Mumbai, August 7: Nearly 17 lakh government employees in Maharashtra have begun a three-day strike from today, August 7, asking for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission among other demands. The protest that began today will end on Thursday, August 9. The call for the strike has been given by Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Federation, the Maharashtra State Employees Organization, and the Maharashtra State Class Four Employees Association. Among those participating in the strike are bank employees and teachers and, therefore, these services are likely to be affected.
According to a report by PTI, State Government Employees Organisation president Nitin Sardeshmukh informed that class III and class IV employees of Zilla Parishads, state hospitals, staff working at Mantralaya (Secretariat) are participating 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 implemented the pay commission,” Sardeshmukh added.
Employees of staff working in essential services like hospitals, fire brigade, water supply etc. have been directed not to join the strike or else provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) will be invoked against them.
On Monday, around 1.5 lakh gazetted officers withdrew from the strike after a Government Resolution (GR) was issued stating that the pending arrears of the Dearness Allowance (DA) for a period of 14 months will be paid to them. As per the GR, the arrears will be paid in the salaries of employees for August month. Another GR was issued stating that the 7th pay commission will be implemented from January 2019.
The employees say that they are yet to receive the arrears accrued to them since the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission by the state government of Maharashtra. Sardeshmukh also claimed that a total of 1.85 lakh posts of class III and class IV employees are lying vacant in Maharashtra.
The strike comes on the same day when trade unions have also called for a nationwide transport strike. The government employees are also demanding 5-day a week working, a demand which is likely to be taken up close to Diwali.