Published: 23rd January 2019
7 lakh Tamil Nadu teachers join JACTTO-GEO protests, elementary schools remain shut
A statement issued by Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan on Monday, said that no payment will be issued to the employees participating in the strike.
One-fourth of government employees did not turn up for work on Tuesday, the first day of the indefinite strike announced by the Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO). Though the functioning of government offices were not severely hit, elementary schools across the State remained shut as a majority of the participants were teachers, particularly those who teach kindergarten, class one and two.
Schools with higher grades remained functional as the strike saw less participation from high school teachers. While official estimates are that 7 lakh employees participated in the strike, the association has claimed the number to be 12 lakh.
While the participation of Secretariat staff was low, almost half the employees of Ezhilagam and Chennai collectorate took part in the protest. State coordinator of the association, A Mayavan claimed the number of protestors would increase on Wednesday. The government had warned that action would be taken on government staff participating in the strike.
A statement issued by Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan on Monday, said that no pay will be issued to the employees participating in the strike. The employees have planned to hold a protest at Ezhilagam, Chennai Corporation and the collectorate until Friday. The strike is said to continue until the government meets their demand, according to a statement issued by the association.
The association has a seven-point demand list in which it has urged the government to repeal the new pension scheme and revert to the old one, settle 21-month pay arrears according to the new pay commission's guidelines, settle pay anomalies for secondary teachers and regularise the jobs of part-time staff and teachers working at Anganwadis.
In addition to these, the association has included new demands put forth by Secondary Grade teachers, who teach at government elementary schools. "This strike will see 100 percent participation from elementary teachers as we will be most affected," said R Das, the State coordinator of Tamil Nadu Elementary School Teachers Association. They have raised objection to the government's decision to use 'surplus' elementary school teachers at the new LKG, UKG classes that were inaugurated on January 21.