Saturday, Nov 02, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Government agreed to pay in cash one per cent of the dearness allowance, which was to have been credited to General Provident Fund, in addition to three per cent in cash already decided upon. Also, there would be no victimisation of the employees who had gone on strike, the government assured.
On their part, the employees agreed to return to work from Tuesday after Deepavali. While the government employees would compensate for the strike period by surrendering their leave entitlement, the teachers would work on holidays.
The deadlock was broken through the efforts of the Finance Secretary, N. Narayanan, who held preliminary talks for an hour with representatives of the Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teacher Employees Oraganisations Government Employees Organisations, led by their convener, K. Balasubramanian. As the Chief Minister was firm that there would be no talks before the employees called off the strike and as the JACTTEO_GEO was equally firm that the talks would have to be unconditional, a face-saving formula was arrived at during the preliminary talks. Mr. Balasubramanian told reporters before the talks with the Chief Minister, and after the talks with the Finance secretary, that the strike was called off at the same time the invitation for talks came.
Most of the issues were thrashed out at the meeting with the Finance Secretary, and the meeting with the Chief Minster was a mere formality.
According to Mr. Balasubramanian, the agreement with the Chief Minister could not be described either as a victory or defeat. "But it is a progress (in talks).'' The outstanding issues could still be resolved through talks. The JACTTEO_GEO placed all 15 demands before the Chief Minister, but only two were conceded.
Representatives of the associations, which had not gone on strike, were also present during the talks. "That was a surpise,'' said Mr. Balasubramanian.
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