Gandhinagar Protest: Employees and Teachers Demands Old Pension Scheme

Government has been persistently reluctant to reinstate the old pension scheme, causing resentment among employees towards the government’s rigid policy. State government employees across Gujarat have protested through various means like pen-down strikes, shutdowns, wearing black bands, and demonstrations. Today, teachers and employees, in unprecedented numbers, are demonstrating opposition by wearing white clothes in protest rallies under the banner of Gandhi Nagar Satyagraha March.

Employee Association Demands Answers from Government

The employee association demands the government to address two primary issues: reinstating the old pension scheme and making the fixed salary policy obsolete, ensuring full pay. Additionally, they demand the release of pending benefits according to the Seventh Pay Commission, as well as an increase in dearness allowance and house rent allowance by the central government. The association presented ultimatums to the government to address their concerns by the end of March. However, their demands remain unsatisfied. Previously, on the 14th and 15th, employees protested by wearing black clothes. Moreover, on the 23rd, employees in Patanagar organized a collective protest against discriminatory policies.

Persistent Demand for Reinstating the Old Pension Scheme

Government employees, particularly teachers, have been consistently demanding the reinstatement of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). OPS was a pension scheme based on the retirement of government employees. It also extended benefits to the family members of retired employees in case of their demise. However, the government decided to discontinue OPS as it imposed a significant burden on the government’s treasury.

Protests Against Implementing New Pension Scheme

Government employees have launched protests against the government’s reluctance to implement the old pension scheme (OPS). The Gujarat State United Employees’ Morcha has organized various programs separately. Today, in the Gandhi Nagar Satyagraha March, teachers and employees are again gathering in large numbers wearing white clothes in protest.

Demands of Teachers and Employees

All teachers and employees of Gujarat state should be given the benefit of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). Teachers and employees appointed before 01-04-2005 should be included in the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) according to the government’s resolution. All types of allowances and benefits, including grants, should be given to central government employees. The recruitment rules of old teachers in granted secondary and higher secondary schools should be made immediately, benefiting schools in changing staff. Teachers under the new pension scheme should be given the benefit of conversion of 300 days of leave into cash. Contractual and fixed salary scheme should be abolished, and permanent recruitment should be made in the place of assistant teachers. Improvements should be made in the maternity leave rules of the primary category workforce as per the demand made on 22-04-2022. Benefit of higher pay scale should be given from the date of appointment to the employees who are appointed since 1997 and are currently drawing fixed salaries. A resolution should be made to grant pensions to employees who retire at the time of transfers from municipal districts to rural or metropolitan areas. Granted primary school teachers and municipal teachers should be given a Grade Pay of 4200 along with arrears, and granted primary teachers should be given permanent protection of the pay scale. The rules for transfer of HTAT headmasters should be withdrawn immediately. In government schools, in-charge principals should submit earned leave and vacation leave duties during vacations in the service book.

Niyati Rao

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