All teachers of aided schools across Punjab availed of mass casual leave today as State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union held a state-level rally in Jalandhar to pressure the government on their demands.
The teachers' also gheraoed the house of local bodies minister Bhagat Chunni Lal in the city.
Hundreds of teachers from across the state participated in the rally from 10am from onwards at Sai Dass Senior Secondary School in support of their demands, including pension for retired colleagues after 2003 and salaries as per 5th pay commission recommendations.
Addressing the gathering, teacher leader Arvind Bains said that the state government had entered into an agreement on November 1, 2010, regarding 5th pay commission benefits, except medical and house rent allowances.
The teachers also pointed to non-filling of vacant posts and said that teaching conditions in many aided schools was deplorable due to a stop on fresh recruitments since 2003. "There are around 484 such schools which have nearly 4,500 teachers as against sanctioned posts of 10,000," the protesters said.
They demanded that teachers of aided schools be adjusted in government schools on the lines of Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal. "We are following all norms prevalent in government schools, ranging from performing duties in elections to any other responsibility, but we are not getting equal treatment in terms of salaries, pensions and other allowances," Arvind added.