Intensifying the protest over “unsatisfactory” pay revision, government teachers in Andhra Pradesh hit the streets across the state on Thursday.
The protestors took out rallies and staged sit-ins demanding the government to withdraw a Government Order (GO) fixing the new pay scales announced as per the decision for a 23 per cent hike in salaries.
Stating that the pay revision is lower than the Interim Relief (IR) they were receiving, employees and teachers have rejected the GO. They are demanding that they be paid salaries as per the earlier pay structure.
As part of the protest plan, Federation of Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Organisations (FAPTO) had called for protests at district collectorates. However, the police issued notice to the union leaders on Wednesday night directing them not to participate in the protest as no permission has been given for the same.
Leaders of teachers’ unions were also placed under house arrest in the early hours of the day at several places to foil the protest. The protestors were also detained by the police while heading to district collectorates for protest.
Police beefed up security at the offices of district collectors in all 13 districts. Barricades were erected around the collectorates to prevent demonstrations.
Teachers tried to lay siege to collectorates at Guntur, Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool, Visakhapatnam and other district headquarters.
The protests led to tension at a few places. The teachers heading to Kadapa collectorate from Proddatur were stopped by police at Kothapalli checkpost. The teachers sat on the road to lodge their protest. Holding flags and raising slogans against the government, they demanded scrapping of the GO.
The police arrested teachers proceeding towards Chittoor district collectorate for the protest. Leaders of teachers’ unions were placed under house arrest in Tirupati. Unions have condemned the arrests of teachers and demanded their immediate release.
Meanwhile, employees’ unions also continued their protest over the GO. The employees attended the offices wearing black badges.
Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee (APJAC) of employees has already decided to serve strike notice on the government on Friday. Leaders of APJAC will meet Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma to submit the 14-day notice.
The employees’ unions are demanding that the government pay their salaries as per 27 per cent IR relief which was announced pending implementation of the new Pay Revision Commission (PRC) report.
Since the government announced a 23 per cent pay hike, the employees say that there will be downward revision in salaries.
However, the chief secretary on Wednesday asserted that there will not be downward revision of salaries. He claimed that with the payment of DA arrears since 2019, the gross salary will go up.