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Teacher unions stage sit-down at edu office

Teacher salary

NAGPUR: The deputy director’s (education) office had its hands full on Saturday with two teachers’ unions staging a sit down at its gate. Independent of each other, the Vidarbha Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh (VMSS) and Teachers Welfare Organization (TWO) reached the education office to present a memorandum against the government’s policies regarding teachers. Prominent among the demands of both unions were the pay packages being offered to teachers.

Former MLC VU Daigavane, who led the VMSS protest, said, “The government had agreed to increase the daily allowance of state employees but teachers have not yet got their dues. The state promised us 8% increase but there is a backlog of 32 months and counting. In one of the demands of our memorandum, we have urged the chief minister and education minister to at least give us a reason to smile this Diwali. There are other demands which have been pending for a long time but it seems that the government does not care.”

The two unions maintained that it was pure coincidence that both of them chose the same time to stage the sit-down.

PC Goswami, president of Teachers Welfare Organization, said, “The government keeps on making policies but does not do any follow up to see if things are being properly implemented or not. The recently conducted students’ census showed that probably one lakh students are bogus. This fraud is being perpetrated by the education officials to siphon off money from government coffers. That money could well have been used to pay salaries to deserving teachers.”

Assistant director (education) P Nikas met with the protesters and assured to follow up on their memorandum. Nikas, said, “My office will pass on their demands to the ministry immediately. We are only a medium between the unions and the government. As far as their allegations against education officials are concerned, please understand that not all are corrupt. It is probably because of a few people that the entire department is getting a bad name.”

The education department is currently mired in controversies and allegations of conniving with unscrupulous schools to siphon funds.

Times of India, 16 October 2011

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