Agitating Odisha teachers refuse to budge, strike enters fifth day

Bhubaneswar: Braving rain, thousands of teachers under the banner of Odisha School College Teachers and Employees’ United Forum continued their indefinite strike for the fifth consecutive day today.

The teachers have been staging dharna at Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar since August 16 over non-fulfilment of their earlier demands.

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“Despite lightning and rain, around 60,000 teachers are staging protest on the road. If the State Government thinks our demands are baseless, let them remain silent. But we will not budge until our demands are met,” rued Convenor of Odisha School College Teachers and Employees’ United Forum, Golak Nayak.

Earlier in the month of March, the teachers had launched protests over various demands including removal of affidavit clause in the newly-announced grant-in-aid system, besides equal salary for equal work, provision of full aid & facilities to block grant teachers etc. However, the stir was withdrawn after discussions and assurance from the government.

The state government had abolished the block-grant system and introduced grant-in-aid (GIA) following a series of protests by the teachers last year. However, the teachers continue to protest demanding revisions in the new provisions under the GIA.

The agitating teachers have been alleging that as per the new system, while GIA will be considered from the date of its implementation, teachers who have been in the profession since last two decades will be unable to get any arrears. Besides, there are no service conditions and provision of pension for retired teachers in the new norms.

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