Millennium Post

Section of primary school teachers on indefinite fast in WB

Kolkata: A section of primary teachers in West Bengal are on indefinite fast for the fifth day on Thursday demanding a pay hike.

The teachers, members of the Usti Primary Teachers' Association, have launched the protest to press for its demand that they be paid at par with their counterparts in other states, which they claimed is "substantially" higher.

A menber of the association said Thursday, primary teachers are paid between Rs 9,300 and Rs 34,800 elsewhere in the country, while in West Bengal they have been receiving salary in the pay scale of Rs 5,400-Rs 25,200 for years.

The teachers are also demanding revocation of the recent transfer order of 14 primary teachers to places, far from their homes.

"The transfers were effected without considering the difficulties faced by these 14 teachers in commuting," association secretary Pritha Biswas said.

State Education minister Partha Chatterjee Wednesday said, the government will sit for talks with different primary teachers' bodies after July 21.

However, he asked the teachers not to be absent from classes to join any agitation.

Meanwhile, members of the association will carry on with the indefinite fast at the venue near Bikash Bhavan in Salt Lake area, until there are concrete assurances from the state government about increasing the salary of the primary school teachers, Biswas said.

Bikash Bhavan is the headquarters of the state education department.

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