Mumbai: Over 17 lakh Maharashtra government employees went on a day’s token strike on Thursday to press for their 18-point demand charter, the prime being implementation of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), leaders said.
The strike covered all government departments, including schools, colleges, hospitals from the block to the state level, hitting public services in many places.
This was the second strike this year for OPS, the first one being in March for the same demand after which Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had appointed a panel to study the OPS and the New Pension Scheme.
The panel, comprising top ex-bureaucrats like Subodh Kumar, K. P. Bakshi and Sudhir Kumar, has recently submitted its report to the state government.
The staffers, under the Maharashtra State Government Employees Association (MSGEA) have taken out a massive procession in Nagpur in the past two days coinciding with the Winter Session of the Legislature there.
This week, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, who holds the Finance portfolio, said that the government would study the panel report and positively consider the demand for OPS before the 2024 Assembly elections.
Later, he assured that the government would take a decision before the upcoming budget session of the legislature in the first quarter of 2024.
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.
The duo said that the government would study the financial implications of the OPS vis-a-vis the NPS and take a decision accordingly.
Meanwhile, the government staffers on strike, organised demonstrations and protests in different parts of the state today, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane, Raigad, Pune and other places, carried banners and posters and raised slogans for immediate implementation of OPS and their other demands.