The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teachers not paid for 8 months

Burdwan, Oct. 3: The government’s failure to pay salary to about a thousand newly-appointed primary teachers has prompted the district unit of the primary education council to offer them an ad hoc amount from its own funds.

The teachers, 921 in all, have been denied payment for the past eight months. But the council has lined up some relief. They are now expected to get Rs 10,000 on an ad hoc basis. The council sent necessary instructions to the banks in the last week of September but the teachers are yet to receive the money. With the banks already on Puja holiday, they are unlikely to get the money soon.

Chairman of the district primary education council Saidul Haq said the government did not sanction the teachers’ salary over the past eight months. “They continued to teach on their own and so we have decided to offer them an ad hoc amount during the festival season,” said Haq.

The teachers joined primary schools in the district in March on a starting salary of Rs 5,200 per month. According to rules, they were supposed to receive their salary after three months, from June. The teachers had expected to receive their first three months’ salary together but the government did not sanction the funds. It cited cash crunch for blocking the payments.

Primary teachers’ organisations launched an agitation as the state government thrice failed to honour its commitment to the teachers.

Rabi Sankar Pal, president of the Burdwan zonal committee of the All Bengal Primary Teachers’ Association, said: “The new teachers underwent great hardship to stick to their jobs and went without salary for months together. We tried to create pressure on the state government to ensure payment, but nothing came out of that. So we urged the district council to offer them some money from its funds.”

Sources said the government is planning to appoint another 1,000 primary teachers in November. A district council member said they hope the government would sanction the salary of the teachers already appointed before recruiting new people.

Neither the primary education council nor the government gave any assurance that the fresh batch of teachers would get its dues regularly.

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