The Madras High Court Monday asked the Tamil Nadu government why there was such a big gap in the salaries of employees of the government and private companies.
Hearing a petition relating to anomalies in the pay and the recent strike by government employees and teachers, a bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar said as they talk so much about their rights, they should also discharge their duties.
"After implementation every pay commission recommendations, the gap between the government and private employees is widening," the bench noted.
The judges said the work of government employees, including teachers, was as important as their demands.
Wondering why the children of government employees do not study in state-run schools, the judges asked why there should not be a rule to ensure that the children of government staff be put only in state-run schools.
Those who studied in private schools were seeking admission in government colleges, the bench said.
Counsel for Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations (JACTO-GEO), which spearheaded the strike, submitted that though the government was given time to rectify the pay anomalies and several guidelines were issued, no action was taken.
The government counsel said 71 paise out of every rupee of the government's income was spent on its employees and teachers, and added the state administration was taking steps to bridge the pay gap.