163 teachers on protest fast fall unconscious in Chennai

Chennai: There seems no end to the school teachers strike that entered the fifth day today. According to reports, 163 of the fasting teachers have fallen unconscious.

Hundreds of teachers belonging to the Secondary Grade Seniority Teachers Association have been on an indefinite protest fast at the Directorate of Public Instructions in Chennai. They are demanding pay parity – same pay for same work.

It is said secondary grade teachers appointed after 2009 were drawing Rs 5,200 as basic pay whereas teachers appointed in the same grade with same qualifications were being paid Rs 8,370. So, the teachers are demanding pay parity.

To rectify the pay anomaly, the government set up a one-man commission under M A Siddique, Secretary, Finance Department (Expenditure). Though the government urged the teachers to put on hold their protest till the report of the commission is submitted, the teachers went ahead with their fast.

The government then held two rounds of talks with the protesting teachers, but failed to break the deadlock. The protest fast is continuing day and night with many teachers fainting.

NT Bureau