School, college teachers in Chandigarh govt colleges await their three-month pending salary
With February coming to a close, around 300-odd teachers in as many as 114 city government schools and the education department have still not been paid for November, December and January.
The delay in salary is not new for these 200 computer teachers, including senior and junior instructors, 20 data-entry operators, 87 counsellors, and other employees, who were made to wait for their salaries in months of September and October too.
Their September salary was credited on October 25 while the salary for October was credited on December 23, after a month-long delay.
“With the end of February, it will be four months since we were last paid,” said a computer teacher working in one of the government schools in Chandigarh.
“I have to pay school fees of my two children, the house rent, electricity charges, but I don’t know how I will manage to do this without any money,” she said.
Sharing the problems faced due to uncertainty in receiving salaries, a computer teacher working at one of the government schools in Chandigarh, said, “The only thing constant is the untimely salary. Every month we remain clueless about getting any money.”
Computer teachers working at government schools are outsourced through the information technology department called Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC). Senior teachers draw a salary of around ₹35,000 per month while junior teachers get around ₹29,000 per month and data entrepreneurs get around ₹20,000 per month.
Earlier, it was decided that all the outsourced employees will be hired via Government e-Marketplace (GeM) as the service charge of GeM is much lower than that of SPIC. However, later the education department found that there was no category under which they could hire teachers via GeM. Meanwhile, the contract with SPIC was renewed only till September 2019.
Unable to find any alternative, the district education officer (DEO) Alka Mehta on February 24 wrote to the centre head of SPIC informing about the extension of contract till March 2020. In the letter, Mehta added that the counsellors and computer teachers will be outsourced via GeM portal as and when they are available on it.
School education director Rubinderjit Singh Brar said he will look into the matter tomorrow and expedite the process.
According to the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, wages need to be paid before the 7th day of every month, after the last day of the wage period. In case the number is less than 1,000 employed workers, the salary is to be paid by the 10th day of every month.
Bipin Sher Singh, chairman of all contractual Karamchari Sangh, UT, said, “It does not matter if it is a government or a private agency, the salaries should be released on time. How can someone survive in a city like Chandigarh with no money in hand?”
It has been five months since around 40 contractual college teachers hired under the Chandigarh Higher Education Society (CHES) have not received their salaries.
The teachers joined their services in September 2019, but UT administration is yet to process the file of their dues.
The teachers were hired by societies of these colleges against the funds generated by self-financing courses at an overall consolidated salary of ₹25,000 per month.
They were engaged for subjects such as management, economics, computer applications, English, Punjabi and history on ‘pure temporary basis’ according to the CHES advertisement released in 2019.