SSA, RMSA teachers write to Punjab Education Minister: Waiting for meeting with CM Singh

SSA, RMSA teachers write to Punjab Education Minister: Waiting for meeting with CM Singh
Education Minister Soni said that a meeting with the teachers will be held soon. (Representational image)

Teachers of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhmik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA), who have still not given their consent to get regularised at Punjab government’s basic salary, have not got their salaries for the past seven months.

These teachers had protested for two months against the government’s policy and called it off a month back after an assurance by Punjab education minister of getting their meeting fixed with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on the issue of regularisation.

But, as no meeting has been fixed till date, the teachers have decided to hold a convention in Jalandhar on January 6 to decide the next course of action. They have written to Punjab Education Minister O P Soni, reminding him of the promise he made to them during their protest.

Education Minister Soni said that a meeting with the teachers will be held soon.

“We are without salary since June 2018 and till date there is no hope of getting it in near future,” said Tilak Raj, a maths teacher posted in Shahkot area of Jalandhar, adding that he had borrowed money from his friends, relatives and even money lenders at high rate of interest to run his family.

The president of SSA/RMSA union, Punjab, Hardeep Singh Todarpur, said that over 4,000 teachers, who have not accepted the government’s proposal, were not paid salaries since June 2018 and several of them have taken loan. “Even a teacher has sold her house and is now living on rent. On the one hand, the government is saying that they are not pressuring us, but on the other, our salaries have been stopped for the past seven months. Earlier during the protest, the government adopted coercive methods by transferring us to far away places, reverting leave policy from 2017 to 2014, placing teachers under suspension due to which several accepted the proposal of regularisation,” he said, adding the education minister promised them to fix their meeting with the CM and cancel transfer and suspension orders, but even after a month, nothing was done in this direction till date. “We have written to the education minister, asking him to meet the demands or the next course of action will be decided on January 6,” he said.

The teachers protested from October 3 to December 1, 2018, against the Punjab government’s decision to regularise them. Earlier they were working on annual contract basis under SSA/RMSA societies on a salary of Rs 42,800 per month, but after getting regularised the Punjab government will pay them only the basic salary of Rs 15,300 for the first three years of probation and after that they will get all other benefits.

The education department claimed out of 8,886 protesting teachers, around 55 per cent have already opted for regularisation and appointment letters have been given to them. Earlier these teachers had been demanding to get regularised with the Punjab education department.

Those who accepted government proposal have started getting their salaries.