CHENNAI: Hundreds of secondary-grade teachers (SGT) entered the third day of hunger strike at DPI campus on Thursday, demanding equal pay for equal work, which the teachers allege have been deprived of for 13 years.
Meanwhile, owing to the protest, the principal secretary to government, Kakarla Usha held a peace talk with protesting teachers on Thursday afternoon.
But, teachers refused to budge and continued to place their demands on the government.
Speaking to DT NEXT, J Robert, the General Secretary of Secondary Grade Seniority Teacher's Association (SSTA) said, "For revising salaries of 15,000 SGTs, the government will incur only an additional 25 crore expenditure per month. But, over the last 13 years, thousands of us have been deprived of our salaries, impacting our lives greatly."
"The official offered us incentives instead of revising the salaries. However, we refused the proposal and insisted on filling the pay discrepancy of Rs 3,170 and providing us an equal salary for equal work," Robert added.
As we have already held discussions with school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi and other officials, and all pointed at Chief Minister MK Stalin to decide on the issue; we have requested to meet him at the earliest.
According to SSTA, teachers appointed after June 2009 are facing a pay discrepancy of Rs 3,170 for the same post than those appointed on or before May 31, 2009. Additionally, the seventh pay commission widened the pay gap, allege SGTs.
Though teachers have been protesting for a long time, since the AIADMK government and now; the teachers demand quick action.
Of the 20,000 SGTs, over the years, 5,000 teachers were promoted and 250 retired last year and nearly 100 are set to retire in 2023.
Hence, teachers allege salary revision for 15,000 SGTs quickly.