their ongoing indefinite strike seeking restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS).
On March 14, this year paramedics working in State-run hospitals, sanitation workers, nurses, ward boys and teachers joined the strike. The matter will be heard on March 17.
The application, filed by advocate Gunratan Sadavarte, states, “Teachers have gone on strike at a time when board examinations of Class 10 and 12 are underway. Due to the strike, services in hospitals, educational institutes, government establishments, tax offices and even the district collectors’ offices were completely shut.”
The OPS was scrapped on October 31, 2005, when late Vilasrao Deshmukh of the Congress was the Chief Minister. The strike is against the provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2023 (MESMA).
Under the OPS, a government employee gets a monthly pension equivalent to 50% of his/her salary. There was no need for contribution by employees. As per the new pension scheme, a State employee contributes 10% of his/her basic salary plus allowance with the State making a matching contribution. The money is then invested in one of the several pensions funds approved by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, and returns are market-linked.