Unions representing government teachers and employees took to the streets on Tuesday demanding that the government rescind the new Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and bring back the old pension scheme.
Teacher organisations, under the banner of the A.P. United Teachers’ Federation (UTF) staged Statewide satyagrahas in support of their demand.
Addressing the protesting teachers at the Federation’s State office in Vijayawada, general secretary P. Babu Reddy said the CPS, which was detrimental to the interests of the government employees, was being strongly opposed for the last 16 years but successive governments had been making false promises on the issue.
“Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised to revoke CPS and bring back the old pension scheme within a month of coming to power, but even after 15 months of forming the government, he has not kept his word,” he alleged.
Mr. Babu Reddy said that in these 15 months, almost 800 employees had retired and the pension they were drawing was less than the government-sponsored old-age pension. He urged the government to annul its agreement with the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and bring back the contributory pension amount of 1,88,000 employees worth ₹10,900.66 crore invested in the share market and deposit it in their PF accounts.
Federation president Shaik Sabjee participated in the satyagraha staged at Eluru in West Godavari district and said that cancellation of the CPS was a long-pending demand and urged the government not to waste any more time in fulfilling its promise made to employees at the time of the elections.
Leaders of the State APNGOs’ Association, meanwhile, staged a lunch-hour protest and threatened to intensify their strike if the government failed to heed their demand.
Association leaders Chandrasekhar Reddy, B. Srinivasa Rao and A. Vidyasagar led the protest.
Mr. Chandrasekhar Reddy said that the committee constituted to work out the modalities for implementation of the old pension scheme did not submit its reports even to this day.
Acknowledging the fact that the government had various welfare programmes for progress and growth of different sections in the society, Mr. Chandrasekhar Reddy said that repeal of the CPS was equally imperative as it concerned the welfare of lakhs of employees in the State.