Dismissing a petition filed by the association of Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) affiliated private schools, the Punjab and Haryana high court has clarified that teachers in these schools are entitled to at least the minimum basic pay on a par with teachers in government schools.
The high court order has come as a relief for teachers of around 2,900 PSEB-affiliated schools who were being paid the salaries as per the whims and fancies of the respective private schools.
The judgment was pronounced by the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul justice Augustine George Masih on Thursday while deciding a bunch of petitions. However, the detailed judgment in the case is yet to be released.
As per the PSEB directions based on the 6th pay commission, the managements of private schools affiliated to PSEB will have to pay minimum basic pay of Rs. 8,910 to JBT teachers per month, Rs. 13,900 to master cadre teachers, Rs. 14,500 to lecturers, Rs. 14,700 to headmasters and Rs. 22,200 to principals, by way of cheque only.
Association of PSEB affiliated schools had submitted before the court that PSEB could not fix the salary for their teachers. The association had challenged rule 7(3) of The PSEB for Affiliation of Institutions Act, 1998, that was upheld by the high court on Thursday.
The rule says, "The teaching staff shall be paid regularly at least the basis pay of the respective grades of the corresponding categories of teaching staff in the state government institutions."
The PSEB had on March 7, 2007, issued instructions to all the affiliated schools that the payment to the teachers should be made through account payee cheques so as to avoid their exploitation by paying less salaries. But the schools had not been adhering to the instructions.
Appearing for various affected teachers, advocate Vishal Sodhi, had argued that the schools were not adhering to the directions of the PSEB as well as the earlier high court directions, that forced the petitioners to file the contempt of court petitions. He highlighted that even there were PSEB affiliated school in the state which were paying even Rs. 2,000 to the JBT teachers even after serving in the school for the last over 10 years.