Fee hike hits hurdle, so does pay revision
Several private schools are wary of implementing the Sixth Pay Commission recommendation because many guardians have said they cannot pay more fees at the moment.
Most schools in the city had announced an increase in fees from this month but guardians have spoken of financial constraints because of the lockdown.
Parents have approached school authorities, requesting them not to introduce the revised fees and instead allow them to pay the old fees till the present crisis is resolved, according to officials of several schools.
Schools were supposed to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations from April and pay teachers salaries on the revised pay scale from May.
If the recommendations are implemented, a teacher's monthly gross salary will increase by close to 25 per cent
Many schools had announced a higher than usual fee hike from April to meet the increase in the annual expenditure to implement the revised pay scale.
Some guardians had recently requested the state government to ask schools not to introduce the revised fees at this stage.
Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Thursday requested private schools not to charge higher fees, considering the inconvenience caused to parents because of the lockdown.
The principal of a school said the authorities were in a fix. “On the one hand, teachers and other employees would be deprived of their right if the revised pay scale is not implemented while on the other we cannot deny that some guardians have been affected by the lockdown,” the principal said. “Some guardians are faced with an acute financial problem as their businesses have been hit. We are trying to work out a policy, which will help both parties.”
The principal of another school said his institution catered to students from different backgrounds — higher, middle and lower income groups.
The school has decided not to ask parents to pay the revised fees for now, the principal said. “We had promised our teachers that the revised pay scale would be implemented in April. So, we plan to pay them the revised salary for three months. But we may not be able to continue doing so after three months if parents are not in a position to pay the revised fees.”
In another school, parents have been asked to pay only the tuition fees this month. They can pay the annual and quarterly fees later, a school official said.
Teachers of some schools said the management was supposed to announce the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission at the start of this month. But no such announcement has been made so far, they said.
Some schools had introduced the revised pay scales immediately after the state government had in January announced its decision to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.