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Amma not to renew ban on strike

July 18, 2005 21:15 IST

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said a notification banning strikes by government staff, issued in July 2003, would not be renewed after it expires on July 23.

In a statement, Jayalalithaa announced a three per cent hike in dearness allowance for the government staff. The hike would cost the state exchequer Rs.201.23 crore in a full financial year, benefitting 12.33 lakh government staff and 4.37 lakh pensioners.

She said the absence from duty by 1003 government employees, whose services were terminated for their participation in a strike in 2003 but were reinstated in February 2004, would be treated as "on duty." This would motivate the government staff and teachers to perform better, she said.

"I am announcing this far-reaching measure in the interest of government employees and teachers. They should reciprocate by always adhering to the path of understanding, discipline and good service to the public, resolving issues only by mutual discussions, totally abjuring practices affecting the public," she said in the statement.

The notification banning the right to strike by government staff was issued in 2003 when the government employees went on an indefinite strike.

The opposition and government employees organisations had been demanding that the Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act be repealed. The act gave the state, power to ban strikes and dismiss employees who went on strike.

The three per cent hike in dearness allowance to government staff, teaching and non-teaching staff in government and aided schools, college lecturers and pensioners would be effective from July 1.

 An ad hoc increase of Rs 20 per month for those who were drawing a consolidated pay of Rs 150 and above and Rs 10 per month for those who had been drawing less than Rs 150 would be given from that date, she said.

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