Chennai: In yet another strong warning to striking teachers, the school education department gave an ultimatum to them that if they don’t return to work by Monday they cannot continue in the same schools and their posts will be considered as vacant posts. The move comes after the suspension of 426 teachers for participating in protests on Saturday.
‘Teachers who return to work on Monday will only lose their salary for the days they were absent and no departmental action will be initiated against them,’ school education director V.C Rameswaramurugan said in a circular to chief educational officers on Sunday.
Pressing various demands including the continuation of old pension scheme, a majority of teachers and government employees under the banner of Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO), are on an indefinite strike from January 22.
‘If the teachers fail to return to work on Monday, the posts will be considered as vacant posts and would be filled by temporary teachers,’ the circular from the school education director said.
‘For teachers, who return to work after January 28, a departmental action would be initiated against them and they would be assigned to work at the vacant posts in any school within the educational district by concerned district educational officers,’ Mr Rameswaramurugan said.
Unfazed by the announcement, the representatives of JACTTO-GEO said the announcement would only strengthen the resolve of the teachers to continue their strike.
“The participation of teachers in the strike increases by every day. The measures taken by the government including arresting the protesting teachers and suspending them will further strengthen the resolve of teachers,” said K Thiyagarajan, spokesperson of JACTTO-GEO.
The state government, citing the expert committee’s report, ruled out the main demand of reverting back to the old pension scheme.
D Jayakumar, minister for fisheries, personnel and administrative reforms, in a detailed statement on Saturday, said the government would go bankrupt if it conceded to the demands of the teachers and government employees.
R Doss, one of the state co-ordinators of the JACTTO-GEO alleged that the state government is misrepresenting facts about the salary of government employees.
“Instead of pointing out only the salary, the state government has wrongly given the entire expenditure of state government and interest to the loan as salary expenditure to mislead the general public. Our salary alone does not constitute 71% of government expenditure,” he said.
“Thousands of government employees who have retired are yet to get their pension amount under the contributory pension scheme (CPS). No one knows where the amount has gone. It has brought the teachers to the streets to protest,” he said.
Meanwhile, several thousand teacher graduates have applied for the temporary teacher posts on Sunday. The government has fixed Rs10,000 per month as consolidated pay for the temporary teachers....