Barring a few, almost all the protesting teachers across Tamil Nadu resumed their duties on Tuesday with the AIADMK government-led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami remaining firm.
In the state capital, 99.9 per cent of the teachers reported for duty. Only four teachers have not reported for duty, Chief Education Officer Thiruvalarchelvi told reporters.
Members of the Joint Action Committee of the Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisation and the Government Employees Organisation (JACTTO-GEO) have been striking work for the past couple of days with demands like reverting to the old pension scheme and a hike in pay for secondary grade teachers among others.
The Tamil Nadu government had expressed its inability to accede to the demands and warned of stern action against the striking teachers, forcing them to resume duty.
The School Education Department had suspended over 1,000 teachers for participating in the strike and also issued orders for the appointment of temporary teachers.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Palaniswami appealed to striking teachers and government staff to withdraw their strike and resume work. The strike, which began on January 22, was to press the government to fulfil demands in the nine-point charter framed by the members of the Joint Action Committee of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations- Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO). One of their major demands is to roll back the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), introduced by the government, and a pay raise. The strike has affected the functioning of schools across the state.
Many teachers were also arrested for holding demonstrations across the state. The state government also rejected the demands put forward by JACTTO-GEO, citing a financial crunch. Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan had warned government employees not to participate in the strike and said that participating in the strike and affecting the normal functioning of government offices would be a violation of the Tamil Nadu Government Servants’ Conduct Rules and that such absence would result in pay cuts for those days.
(With IANS input)