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State govt proposes hike in grade pay of primary teachers

Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Thursday that he has proposed a hike in the grade pay of primary teachers from Rs 2,600 to Rs 3,600 to the state Finance department. The increase will be effective even for the madrasah teachers. The minister further announced that the department is ushering in uniform promotion policy for the teachers.

"The pay hike up to Rs 3,200 has already been approved. But we have now proposed a hike up to Rs 3,600. We are hopeful that the Finance department will give its nod soon. I have already constituted a committee comprising senior officials of my department so that the increased pay can be implemented quickly," Chatterjee said at an emergency meeting convened by the West Bengal Trinamool Primary Teachers' Association at Nazrul Manch.

He maintained that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has herself taken up the matter and talks are on with the Finance department for necessary action.

Presently, the primary teachers get a grade pay of Rs 2,600. A section of these teachers have been observing protest in front of Bikash Bhavan — the office of the Education department for the past few days demanding a hike to Rs 4,200. Chatterjee, who had held a meeting with a delegation of the agitating teachers on Saturday, had assured them that the Chief Minister is compassionate about their cause and added that the government is trying its best to address their concern.

Urging the agitating teachers to lift their movement, Chatterjee said he has given necessary instructions to his department to regularise the transfer of 14 teachers as per the rules. These teachers have been vocal over the revocation of the recent transfer order which allegedly posted them far from their homes. Chatterjee announced that his department will come out with a uniform promotion policy for the teachers. "We are now preparing the policy draft specifying the grade of the teachers. Approval of the Chief Minister will be taken before making it effective," he added.

According to the minister, his department is mulling the idea of reserving a certain percentage (10 or 15 percent) of the teachers' posts in the upper primary for the primary teachers. The Supreme Court has already given its approval for this.

"We will continue our movement till we get written intimidation about the pay hike," an agitating teacher said.

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