Millennium Post

Partha meets agitating teachers, assures help

Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Saturday held a meeting with a delegation of the primary teachers who have been on an indefinite fast for the past one week demanding a pay hike. The minister assured the agitating teachers that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is compassionate about their cause and assured them that the government is trying its best to hike their pay to a certain extent.

He, however, made it clear that the government is not in a position to offer them the salary to the extent as demanded by them. "The government will have to spend to an extent of nearly Rs 4 crore to meet their demand of salary hike which at present is impossible," Chatterjee said.

However, the agitating teachers stuck to their stand and said that they will not lift their movement till their demand is met. "I have urged them to lift their agitation and resume classes as the academics in some schools are suffering because of their movement," Chatterjee said.

While the state Assembly session was on, a fortnight back, he had met a delegation of these teachers and had told them that the government is considering their demand. The teachers, members of the Usthi Primary Teachers' Association, have launched the protest to press for the demand that they be paid at par with their counterparts in other states, which they claimed is "substantially" higher.

A member of the association, Anup Kumar Sahu claimed that primary teachers are paid between Rs 9,300 and Rs 34,800 elsewhere in the country, while in Bengal they have been receiving salary in the pay scale of Rs 5,400-Rs 25,200 for years. The teachers also demanded revocation of the recent transfer order of 14 primary teachers to places, far from their homes.

Chatterjee told them that the government has already started implementing teachers' transfer as per rules.

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