Denied their rightful dues by the state, SSA fourth teachers have promised to continue their fight for equal pay for equal work.
Currently, as per an RTI by lawyer, PT Sangma, there are a total of 1513 SSA fourth teachers in the state with each getting only a paltry Rs 12,000 per month. This too comes after continued urging of the government to enhance salaries, which was done in the year 2017. Earlier the teachers were being a remuneration of only Rs 6000 while a normal SSA teacher gets Rs 20,493.
The same RTI also provides for the fact that the SSA mission only provides for three teachers if the student count is below 120 but provides a headmaster if the number goes above 120. Further the RTI also stated that there has been policy decision taken on even regularizing their services.
“The work we do as teachers is the same as the others so why are being paid less than that of our colleagues. It would have been understandable if we had lesser work but we don’t. Even our qualifications are the same,” said president of the 4th SSA teachers’ association of Meghalaya, Tengsrang Sangma.
Sangma pointed to various memorandums submitted to the state government to seek enhancement of their salaries as well as regularization of their jobs. However they have received nothing positive from the state government, from whose pockets the fourth teachers are paid.
Apparently a proposal had been submitted by the DSEL for enhancement of the salaries of the SSA fourth teachers but was returned by the planning department in 2017 itself.
“The Director of Education has submitted several such proposals but nothing has moved beyond that. We have been serving the state as teachers for many years and we deserve to paid equally,” added secretary, Jeckuish T Sangma.
The teachers opined that there was discrimination by the state in terms of paying lesser salaries to these teachers.
“The law is very clear that there should be equal pay for equal work and we are being discriminated against. There had even been a proposal to enhance our salary to Rs 16,000 but that too is not adequate. How are we to live in such times with only Rs 12,000 a month? We have our families to care for and children to feed and school. Try doing that in a salary of Rs 12, 000,” they added.
While the teachers have insisted that they want the matter of their salary enhancement and regularisation to be done by the state, they added that if nothing worked out, they would definitely bang the doors of the court for pay justice.