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Seeking regularisation, 14,000 Punjab teachers hold protest in Patiala

The protesters said the state government’s decision to offer 15,000 teachers recruited under the SSA-RMSA schemes to join state education department at basic salary is unjustified.

punjab Updated: Apr 15, 2018 22:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
teachers protest,job regularisation,Punjab government
Members of Sanjha Morcha Teachers union protesting against the Punjab government in Patiala on Sunday.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Over 14,000 teachers, under the banner of Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha, held a state-level rally in Patiala on Sunday, demanding unconditional regularisation, cancellation of cases registered against the protesting teachers in Mohali and rollback of the decision of shutting down 800 government primary schools by merging of these with other government schools.

Earlier, the teachers were scheduled to protest at a ground near Rajpura Colony, but after denial of permission by the district administration, they held a rally at Sidhuwal village on Patiala-Bhadson road.

The protesters said the state government’s decision to offer 15,000 teachers recruited under the SSA-RMSA schemes to join state education department at basic salary is unjustified. “How a teacher getting a monthly salary of Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 can work on a basic salary of Rs 10,000 to get regularised?” questioned Kulwant Singh Gill, convener of the morcha, adding that the state government has failed to fulfil its pre-poll promises.

Hardeep Singh Toderpur, a member of the morcha, said they had a lot of expectations from Congress government but nothing has been done on the ground. “Even the facilities and infrastructure in the schools have deteriorated. In many schools, students are not provided uniforms and free books,” he alleged.

Members arguing with policemen during a protest in Patiala on Sudnay. (Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Demanding a meeting with chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the union leaders also attempted to march towards Patiala, but were stopped by the police.

The district administration assured them that a meeting will be fixed with the CM on April 27 in Chandigarh.

Majithia backs teachers

Former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Sunday came out in support of the agitating teachers, saying their demand of regularisation was justified.

“Many of these teachers have been drawing salaries between ₹35,000 and ₹50,000 per month during the SAD-BJP regime, but the present government now wants to force them to accept a basic salary of ₹10,000, a drastic cut of over 75%,” he added.

Majithia said the principle of natural justice demanded that the last pay drawn by the teachers who have been working on contractual assignment for years should be protected.

First Published: Apr 15, 2018 22:18 IST