While Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s education department has much deeper pockets this time with a budget of Rs 2,115.45 crore the civic body apparently doesn’t have enough to pay the last seven months’ salary of 623 teachers from standards V to X. Also, 172 posts of teachers, headmasters, assistant headmasters and supervisors are lying vacant in 49 BMC-aided secondary schools.
BMC’s education budget is up by Rs 139.83 crore, from Rs 1,975.62 crore in 2012-13. Rs 1.43 crore has to be paid to the 623 teachers. After serving as Shikshan Sevak for three years in BMC schools the teachers are made permanent automatically, according to the procedures in place. The state government passes an order to authorise the permanency of these categories of teachers, in cooperation with BMC. As long as the orders are pending with the state government, the corporation has to pay these teachers from its coffers.
Vilasrao Gherde, a BMC teacher and chairman of Shikshak Bharti, said, “We protested on Thursday because our secondary school teachers have not been paid for the last seven months. These teachers had completed the obligatory period as Shikshan Sevaks in BMC after which they were supposed to get orders for permanency. But BMC did not pass the instructions because of which the teachers remained unpaid.
I guess the corporation doesn’t want to pay them out of its pockets. But after meeting deputy commissioner Sunil Dhamne, we are somewhat relieved and are waiting for the orders to be passed. He assured us that we would be getting our salary from March.” Sudhir Joshi (name changed), another BMC teacher, said, “My family and I stay in a rented accommodation. In this time of growing inflation, how can one survive without income in a city like Mumbai? It’s embarrassing to ask for financial help from one’s parents at this stage in life.”
What BMC says
Speaking on the matter of vacant posts, Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner (education), said, “We will fill all the positions as soon as possible.” Vitthal Kharatmol, chairman of BMC’s education committee, said, “I know that 623 teachers are still waiting for their salaries. They had come to the corporation’s education office for protesting. I have taken a note of it and will look into the matter.”