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Maha govt agreeable to OPS, employees call off weeklong strike
Maha govt agreeable to OPS, employees call off weeklong strike

Mumbai, Mar 15 : Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday urged state government staffers, who have gone on an indefinite strike seeking restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), to call off their agitation, stressing that the government was positive and sympathetic about their demand.

Speaking in the Assembly, Shinde said one can take an extreme step when there is no scope for a discussion, but in the present case the government is ready for talks with agitating employees as any decision on the pension scheme will have financial implications.

“I request them (government employees) to hold a discussion and withdraw the strike. They have to think and discuss the issue with the government and withdraw the strike in view of problems being faced by people,” he said.

Lakhs of state government employees went on an indefinite strike from Tuesday seeking restoration of the OPS, a defined pension scheme offering 50 per cent of the last drawn salary, hampering functioning of various services and facilities at hospitals.

He said there was a lot of time for employees who have joined service after 2005, when the National Pension System (NPS) was introduced in place of the OPS, to retire.

“You can decide to go on a strike whenever you want. But it is not necessary to go on a strike today. We also told them (employee associations) that those who will retire before a decision is taken (by the government on OPS) will get full benefits,” the CM said.

The new pension scheme was implemented in the state on November 1, 2005.

Shinde said his government is committed to ensure employees get a dignified and secured life post-retirement.

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