Thousands of government workers join ‘mass casual leave’ in state over old pension plan


By PTI IST (Released)

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“Our main demand was the OPS and this issue was not resolved by the state government on Friday. This issue affects every employee in the state and therefore they have decided to join the agitation mass CL today,” said Mahesh Mori, Organizer of Rashtriya Samyukt Morcha, Saurashtra Region.

Thousands of Gujarat government employees, including teachers, joined the statewide “Mass Casualty Leave” protest on Saturday to demand the implementation of the old pension scheme (OPS). Apex union bodies had ended the unrest on Friday, saying the state government had agreed to most of their demands, but district-level unions said the government had ignored their main request for OPS.

“Our main demand was the OPS and this issue was not resolved by the state government on Friday. This issue affects every employee in the state and therefore they have decided to join the agitation mass CL today,” said Mahesh Mori, Organizer of Rashtriya Samyukt Morcha, Saurashtra Region.

Nearly 7,000 government teachers were on furlough on Saturday in Bhavnagar district alone, he said.

Unions representing teachers, panchayat health workers and revenue workers have been protesting for some time for the reintroduction of OPS in the state. In Gandhinagar, a large number of disgruntled employees had staged a rally at the Old Sachivalaya campus and refrained from working.

“Our union leaders had put an end to the unrest saying that all our demands had been met. But our main demand for OPS still stands. The government has agreed to give OPS only to employees who joined the service before 2005, while most of us joined after 2005,” said one protesting employee.

In Kutch, nearly 8,000 government workers, mostly teachers, did not come to work to register their protest.

“Since our main request for OPS has not been granted, we have decided to continue with the CL mass unrest today. In Kutch district, nearly 8,000 employees, including teachers, are on furlough today,” said Jakhrabhai Kerashiya of Kutch Prathmik Shaikshik Mahasangh.

After a meeting with five BJP government ministers on Friday, Samyukt Karmachari Morcha Chairman Digvijaysinh Jadeja and Rashtriya Samyukt Morcha Chairman Bhikhabhai Patel said the mass leave movement had been called off as the government had accepted the majority of their demands, with the exception of the reintroduction of OPS. .

The state government announced on Friday that employees who joined the service before April 2005 will receive benefits from the General Provident Fund and the old pension scheme.


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