Government teachers held massive rally in Lucknow on 15 November for restoration of old pension scheme

 

Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent

 

For their demand of restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), thousands of government teachers from across Uttar Pradesh held a massive rally in Lucknow on 15 November.

The teachers warned the authorities of intensifying the agitation against the New Pension Scheme (NPS) if their demand is not met before the municipal elections, scheduled to be held next month.

Over 50,000 state employees from all 75 districts, including as far as Western Uttar Pradesh and Purvanchal, participated in the rally. Rallies are being conducted in all district headquarters. “We have been agitating for the past one decade, when the government introduced this discriminating policy. However, successive governments have been blind to our woes,” a union leader said.

The protesting employees, under the banner of Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shikshak Sangh (UPPSS), said the new scheme would be like death to employees. “NPS does not guarantee minimum pension to employees and the government should immediately withdraw the ordinance in this regard.”

Teachers claimed that several recently retired government employees were not able to even pay their monthly electricity and other bills with the pension they were getting under NPS. As per the OPS, pension was fixed as 50% of the last basic salary drawn, along with other benefits and perks, whereas NPS is a contribution-based pension system. The pension benefit is also determined by factors such as the amount of contribution made, the age of joining, the type of investment, etc.

Apart from reintroducing OPS, the Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shikshak Sangh has also raised other demands such as the permanent status of shiksha mitras (ad hoc teachers) and anudeshaks (para-teachers), removal of anti-teacher provisions in the National Education Policy 2020 and cashless facilities for employees.

Last December too, teachers and other government employees had staged a massive demonstration in Lucknow, demanding fulfilment of their long-pending demands.

 

 

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