Breaking his silence on the ongoing 76-day strike by senior college teachers, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said teachers must stop holding the state, students and parents to ransom, or else face stern action.
Following the high court’s directive, the government held discussions with teachers’ unions on Friday, but the protest has continued as teachers are demanding a written assurance that their demands will be met. Almost 45,000 teachers have boycotted exam work since February 4, demanding the release of sixth pay panel arrears for the period between January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2010, and the regularisation of services of the non-NET/SET (eligibility test) qualified teachers appointed between September 19, 1991, and April 3, 2000.
While the state government has agreed to pay Rs1,500 crore in arrears in a phased manner by the end of May, the teachers’ demand regarding unqualified teachers, who also want the same perks as those who have passed the eligibility tests, has met government resistance. Chavan said the state would not meet such ‘unreasonable demands’.
“We have decided to keep unqualified teachers in service on certain conditions. We will not dismiss them. The teachers need to understand this,” Chavan said. The government announced that non-qualified teachers would be regularised from the date of issuance of notification.
The strike has affected theory and practical exam schedules at most state universities.