Around 17 lakh Maharashtra government employees on Tuesday begun their three-day-long strike, to press for their demands, including the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission among others. However, around 1.5 lakh gazetted officers withdrew from the strike after the government promised to pay pending arrears of the Dearness Allowance (DA) for a period of 14 months.
Apart from the Seventh Pay Commission implementation, the demands of employees also include a five-day week and an increase in the retirement age from 58 years to 60 years.
In a Government Resolution (GR) issued on Monday night, Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government said that the 7th pay commission will be implemented from January 2019, months before next Lok Sabha elections. The other two demands will be taken up during Diwali festival in November, an official said, according to PTI.
According to the GR issued by the ruling BJP-led state government, the arrears will be paid in the salaries of employees for August month. If the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission is delayed, the employees will get the benefit as per the wage structure of the Central government employees from January 2019.
“The employees of the Central government have been getting the benefits of the 7th pay commission since 2016. Seven state governments have implemented the pay commission,” state Government Employees Organisation president Nitin Sardeshmukh, adding that the employees were yet to receive the arrears of the sixth Pay Commission.
A General Administration Department (GAD) official said the employees working in essential services departments like hospitals, fire brigade, water supply etc. have been directed not to join the strike else provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) will be invoked against them.
(With inputs from agencies)