Maharashtra: 17 lakh govt-employees on 3-day strike for salary hike
(Sourced from PTI)
Around 17 lakh employees of the Maharashtra government began their three-day strike today to press for various demands, including implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission report. Essential services in various departments, including government hospitals, are likely to be affected as Class 3 and 4 government employees have joined the strike, Maharashtra Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Madhyavarti Sanghatna General Secretary Avinash Daund claimed.
The government employees are yet to receive arrears accrued to them since the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, Milind Sardeshmukh, President of the organization which has called for the protest said. He claimed that 1.85L posts of Class 3 and Class 4 employees are lying vacant. Moreover, the demand for filling up 30,000 posts on compassionate ground is also not accepted, he said.
"The government-appointed KP Bakshi Committee was only holding meetings for the last one-and-a-half years with various departments for the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission's recommendations," Sardeshmukh said. "The state is dilly-dallying on the issue of granting Dearness Allowance arrears for 14 months," he said. The government's reluctance to fill up vacant posts in various departments has increased the workload on employees, he claimed.
The government has not done anything beyond giving assurances for raising the retirement age from 58 years to 60 years, five-day week working system, a continuation of the old pension scheme, and a two-year child care leave to women employees, Sardeshmukh said. Daund said their organization was against outsourcing of some government jobs to private sector and appointment of contract laborers.
The government said the employees' decision to go on strike will be construed as "misbehavior" and disciplinary action will be taken against them. It said the Center's policy of "Kaam nahi, vetan nahi" will be followed in the state as well. The order directed employees in essential services departments not to join the strike, or else provisions of ESMA will be invoked against them.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said last week that recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission will be implemented for state government employees from January 2019. "The arrears of Seventh Pay Commission will be given with retrospective effect from January 2016, while the Dearness Allowance will be given retrospectively for the last 14 months," he had said after holding a meeting with various employees' unions.