Odisha teachers up in arms again

Bhubaneswar: Demanding abolishment of block grant system and implementation of full grant-in-aid, thousands of teachers and staff of block grant schools and colleges of the State took out a massive rally and observed ‘Dabi Dibas’ (Demand Day) today.

As per reports, around 50,000 teachers along with different organisations held a rally at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.

They said the State government has fulfilled one demand only by giving a marginal hike in salary while ignoring the other demands. Also, no provision has been made to provide salary as per the Seventh Pay Commission, they alleged.

Secretary of the All-Odisha 662 Category Lecturers’ And Employees’ Association, Golak Nayak said “Today we observed the ‘Dabi Dibas’ and presented the demands before the State government. Prior to the election, the State government had promised to fulfil three of our demands. However, only one demand has been fulfilled. Our salary has been increased under grant-in-aid without any service rules. We staged the protest today over non-fulfilment of our other demands.”

Commenting on the renewed agitation of the teachers, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Das said he would hold talks with the agitators next month to understand their issues.

“The department is well aware about the demands of teachers. I will hold discussions with representatives of all the agitating organisations next month. The department will resolve their problems in phases,” the minister added.