CHENNAI: Over seven lakh government employees from the Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO) participated in the first day of their indefinite strike on Tuesday, members of the association said.
While employees from the State Secretariat did not participate in the strike, at least half the employees working at the Ezhilagam government offices complex and at the Chennai collectorate participated. A Mayavan, a State coordinator of the association, said there was nearly 100 per cent participation by employees at the other district collectorates.
Government employees across the State joined the strike, even though the Tamil Nadu government had warned that action would be taken against those who joined the strike. A statement issued by Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, on Monday, had said that no pay would be issued to the employees on strike.
With government teachers from 57 different associations participating in the strike, on Tuesday several elementary schools were shut. However, most other government schools were functional although with less participation from higher class teachers.
The employees have planned protest at the Ezhilagam, Chennai Corporation and the collectorate till Friday. A statement from the association said that the strike would continue until the government met their demands.
The association has a seven-point list of demands. It wants 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 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 added demands put forth by Secondary Grade teachers, who teach at government elementary schools.
"This strike will see 100 per cent 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 objections to the State government's decision to use "surplus" elementary school teachers at the new LKG, UKG classes at anganwadis, inaugurated on January 21.