Mumbai: Employees of the government-run Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in remote, tribal and Naxal areas are on an indefinite strike, demanding wage parity with staff of other ITIs in the state.
"Instead of giving incentives for training over 52,000 students over the last six years in remote, tribal and Naxal areas, the government has been denying us our rights," SD Malwade, project officer at Boripada ITI in Nasik district, said.
The instructors in the 28 such ITIs have begun an indefinite hunger strike at Azad Maidan here from March 7.
Nine instructors were admitted to a hospital after their condition worsened, Malwade claimed.
The state government set up these ITIs in 2004 to facilitate training of students in remote and tribal areas.
There are 413 posts of which 187 are vacant, RS Jadhav, project officer in Nanashi ITI in Nasik district, said.
During a recent meeting, the Minister for Higher and Technical Education Rajesh Tope, assured the protesters that the government would look into their demands.
"The average salary of instructors in these ITIs in around Rs 5,500. The government is veering towards hiking it to Rs 15,000 per month, a decision which would entail an
expenditure of Rs six crore.
"However, if the government spends around Rs three crore more, we would get salaries similar to the regular staff gets in other ITIs across the state," he said.