Mamata Banerjee announces pay hike for college, university teachers
However, a teachers’ body expressed unhappiness over the announcement and threatened to go on ‘cease work’ later this month.Updated: Nov 06, 2019 13:48 IST
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday revised the pay scale of college and university teachers and announced that from January 2020 they would be paid according to the recommendations of seventh Central Pay Commission. She also announced that part- time teachers would get Rs 5,000 more per month from next year.
The announcements however did not make the teachers happy. They had been demanding Central pay scale with retrospective effect from 2016 and started agitation at different levels but Banerjee announced that there would be only a three per cent hike in arrears calculated from January 2016 to December 2019.
Bengal is among the four states that have not implemented Central pay scale for college and university teachers. Even the teacher’s front of the ruling Trinamool Congress had demanded the University Grants Commission pay scale as recommended by the seventh Central Pay Commission.
“I have no problem giving you your dues but from where will I get the money? The Centre has the Reserve Bank. It can print money whenever it wants. I cannot do that. I have to deal with a debt burden of Rs 50,000 crore against an annual revenue of Rs 42,000 crore. This pay revision alone will cost the exchequer an additional Rs 1,000 crore. Is it a small amount?” said Banerjee at Netaji Indoor Stadium, the city’s biggest indoor auditorium, where she had invited all the teachers’ unions.
The teachers were disappointed and became apparent when practically nobody among the few thousand in the audience reacted to the announcement. “Are you not happy?” Banerjee asked repeatedly and tried to explain herself. “We are not a rich state. Please accept what we are being able to provide. I do not make commitments that I cannot keep,” said Banerjee.
“We are extremely disappointed. The Centre would have paid 50 per cent of the additional financial burden. Since the chief minister has not implemented the pay scale since 2016 we lost that money. We will go ahead with our scheduled agitation on November 18 and 19,” said Partha Pratim Roy, general secretary, Jadavpur University Teachers Association.
At Tuesday’s programme, the TMC chief iterated that in 2021 her party would remain in power and those who do not want to see it happen would be disappointed. Assembly polls in Bengal will be held in 2021.