From pouring a gift to the government employees to making a promise to address the demand of teachers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had a good opening of the New Year from the state government employees through rolling out major announcements. Along with them, the state government has also showered a breather for the contract nurses who were protesting for jobs.
On Sunday - January 1, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that the Dearness Allowance (DA) for government employees including teachers, pensioners and family pensioners would be increased from 34% to 38% with immediate effect. He said that the hike would benefit about 16 lakh staff and the decision was taken after considering the representation of government employees.
Terming the DA as a New Year gift, the Chief Minister made an appeal to the government employees to cooperate with the government in its efforts aimed at people's welfare and prosperity. He further said that the hike would cost Rs 2,359 crore as an additional annual expenditure to the government and added that the government has decided to embrace the financial burden with the view of the welfare of the employees.
On the other hand, MK Stalin has also made a promise of addressing the demands of teachers during the New Year day. Based on his promise, hundreds of Secondary Grade Teachers (SGT) from across Tamil Nadu called off their protest on Sunday. They sat for protests on December 27 demanding 'equal pay for equal work'. They demanded that the SGTs who were appointed before and after May 31, 2009 receive the same pay. At present, SGTs who were appointed after June 1, 2009 are paid Rs 3,170 less each month than their co-workers appointed on or before May 31, 2009 for the same role.
The teachers were protesting and organizing a hunger strike at the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) campus in Chennai. In the wake of continuing protest, the Chief Minister has made a promise on Sunday to address their demands. A statement from the Chief Minister's office said that a committee will be formed under the guidance of the Finance Secretary to examine the demands of the teachers.
The committee will also have the Principal Secretary of the School Education Department and the Director of Elementary Education as its members. Sharing the promise, MK Stalin said in a statement, "The government has decided to consider the recommendations of this committee and take action on this demand." After having an assurance from the Chief Minister, the teachers called off the protest on Sunday.
In line with that, the Tamil Nadu government has also mitigated the outcry from the contract nurses by assuring them at they will be provided with alternative jobs. When the Covid pandemic was peaking in Tamil Nadu, the government had hired around 2,300 nurses into service on contractual basis for two years and their contract came to an end on December 31.
As the government had decided to stop extending their contracts, the nurses across the state had held a protest after they feared that they would lose their jobs. Following their protest, the government has now announced that the contract nurses would be provided with alternative jobs. Speaking to the reporters on Monday, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that the nurses would appointed in 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam' scheme and in the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and the appointments would be issued by the respective district collectors.