Police foil teachers’ civil secretariat march

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Hundreds of government teachers and employees associated with Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) on Thursday staged a massive protest at Sher-e-Kashmir Park seeking implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations in favour of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers, head teachers and RMSA masters.
As the protesting teachers tried to march towards the civil secretariat, the police deployed at the spot swung into action and thwarted their march. The police bundled dozens of teachers’ representatives in a vehicle.
As the teachers resisted, the police used water cannons against the protesting teachers.
Meanwhile, talking to media persons, president EJAC Abdul Qayoom Wani said they had organized the protest to press for the demand of SSA teachers, head teachers and RMSA masters for release of their monthly salary as per the 7th pay commission recommendations.
“Five months have passed but the government has taken no initiative for implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations in favour of the SSA teachers, head teachers and RMSA masters. Their salaries have not been de-linked from MHRD funding as well,” he said.
Wani threatened that Teachers Joint Action Committee (TJAC) in coordination with EJAC will announce a massive protest programme across the state “if the government does not release the salary of the teachers as per 7th pay commission recommendations and linked it (their salary head) with state budget.”
“Today we had invited zonal and district representatives of EJAC but next time all employees associated with EJAC will join SSA teachers’ protest,” he said, adding that the government was forcing them to take such extreme steps.
“We don’t want the education of students be affected in the schools but the government has failed to address genuine demands of the teachers which forced us to take hit roads,” he said.
He said these teachers have been serving the department for 16 years. “They have been given the benefit of 6th pay commission, yearly increments and time bound promotions. But we fail to understand on what grounds these teachers are disentitled from the benefits of 7th pay commission recommendations,” Wani said.
Wani appealed to the Governor of J&K state, his advisors, the chief secretary and the secretary school education department to take concrete measures to provide 7th pay commission benefits for these teachers. He also appealed them to de-linking their salary from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
It may be recalled that the previous PDP led coalition government declined 7th pay commission benefits to the SSA teachers, head teachers and RMSA masters which enraged the aggrieved community to launch protests against the government.
In wake of this, various committees were constituted to put forth their recommendations to the government and suggest a way out to resolve the issue once for all.
However, there is no development so far in this regard and teachers are still protesting against the “step-motherly” treatment meted out to them by the government.
Secretary school education department Rigzin Sampheal meanwhile said they were working on the issue and “are communicating with teachers about the developments as well.”

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