The government is contemplating a "reasonable" hike in consolidated salary applicable to fixed-pay teachers, who are presently on warpath against the state administration. According to highly-placed sources, the quantum of money, that could be shelled out within the Bihar state treasury's limitation, is being worked out.
"It could be in the range of Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000, which will be two or three times the previous hike of R1,000 given last time in 2010," said a senior government official.
The likely hike is guided not as much by the ongoing protests by fixed-pay teachers, who are demanding prescribed payscale, as by the growing realisation that there is the need also to prevent attrition of well-qualified teachers.
Many competent teachers are reported to have left the job to look for better options. Some of the schools in Patna are also feeling the pinch. "The government is alive to the need of teachers and it has been constantly working on it within the available resources.
"As far as the demand for prescribed pay-scale is concerned, that is not possible. But there will certainly be a good hike and better service conditions for teachers," he added.
Confirming this, principal secretary, education department, Amarjeet Sinha, said the government was assessing its financial resources to decide the quantum. "There will be something good this time for the teachers. Education is a priority sector for the government," he added.
The president of the newlyappointed secondary teachers' association, Ganesh Shankar Pandey, said the teachers would expect at least a "rational" hike.
"We have been agitating for our genuine demands. Let alone the full salary, we are not even getting the basic salary of sixth pay. What is more, the way the police have been hounding the teachers should stop immediately," he added.
Pandey and association vice president Naveen Kumar Naveen also came down heavily on the leaders of old teachers' association.
"They are shedding crocodile tears over the plight of fixed-pay teachers to protect their own interests and identity, while it was them who connived with the government for abolition of all the posts of regular teachers. Now, fixed-pay teachers will champion their own cause," they added.