UP Government Employees Strike Against New Pension Scheme
Uttar Pradesh government employees staged a dharna on Sunday, October 28, in various districts of the state, demanding the scrapping of the Contributory New Pension Scheme (NPS) and restoration of the old pension scheme. The protesters held the strike in front of the residences of a number of MPs.
The employees have warned that if the old scheme is not restored then they will be compelled to launch a nation-wide stir. The employees demanded that all parties declare in their manifestos that the old pension scheme would be reverted back. The protest call was given by the state government employees under the banner of Uttar Pradesh State Employees’ Federation (UPSEF).
The UPSEF was reportedly in talks with the Yogi Adityanath-led state government but the talks failed to reach a consensus over the demands of the employees. Following which the state government has threatened to cut the salary of those employees who will participate in the protest, or will be absent from work. No excuses will be accepted for anyone marked as absent, according to a report by the Hindi daily Hindustan.
The chief ‘Pension Bahali Manch’, Dinesh Chandra Sharma has called for a meeting of the employees union to discuss the future course of action. “The government is trying to convince the employees with figures and data about NPS, saying it is as good as, if not better, than the old pension scheme. However, we also have our facts ready and the officials have been unable to answer our queries,” News 18 quoted him as saying.
It should be noted that there are over 1.6 million state government employees in the state, including teachers.
The call for strike has also been supported by the police officials. A photograph of three men in uniform, who were hiding their faces with posters of the strike, had gone viral on social networking websites.
On Wednesday, October 31, teachers’ union leaders along with many employees and officers’ union will start a bike rally in various district headquarters, including in the capital Lucknow, in support of restoring old pension scheme.
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