Barely out of the Maratha stir crisis and the Maharashtra government is set to grapple with another beginning today with around 17 lakh of its employees going on a three-day strike to press for their demands which include the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission. However, PTI reported that around 1.5 lakh gazetted officers had withdrawn from the strike after a Government Resolution (GR) was issued late on Monday stating that the pending arrears of the Dearness Allowance (DA) for a period of 14 months will be paid to them.
Another GR was issued stating that the 7th pay commission will be implemented from January 2019. An official added that the demands for a five-day week and raising of the retirement age from 58 to 60 years would be taken up during Diwali. The arrears will be paid in the salaries of employees for August month, said the GR. It added that if the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission was delayed, employees would get the benefit as per the wage structure of the Central government employees from January 2019, it stated. Earlier in the day, state Government Employees Organisation president Nitin Sardeshmukh said class III and class IV employees of Zilla Parishads, state hospitals, staff working at Mantralaya (Secretariat) will participate in the strike. “The employees of the Central government have been getting the benefits of the 7th pay commission since 2016. Seven state governments have also implemented the pay commission,” he said.
Sardeshmukh said the employees were yet to receive the arrears accrued to them since the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission by the state government. He said 1.85 lakh posts of class III and class IV employees were lying vacant in Maharashtra. “Moreover, the demand for filling up 30,000 posts on compassionate grounds is also not accepted by the state government,” Sardesmukh claimed. He said around 30 to 40 percent of total posts were lying vacant in hospitals and other essential services departments.
A General Administration Department official told PTI the employees working in essential services departments, like hospitals, fire brigade and water supply had been directed not to join the strike or else provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act would be invoked against them.
Source - IN