Tamil Nadu asks striking teachers to go back to work or face consequences


Chennai: Noting that the state was not in a position to meet the demands because of financial impediments, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami urged the striking government employees and teachers to end the strike.

He said that the state was facing financial constraints because of the rehabilitation works in the districts that has been affected by Cyclone Gaja. The Chief Minister said that it was painful and unfortunate that the employees and teachers have resorted to a strike at a time when the needy people are suffering.

The employees and teachers are on an agitation under the banner of Joint Action Committee of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisation and Government Employees Organisation (JACTTO-GEO) .They kickstarted the agitation indefinite agitation on January 22, demanding an increase in the salary of secondary school teachers, reversing contributory pension scheme and payment of arrears.

Palaniswami also hit out at the opposition, alleging that the strike was being funnelled by the Opposition, who have been making false claims that the demands of the agitating employees are not being met despite the government having enough funds in the exchequer. He also mentioned that a a bulk percentage (about 75 per cent) of the funds are utilised for paying salary and pension.

With the protestors in no way withdrawing from the agitation, the government has started recruiting temporary teachers. The government has also warned of stern action against those who do not go back to work. The district administration has been asked to take immediate steps to address the situation. They were asked to appoint enough temporary teachers so that functioning of schools were not affected. The Education department has also asked the PTA committees to appoint teachers on temporary basis, the expenses of which would be given by the government.

Meanwhile, state fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that the employees and teachers should not protest for demands that the state government would never be able to meet. He also mentioned that if the demand of the agitators to reverse to the old pension scheme is met, then the state would be dragged to bankruptcy. The state will have nothing left for any welfare scheme for the people, he added.

With majority of the teachers on the roads, a large number of schools have been closed.

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