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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Bihar contract teachers entitled to salary at par with their regular colleagues, rules Patna HC

The Patna high court ruled that the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ was applicable to contract teachers.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2017 16:12 IST
Prashant Pratap
Prashant Pratap
Hindustan Times, Patna
The Patna high court.
The Patna high court.(HT file photo)

In a major relief to about four lakh contract teachers working in government schools, the Patna high court on Tuesday said they were entitled to the salary at pat with their colleagues appointed on regular basis.

A division bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay said the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ was applicable to contract teachers.

The bench was hearing a bunch of writ applications filed by the Bihar Secondary Teachers Struggle Committee and others.

The petitioners contended that teachers appointed in primary, secondary and higher secondary government schools after 2006 were receiving lower salary in comparison to regular teachers appointed previously. They pleaded for issuance a direction to grant pay scale at par with the teachers appointed under various rules prior to 2006.

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Referring to a Supreme Court’s ruling of 2016, they contended that the Bihar government was flouting the principle of equal pay for equal work with respect to contract teachers. They contended that inequality in the grant of same pay scale for discharging the same work at the same place with same responsibilities was not sustainable in the eye of law.

The Supreme Court, in the State of Punjab vs Jagjit Singh case, had held that temporary employees would be entitled to draw wages at the minimum of the pay scale extended to regular employees holding the same post.

The top court said the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ would be applicable to all the temporary employees concerned, so as to vest in them the right to claim wages, at par with the minimum of the pay so as to vest in them the right to claim wages, at par with the minimum of the pay scale of regularly engaged government employees, holding the same post.

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The contract teachers in Bihar had been resorting to agitations time and gain demanding that their jobs should be made permanent and they should get salary at par with those working as regular permanent teachers.

The contract teachers claimed that they were the backbone of government schools in the state as the number of regular teachers was less. Yet, there was a huge difference in the payscale of contract teachers and their regular counterparts, they said.

The average minimum salary of contract teachers is around Rs 20,000 per month while that of regular teachers is around Rs 40,000, the contract teachers claimed.

First Published: Oct 31, 2017 16:12 IST