The Punjab government has devised a new method to generate funds for its empty coffer by not providing house rent and medical allowance as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, alleged aggrieved teachers of government-aided schools who have not been paid the allowances as per the new guideline.
In addition, the government is yet to make payment of due arrear and Dearness Allowance (DA) to the teachers of aided schools, which accounts for Rs 44 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, respectively.
It's an irony, said the teachers, that the government has been paying their salary as per the Sixth Pay Commission, while following the Fifth Pay Commission for paying house rent and medical allowance.
Ravinder Joshi, secretary of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers Union and principal of Ashoka Senior Secondary School, Sirhind, said: "Old teachers with more than 30 years of service in aided school are getting a salary of about Rs 45,000 per month, while new recruits in other government schools are getting Rs 60,000."
Fategarh Sahib district education officer (DEO) Navtejinder Kumar said: "I know that their (aided school teachers) salary is pending. It's not unusual to them, as their salary normally comes late by a month or so."
Joshi claimed that even after the new pay guideline was announced, they were yet to get their due arrears cleared. "The education department has deposited the bills of arrear to the treasure department, but it has not been credited into their accounts yet." Joshi added.
According to Joshi, the pending arrear amount has crossed Rs 44 lakh. "Besides pending arrears, the DA is also pending from January 2013 to March 2014, and the cumulative amount of which is more than Rs 25 lakh," said Joshi.
The DEO said, "I do not know much about the pending DA. If we come across any such pending case of any institution, we try to get it cleared immediately."
In the meantime, Joshi alleged the government of meting step-motherly treatment to them as far as the employment tenure was concerned.
"Aided school teachers retire at the age of 58, which is 60 for the other government teachers," claimed Joshi, while demanding to bring their retirement age on par with the teachers of other government schools.
Despite this, Joshi said, "we aided school teachers have not received the salary from the month of September even though more than half of the November is over."
Besides he also raised the issue of late payment of salary. "We have taken up the issue with the higher ups, but we don't think that the issue will be resolved in near future," Joshi added
Even as there is a provision of 110 teachers in six aided schools in Fatehgarh Sahib district, only 50 teachers are there and 60 posts are lying vacant for many years.
"In our school, the post of principal is vacant for over last six years, but the government is not taking it seriously," claimed Joshi.