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Teachers of DAV schools end strike

Cuttack, July 9: Teachers of the three DAV schools in Cuttack, who had stopped work demanding higher salaries, called off their agitation today after the management promised to look into their demands without further delay.

“The authorities have given their assurance to consider our legitimate demands. We called off the strike keeping in view the larger interest of the students,” said a teacher of DAV Public School at sector 6, CDA.

More than 200 teachers of the DAVs at CDA, Rajabagicha and Tulsipur had given a notice to the higher authorities that they would go on an indefinite strike from July 4. They were demanding that salaries be paid to them in keeping with the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

Their demand is closely connected to the issue of school tuition fee hike ranging between 50 to 100 per cent from the 2009-10 academic session, which sparked off a huge debate and challenged in the court of law. The high court struck down this hike notified by DAV schools in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on June 27.

The teachers are currently being paid their salaries following the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. The management maintained that it would not be possible to give higher salaries to them without an effective hike in the school fees.

As a result of this dispute, the teachers had boycotted teaching in their respective schools causing inconvenience to the students. The regional director of DAV institutions Himanshu Mohanty was forced to issue a circular on July 7 that all classes in the three schools would remain suspended until further notice.

“We are thankful to the teachers who have realised our limitations. We have assured the teachers that their interests will be protected. Classes will be conducted as per schedule from Monday,” said Mohanty, adding that the teachers had not put forth any conditions to call off their agitation.

Interestingly, the teachers at the fourth DAV in the city – LR DAV Public School, Gandarpur – had initiated the strike but resumed work on July 5 following an assurance from the management.

“We could not pay the teachers more due to legal hassles as the tuition fee has not been raised since 2008-09. The management is grateful to the teachers for agreeing to resume their duty,” Mohanty added.

Principal of CDA DAV School, Ipsita Das, said an internal meeting was held this afternoon in which the teachers unanimously agreed to break the deadlock.

“We are happy that the matter has been sorted out. Their demands will be sympathetically looked into at the earliest,” said Das.

This decision has brought an end to the anxiety of nearly 8,000 students studying in the three DAV schools. “We were all worried that if this controversy continued for too long, it would surely have affected our studies and the course would not have been be completed on time. Now we are happy and relieved that the school will reopen on Monday,” said a student.

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