| Teachers gather after meeting Tarun Gogoi at the election rally in Sivasagar. Telegraph picture |
Sivasagar, March 28: A group of teachers from Sivasagar district, who have not been paid their salaries since February 2012, broke down in front of chief minister Tarun Gogoi at an election rally at Joyrapar on the outskirts of Sivasagar town today.
The teachers, all women, came forward to meet the chief minister immediately after he got down from the dais and tried to express their grievances.
“We have suffered at lot and are unable to raise our children,” one of them said.
But before they could complete a sentence, the group of teachers was immediately whisked away by party workers, saving the chief minister imminent embarrassment.
Gobin Dutta, a teacher, who too has not received his salary, afterwards said during the teacher’s recruitment process from 1991 to 1999, altogether 1,528 excess teachers were recruited by the government.
“Many teachers of the 1,528 have already died and some have retired. At present, there are 1,472 excess teachers in the district who had been receiving salaries on rotation basis till January 2012,” he said.
After detection of the anomalies in the recruitment of excess teachers, the government had ordered regularisation of the jobs of the teachers on seniority and accordingly, the teachers who had received their appointment letters till 1995 were regularised.
“The salaries of rest of the teachers were paid on rotation against the vacant posts of the teachers who retired,” Dutta said.
The teachers had been receiving salaries on rotation since 2005, but it stopped in February 2012 after the finance department returned the salary file of these teachers.
“We met the chief minister and education minister on various occasions but what we got was only assurances,” he said.
He said the condition of these teachers and their families has become terrible and many of them have been facing a lot of hardship to raise their families and meet medical expenses.
“Former education minister Ripun Bora had assured us that the jobs of the teachers would be regularised. We had urged the chief minister to consider the matter and take steps for regularisation of our jobs,” he added.
The teachers had threatened to take steps like self-immolation and even undertook a fast-unto-death agitation on March 10, but they withdrew following a discussion with the deputy commissioner of Sivasagar.
They have threatened to boycott the elections in view of the attitude shown by the government towards them.