The Punjab government's decision to grant three-month paid maternity leave and three months without pay to the contractual teachers under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) has not gone down well with teachers.
The director general school education (DGSE) had on June 9 issued a letter that read: "The teachers on contract basis under the SSA and the RMSA will be allotted 90 days paid and other 90 days without pay maternity leave".
Contractual teachers say they should be given six-month paid maternity leave as is the norm for education department teachers. Earlier, the contractual teachers used to get three months paid maternity leave.
Arjinder Kaler, general secretary of SSA RMSA teacher union, said, "Since women employees working in the education department get a six-month leave with pay, even contractual teachers should have the same leave structure."
Monica, one of the SSA teachers, who is set to go on a maternity leave, said: "This is sheer injustice as we do the same work the whole year. We have also been given additional duties."
Another teacher said, "We perform extra duties and always do the same job as regular teachers. The government should not differentiate."