Mumbai: Junior college teachers to go on strike over non-payment of salary
Junior college teachers are once again at loggerheads with the state education department and have threatened to go on strike, starting next week.
Junior College teachers will protest at Azad Maidan on October 19. File pic
Their demands, which include the need for state government to make financial provisions for teachers who were hired on baseline posts – not approved posts — after 2002, have been pending with the government since 2007. This year, say teachers, the stir will reach every college in the state, until the state government provides relief to the teachers. The teachers were made permanent, but have not been paid.
“There are close to 935 teachers across the state who have not been paid salaries for almost seven-ten years. These teachers were hired with the assurance of regular salary, and the approval for permanency came through in 2014,” said Anil Deshmukh, general secretary of Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers Organisation (MSFJCO).
Protesting for rights
He added that for starters, a protest by teachers in Mumbai will be held at Azad Maidan on October 19. “This will be first of many protests that will follow if the government does not meet our demands. Post Diwali vacations our protests will be more intense,” he added. The state had released a government resolution (GR) in 2014 which cleared the air over approval of teaching staff in junior colleges, and that the same would be done online.
What surprised teachers was a clause in this particular GR, which stated that teachers and non-teaching employees will get approval only if there are 80 students in every class in junior colleges attached to schools, and 120 students in every class in junior colleges attached to degree colleges. This immediately spread fear of colleges shutting down, and teachers going jobless, as many colleges in rural parts of the state could barely manage such numbers in every class.
“We’ve been promised that these figures will also be changed, as well as salaries for these teachers will be approved, none of which has come through. While the online process of approval is still going on, our teachers are worried about their future,” said Deshmukh, who added that teachers’ delegations have been meeting officials from the education department for quite some time now. What’s worse, officials have also started a blame game, instead of solving this matter.
“The education department blames the finance department for not approving funds and the finance department blames the education department for not working quickly. Meanwhile our teachers are suffering,” he added. For the past few years, junior college teachers have been threatening to boycott assessment of board exam answer sheets for HSC, however this year they’ve decided to start their agitation earlier. “We will not settle for promises anymore. We need action and results,” he said.