Forget 7th pay commission, these teachers are observing 'Black Diwali' over salary demands; protest intensifies against government
7th Pay Commission demands are being fulfilled by the Centre as well as many state governments, but where that has not happened, the government employees wallets have received payments through hiked dearness allowance.
7th Pay Commission demands are being fulfilled by the Centre as well as many state governments, but where that has not happened, the government employees wallets have received payments through hiked dearness allowance. Just yesterday, Odisha government even cleared hike in DA to 9 percent from 7 percent for public sector undertakings (PSUs) employees. It is the latest to do so after a number of others did so in the weeks leading up to Diwali to ensure the festival season is a good one. From government staff to teachers and others, many have received funds to ensure a bright Diwali. However, these teachers in Punjab, who are far from 7th pay commission system, are facing an the worse of times as they are looking at salary cuts!
Teachers demands in this state are not being met by the state government and they have therefore, intensified their protest even more and announced they will be observing a Black Diwali this time to highlight their plight. They were given to understand that the teachers representatives will be meeting Punjab CM Amarinder SIngh, but this was abruptly cancelled by government.
This meet between protesting teachers and CM Singh, which was scheduled to take place in Chandigarh on Monday, was cancelled and the reason that the state gave was that the protesters should have first called off the stir. Furious at the government's U-turn, teachers decided to ratchet up their protest.
Government responded by saying, that the teachers should have first called off their stir and since they failed to do so, meeting was cancelled. Teachers are being represented by their union, the Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha (SAM), which has been staging a sit-in in Patiala since October 7.
Notably, the state government's has decided to fix teachers monthly salary at Rs 15,000 during probation period for regularisation of their jobs. Contractual teachers salaries are Rs 42,300 per month currently. Teachers want that their jobs be regularised and that too without a salary cut.
Teachers on Sunday urged government to accept their demands and also announced that they would observe 'Black Diwali' on November 7. SAM state committee member Bikramjit Singh told PTI, "We will raise slogans against the Punjab government throughout the state on Diwali."
Teachers have increasingly ratcheted up their protest over the recent weeks and even burnt the effigy of the state government on Dussehra, and on Karwa Chauth, women teachers got "Punjab Sarkar Murdabad" inscribed on their hands with 'henna' in Patiala.
The controversy started after Punjab cabinet gave its go ahead to regularise the services of 8,886 teachers recruited under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), as well as in adarsh and model schools on October 3. While that was welcome, what caused the furor was the fact that the teachers, whose services would be regularised in school education department, would get a salary of Rs 15,000 per month for 3 years.
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This order is what the teachers want rescinded before they end their protests.