The Colonial and even Post-Independence authorities of Higher Education in India and Tamilnadu paid scant respect to emoluments and service conditions of Teachers. To deliberate and to solve these problems, the teachers of Government Arts, Science and Educational Training Government Colleges in Tamilnadu took the lead and established Tamilnadu Government Collegiate Teachers’ Association in 1971 in a meeting held at Pudukkottai, which is now a Government recognised Association called TNGCTA since 1980.
In its evolution, TNGCTA had crossed three phases, namely, Individual Action, (1971 - 78) collective Action, (1978 - 85) and expansion of Collective Action (since 1985). In the first phase, the TNGCTA activities were restricted to removing the procedural bottle necks in Educational Administration of Government Colleges in Tamilnadu. In the second phase the TNGCTA agitated along with other similar Teachers organizations like AUT and MUTA in Tamilnadu to demand the Government for securing the University Grants Commission (UGC) Scales of pay to all the college and University teachers of Tamilnadu. In the third phase, the TNGCTA started coordinating with School teachers also to ensure better status for the teaching community in Tamilnadu.
The goal of TNGCTA is not just improving the quality of higher education and ensuring the pay, service conditions and welfare of Teachers alone. TNGCTA generally worked for :
The TNGCTA, in its long history stretching over five decades, has always believed in achieving its goals through consistent appeals to the government, and through the bilateral talks and negotiations with the authorities whenever necessary, but it has also led mass agitations sometimes with the support of the public and the mass media to highlight its rightful and just demands.
TNGCTA has a three tier structure, A teacher who is a permanent employee of the Government Arts, Science and Education college of the Government of Tamilnadu can become a member of TNGCTA by paying an annual subscription of Rs.1000/-, as per the guidelines mentioned in the By-laws.
TNGCTA functions at the grass root level, with each government college as one Unit. Each Unit has the organisational structure of a President, Vice-President, Unit Secretary, Joint Secretary (Preferably Woman), a Treasurer, and the State GC Members, who are all elected by the Unit General Council, which comprises the members of that unit.
At the middle level, TNGCTA has adopted a zonal system. It has 9 zones, namely, Chennai, Vellore, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Trichy, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai and Sivagangai. Each zone has the organisational structure of a President, Vice-President, Unit Secretary, Joint Secretary (Preferably Woman) and a Treasurer, who are all elected by the Zonal General Council, which comprises the office-bearers of all the units of the zone.
At the Apex level, the TNGCTA has 7 State level Office bearers, with the organisational structure of One President, Two Vice-Presidents (1 General & 1 Woman), One General Secretary, Two Joint Secretaries (1 General & 1 Woman) and a Treasurer, who are all elected by the State General Council, comprising all the zonal and unit office bearers of TNGCTA. TNGCTA has its Headquarters office at Triplicane, Chennai.
TNGCTA has succeeded in improving the pay, job security, working conditions, structural adjustments and functional initiatives of teachers. Also, TNGCTA has always extended its support and contribution for social causes and during natural disasters.
The TNGCTA has generally brought a developmental role in the formal Higher Educational System, Distance Mode of Education, Research ambience, Funded Research, Extension and counselling activities and in making the communities aware of the need for expansion of Higher Education in Tamilnadu.