Demanding the reinstatement of the pension scheme (OPS), thousands of state government workers began an indefinite strike on Tuesday in different parts of Maharashtra. About 68,000 employees from various departments went on strike in Pune district, 80,000 workers in Kolhapur district, and in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, 7,000 workers also joined the agitation.
The state government employees had previously protested in 2018, resulting in the formation of a panel. However, there was no progress on the report produced by the panel. The employees went on strike in 2022 as well.
Reportedly, alongside the reinstatement of the OPS, workers have also raised their concerns for many more issues: regularisation of contract workers’ services, filling up of vacant positions, and benefits of the in-service advancement scheme for teaching and non-teaching staff.
Where CM Eknath Shinde has formed a three-person committee to examine the issue, the strike has disrupted many services in Maharashtra, including hospitals and offices.
Additionally, the district collectorate, which houses various offices such as the revenue department, home department, supply office, gram panchayat office, and tahsildar office, receives approximately 3,500 visitors on a daily basis for various purposes. On Tuesday, the majority of these visitors were unable to complete their tasks and had to leave without any progress.
Shinde had announced on Monday that a team of experienced government officials would be formed to investigate the state government employees’ request to switch back to the Old Pension Scheme. The panel will submit its findings within a specific timeframe, preferably three months, according to him.
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