Banswara- In a bid to secure the financial well-being of state employees and teachers, Siyaram Sharma, the State President of the Rajasthan Teachers Association, has written a letter to both the state and central governments. The letter calls for a clarification on the strategy regarding the old pension scheme (OPS) and emphasizes the vital role it plays as the primary means of livelihood for retirees.
Sharma highlighted the disparity between the pensions received by elected public representatives and state employees. While MPs and MLAs enjoy more lucrative pension benefits, state employees contribute a portion of their salary every month for over 33 years to receive a joint pension upon retirement. Sharma asserted that any alteration to OPS would be democratically opposed by the organization.
Addressing a High Power Committee of teachers during a preparation meeting for an upcoming provincial convention in Jaipur, Sharma stressed that the old pension scheme is indispensable for the livelihood of retirees, and any deviation from it would be unacceptable. He called for the government to fulfill promises made in its manifesto, including the recruitment of one lakh vacant posts, resolution of stalled promotions, allocation of budget for school infrastructure, and addressing various issues faced by the education department.
Following the meeting, a delegation handed over an invitation letter for the provincial convention in Kota and a demand letter outlining the problems faced by teachers addressed to the Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma and Education Minister Madan Dilawar.
Speaking to The Mooknayak, an office bearer of the association Arun Vyas said the collective is actively seeking clarity on the OPS and stands firm against any proposed changes, emphasizing the scheme's importance as the sole livelihood for retirees. The government is now urged to address the concerns raised by the association and provide concrete answers to the questions posed to the MLAs.
The Teachers Union has presented a series of critical inquiries to Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), addressing key concerns related to the educational sector. In a question to MLA Indira Meena , the union asks whether government employees appointed after 2004 in the state were awarded the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), and if so, seeks details on the beneficiaries.
From Govind Singh Dotasara , the union seeks comprehensive information on the implementation and continuation of OPS, including the number of personnel benefitted from it until December 31, 2023.
The union members has sought clarification from Harishchandra Meena about the current distribution of government personnel under the New Pension Scheme and the Old Pension Scheme, highlighting potential differences and exploring the government's contemplation of closing the old pension scheme for those appointed after January 1, 2004.
Legislator Ghanshyam has been posed with query about the actions taken to close various pension schemes between 2018 and 2023 and inquires about the government's intention to cancel the OPS Pension Scheme during this period.
Ganesh Ghoghra has been questioned on the erstwhile government's sensitivity towards implementing the OPS and its considerations regarding aligning state employee pay scales with the Centre, as well as the Central Government's purported intent to reclaim funds deducted under the New Pension Scheme of State Employees. The teachers union, through these questions, seeks transparent and detailed responses from the MLAs, underscoring the importance of addressing these concerns for the welfare of educators and government employees in Rajasthan.