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India: Teachers warn of strike action over conditions

published 21 September 2016 updated 26 September 2016

The Himachal Pradesh School Lecturer Association in India has warned of its intention to strike, with a hunger strike also being considered, in a reaction to the public authorities’ lack of responsiveness in addressing demands concerning teachers’ status.

On 11 August, leaders of the Himachal Pradesh School Lecturer Association (HPSLA) unanimously adopted a resolution saying that if their long-standing demands to public authorities are not met within 40 days, the education union will stage a strike on 7 October. The decision was made at a meeting in the Chamba district at which it was also agreed that hunger strike action was also a possibility. The HPSLA is a member organisation of the All Indian Federation of Teachers Organisation (AIFTO).

Among its demands, HPSLA asks for amendments to promotion rules for school principals and pension benefits for contract teachers/para-teachers who were regularised after 2003 and under contract before 2003, as per a court’s decision.

“The Director of Higher Education has not sent even a single proposal in favour of teachers in spite of repeated directions from the Minister,” highlighted HPSLA President Ashwani Kumar.