Over 100 teachers from private primary schools of the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) will walk more than one kilometre from Churchgate railway station till Bishop’s House in Colaba tomorrow to appeal to the Bishop to clear their outstanding dues, which are running into lakhs. In protest of school management not paying them their salaries, the teachers have also decided to boycott Teachers’ Day on September 5 by not accepting gifts or attending celebrations at their schools.
According to the teachers, the management is not paying them their salary according to Sixth Central Pay Commission (SCPC) as per the government rule, dearness allowance and arrears. Also, teachers claim that they are paid dearness allowance only twice a year, when it should be paid every month. For these reasons, they have decided not to celebrate Teachers’ Day this year, and march to Bishop’s House at Holy Name High School in Colaba.
Aarti Dsilva (name changed) a teacher from an unaided school said, “Despite government circulars stating that we should be paid according to the SCPC, the management is not paying us. How are we going to survive? Moreover, the BMC’s education department is also not checking how many potholes are there in our salaries, like their roads. Hence, we have decided to boycott Teachers’ Day.
We will go to school but we will not take anything from children or school management. We will give our complaint letter to our Bishop tomorrow.” Smita Pal (name changed) another teacher of an ABE School, “The school management gives us money and organises functions through the students’ pockets. Why should we celebrate our Teachers’ Day from their money when the management can pay from their own pocket?”
Parents Teachers Association United Forum president Arundhati Chavan, said, “If BMC teachers are given all those facilities, why are unaided school teachers suffering? It is unfair that they are deprived of the rights that BMC teachers have.” Fr Gregory Lobo, secretary of ABE, remained unavailable for comment.
The number of unaided primary schools the Archdiocesan Board of Education runs in the city
Mirza Baig, education officer BMC, said, “If the teachers of unaided schools are not paid as per the rule, then the school management can face BMC action. The BMC education department can cancel their recognition. However, in some places the number of students or the fee amount may be low, so the management face problems in paying teachers. If teachers approach us with their complaints, we will take immediate action.”