Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami Tuesday made a fervent appeal to government teachers and employees who are on strike over various issues, including payment of arrears, to resume work immediately in public interest.

Citing factors like drought, drinking water scarcity and the adverse effects of cyclone Gaja that struck Tamil Nadu in November, he said under such circumstances, rather than being "self-centric" it is "our duty to do people's work with a sense of sacrifice and by relinquishing our rights sometimes".

The strike, under the aegis of the Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers' Organisation Government Employees Organisations, entered its eighth day Tuesday despite appeals by the government to end the stir.

Scrapping of the contributory pension scheme and reverting to the old pension plan, payment of arrears and addressing anomalies in pay are among their key demands.

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Many employees have been arrested across the state in connection with the stir and are now out on bail.

Palaniswami said Tamil Nadu was the first state in the country to have given a hike in pay to government employees after the Centre which increased the emoluments to its staffers accepting the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

"Amma's (late J Jayalalithaa) government implemented the revised pay despite severe financial burden even though it entailed an additional pay-out of Rs 14,500 crore per annum," he said in a statement.

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Stating that the government employees had an immense role to play in people's welfare, the chief minister said if these roles are properly fulfilled, only then the living standards of the poor could be improved, and jobs can be provided to the youth.

"To do all these things we have to work hard with a sense of dedication," he said, adding that in view of such responsibilities it will not be appropriate to "only talk about rights."

"Please give up the strike immediately and return to work. Let us continue with people's work together without any slackening," Palaniswami said.

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