Government teachers under the banner of Ganajm district unit of Odisha Secondary School Teachers’ Association (OSSTA) held dharna and demonstration in front of the office of district inspector of schools in the city on Saturday for a series of demands.

Secretary of the Ganjam district unit of the OSSTA, Bijay Kumar Behera said this agitation of theirs was related to a series of long standing demands. It was an effort to keep alive these demands and to create public awareness regarding them. Most of the demands were related to their career prospects, salary and working conditions.

The agitating teachers demanded that they should not be used in the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) work. They also did not want themselves to be involved in other non-educational activities like making children eat iron supplement tablets.

They were also opposed to the ‘block grant’ system of the State government to provide aid to schools.

According to them it was an effort of the State government to divide the teachers as under the block grant system teachers were being provided different salaries although as per labour laws there should be ‘equal pay for equal work’.

According to these teachers, the State government should assure career enhancement for them and end the process of privatisation of education in the State. They also wanted several old schools in the State which are now under private management to be taken over by the government. They wanted introduction of grade pay system for the class IV employees in private schools and promotion scope for the clerks serving in schools.

They wanted all teachers to be provided their salaries by fifth of every month.