Primary teachers of private-aided schools are an upset lot. Seven years after the pay scale was revised by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), they have still not seen the fatter paycheques.
The BMC revised the pay scale for civic school teachers on April 1, 2000. As per an agreement, the wages of teachers in aided primary schools are supposed to be revised every time every time there is a revision for BMC employees. However, this has still not happened.
“Our pay revision is always delayed. Our salaries have still not been increased,” said Vijay Kadam, secretary of Prathmik Shikshan Sangh(PSS). Past records compiled by PSS show that since 1972 there is an average delay of around 4 years in the implementation.
A delegation of teachers met the Assistant Municipal Commissioner on Wednesday. The union is now planning to go on strike.
There are approximately 427 private primary schools employing around 5000 teachers. These schools fall under the jurisdiction of the BMC and the teachers’ salaries come from the corporation. But they are given “step motherly treatment” by the authorities, according to teachers.
"We don’t want any special treatment. We should get at least the same as BMC school teachers," said a teacher who did not wish to be named.
At present, the starting salary of a teacher in an aided school is Rs 4,050 as compared to Rs 4,915 in civic schools. Similarly, an experienced teacher fetches Rs 6,930 in an aided school while the highest salary in a civic school is Rs 7,870.
"We have the same workload as civic school teachers. We teach the same syllabus, work the same number of hours and have the same election duty," said another teacher, "In fact, the class strength in our schools ranges between 60-80 students which is much more than civic schools. But our pay is not on par with them."
Moreover, teachers in aided schools don’t get medical or leave travel allowance like their counterparts in BMC schools.
Civic authorities, however, said they received the revised salary only in 2005. “We have sent the proposal to the education committee and it is in process. The corporation still has to pass the revision,” said SS Shinde, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (education).
As for the allowances, Shinde said these teachers are not eligible as they are not considered employees of the corporation. “These schools are conducting education in primary section so they get salary and maintenance grants,” he said.
Teachers are also worried that they will not get arrears for this delay going by past experience. The PSS has, therefore, written to the BMC to pay them full arrears for the seven-year delay. PSS also wants the state government to allow schools to appoint non-teaching staff and regularise the service conditions.