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Partha to hold meet with agitating para-teachers at Bikash Bhavan

Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee is likely to hold a meeting with para-teachers at Bikash Bhavan this week.

"I will go to my office at Bikash Bhavan on Tuesday and will find out whether there has been any application from the para-teachers for holding talks. Then I will take a call on the meeting. There are a number of organisations of para-teachers. If a meeting is convened then all the organisations will be called," Chatterjee said on the sidelines of a programme at West Bengal Board of Secondary Education on Saturday.

The organisation of para-teachers that is affiliated to Trinamool Congress has not taken part in the agitation of the teachers who have been insisting on a salary hike.

It may be mentioned that an organisation of the para-teachers had started their agitation at Central Park from November 11 and since November 22, 30 of them are on an indefinite fast.

The agitating para-teachers had declared a few days ago that they would be joining classes for five days and if the state government does not lend ear to their grievances even after that, they would strengthen their movement further.

Chatterjee said that he was unaware of teachers boycotting classes. "Some of them were not taking classes in the name of agitation. The guardians have written to me asking me to take strong action against these teachers. However, I have not taken any such step on humanitarian grounds," he added.

A year ago the Education department had given a pay hike for 22,085 para-teachers at primary level from Rs 5,954 to Rs 10,000. Similarly for 26,585 para-teachers at the higher secondary level, the increase in pay was from Rs 8,500 to Rs 13,000.

However, the para-teachers alleged that the salary is meagre considering the present market condition and in comparison with the salary in other professions.

"We are considering salary hike for the teachers. But they should give us some time," said a senior official of the state Education department.

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