CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government suspended nearly 420 school teachers across the State late on Saturday.
This move comes five days after teachers joined the indefinite strike by Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Organisations and Government Employees’ Organisations (JACTTO-GEO).
In a statement issued here, TN minister Jayakumar said members of the JACTTO-GEO) should not protest with demands that cannot be fulfilled by the government.
Members of the organization are protesting with demands like reverting to the old pension scheme, hike in pay for secondary grade teachers among others.
10 teachers were suspended in Chennai, while several others were suspended in the Cauvery Delta, where the protests were the most intensified.
“The suspension was inevitable. The teachers were arrested and came out on bail. We cannot allow them to work when they have an FIR that involves them,” a School Education Department official said.
The School Education Department on Friday evening gave the protesting teachers the option of avoiding disciplinary action against them by attending Republic Day celebrations.
Failing to follow this, suspensions were carried out.
Thiruvalar Selvi, Chief Educational Officer, Chennai, said teachers would be penalised under ‘no work no pay’ policy but can avoid disciplinary action if they reported for work on Saturday and Monday.
Opposition party leaders on Saturday had urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami to hold talks with the protesting state government employees and teachers.
DMK President M.K. Stalin in a statement recalled the strong measures taken by late chief minister Jayalalithaa against protesting government employees. The late CM’s action had resulted in her AIADMK party losing power at the time.
Stalin has urged the government to hold talks.
Referring to the two major demands by the organization, Jayakumar states that implementing the old pension will result in the bankruptcy of the government, while a hike in the secondary grade teacher’s pay will affect the vertical and horizontal pay parity among state employees.
However, the protests intensified across the State on Saturday, leading to more arrests.
“The suspension has been made based on the data given to us by police officers. Most teachers who were arrested in Chennai worked at Corporation schools. We have instructed the corporation to take the required action,” she said.
The protest will continue on Monday, said R Das, a state coordinator of the association, adding that it would take an emotional turn.
(With inputs from sources)