Employee union threatens to drag MHADA to court
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) may soon have to battle it out in court with the employees' union planning to take the legal recourse to address their pension woes dragging on for two decades now.
According to the union, the board has been dragging its feet on the matter since 1991 resulting in a backlog of about Rs 200 crore in unpaid dues. Following a series of meetings on the issue, MHADA vice-president Satish Gavai, earlier, had this month written to the state government to suggest a way out, as it affected thousands of former and present housing board employees. In his letter, Gavai has upheld the validity of pension payment to employees. However he has asked the state government to intervene and decide on the cut-off date for eligibility of pension.
As per the Kamachari Sangh MHADA, the wrangle is over interpretation of a 1991 MHADA resolution passed after the state government extended the Maharashtra Civil Services Rules-applicable to state government employees-to MHADA employees. "Accordingly MHADA employees were to follow the same rules in matters pertaining to leave, salary, inquiry and other service conditions as applicable to state government workers. The resolution even said all MHADA employees since 1987 will be eligible for pension, just like state government employees but the pension was the only component that wasn't implemented," said Suryakant Teli, general secretary of the union. He pointed out that even though rules are very clear that MHADA has to pay pension to its employees, the housing board has put the ball back in the state government court by raising the issue of eligibility.
About 2,550 retired housing board, repair board and slum board employees of MHADA and about 2,100 still in service will be affected by the impending decision. In case of serving MHADA employees, as per central government rules, only those retiring before November 2005 will be eligible. "We have waited for so long that now we will be forced to take MHADA to court," said Teli whose union has already served MHADA a legal notice and written a letter to the CM on the issue.
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