Hyderabad: State government employees could lose a day’s salary for taking part in Friday’s strike against the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
The government has taken a serious view of the 1.25 lakh employees under the CPS going on en masse leave, while many of the 2.5 lakh employees under the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) boycotted work after marking their attendance.
The strike had paralysed work in govenment offices, schools, colleges, universities and hospitals. The government has decided to mark the leave applications and boycott of duties as “absent” and cut salary for the day. The government has asked the heads of all departments and collectors to submit the list of employees department wise who applied for leave and boycotted work.
The department of school education has already issued directions to district education officers to identify teachers who struck work.
There are nearly 1.10 lakh teachers in the state. Of them, nearly 70,000 are learnt to have turned up at schools and boycotted classes. Another 60,000 government employees comprising both gazetted and non non-gazetted officers, kept off work though they had marked their attendance.
They participated in protest rallies after signing the registers, which will be treated as being absent. The government is upset at the employees going on strike as it had no role in introducing the CPS in the state. The law was brought by the Centre in 2004.
The CPS was proposed by the NDA government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee but the Manmohan Singh government started implementing it from 2004. When the UPA government passed the CPS Act in 2013, the NDA had supported it.
The Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy government opted for the CPS in 2004, when the Centre asked state governments for their choice. Barring West Bengal and Tripura, all states opted for the CPS.
Asked whether the government could now leave the scheme, TNGOs president K. Ravinder Reddy said, “The government had the option of passing a legislation in the Assembly to opt out of the CPS and restore the OPS and send to Centre for approval.”
TS CPS Employees Association president Stitha Prajna said, “It is not about losing a day’s salary. What matters most is the financial and social security for ourselves and our family members, which the CPS does not assure. We are ready to lose salary for a year to achieve our demand of restoring the OPS.”
It may be noted that government staff rarely, if ever, lose their salary. During the Sakala Janula Samme as part of the statehood agitation, state government employees went on a strike for 42 days in September and October 2011. The Kiran Kumar Reddy government treated this period as special casual leave and paid salaries later....