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UP: State Govt Employees Hold Protest for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme

Apart from demanding restoration of the old pension scheme, which was discontinued in 2005, the employees sought scrapping of appointments through a contract system and fixed pay arrangements.
UP: State Govt Employees Held Protest for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme

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Lucknow: A large number of employees from various departments of the Uttar Pradesh government took out protest rallies in various parts of the state, including Lucknow and Varanasi, on Monday, demanding the reintroduction of the old pension system (OPS), abolition of fixed pay arrangement, cashless medical facility and implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations, among other demands.

Under the banner of the Rajya Karmchari Sanyukt Parishad, employees gathered near district collectorates across the state.

There are over 61 lakh pensioners in Uttar Pradesh, and it has been their long pending demand that NPS be replaced with OPS.

Speaking to NewsClick, Shiv Baran Singh Yadav, general secretary of Rajya Karamchari Sanyukt Parishad president, a state organisation of government employees formed to restore OPS said, "The NPS is the classic example of privatising everything. The government is privatising the public sector units and passing the buck of social security to the stock market-based system. This will gradually ruin everything, leaving the entire country in a mess."

The umbrella organisation of government employees later handed over a memorandum addressed to the chief minister Yogi Adityanath, stating that he was responsible for the welfare of government employees and his government must accept all recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

Apart from demanding the restoration of the old pension scheme, which was discontinued in 2005, the employees sought the scrapping of appointments through a contract system and fixed pay arrangements.

"We sought an appointment with the chief minister to put forth our demands. If we do not get a favourable response from the government, we will announce our next plan of action," said Amrita Tripathi, Lucknow district in-charge of Rajya Karamchari Sanyukt Parishad, adding that this was the first time in many months that such a large number of employees protested against the government over their demands.

From teaching and non-teaching staff of the education department to Roadways staff, health workers, and employees of various government departments in the state decided to corner the government on the issue of restoring the old pension scheme for those hired after 2004. "We are against the new pension scheme that puts the social security of workers at stake. And We will intensify our movement against NPS in the coming days," the union leaders told NewsClick.

"Four states, including Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, have announced plans to resume the old pension scheme. But the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is not paying heed to our demands. If our demands are not met soon, we will be forced to launch a big agitation," Shailendra Gupta, a state employee who organised a protest in Siddharthnagar, told NewsClick.

While the issue has seen several protests in the past, it has recently started gaining steam after the Rajasthan and Chattisgarh CMs announced the restoration of the OPS and political parties in poll-bound states promised to follow suit.

The protesting state employees also accused the Yogi government of cheating on cashless medical facilities. They said the card of the employees had not been made yet. Promotion is also not given for a long time. There are about five thousand employees in the entire state, who the government has promoted, but they have not been able to get work in that post.

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