Teachers protest for release of salaries, other demands

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Up in arms against much delay in release of salaries under SSA, RMSA, Mid-Day meal grants and callous attitude of the State Government towards genuine issues of the teaching community, Jammu Kashmir Teachers Forum today held strong protest demonstration in capital cities of the State.
In Jammu, the protest demonstration was held under the leadership of Ganesh Khajuria, general secretary of the Forum, near Press Club Jammu while at Srinagar, chairman of JKTF, Abdul Qayoom Wani led a strong protest rally from the Directorate of School Education Kashmir to the office of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.
The protesting teachers at Jammu raised slogans against the Government and in support of their demands, which included; immediate release of salary grants, Mid Day meal grants, regularization of ReTs, who have completed five years of service, adjustment of promoted Lecturers and Masters, promotion of Masters as Head Masters, removal of pay anomalies of Masters Grade, regularization of officers in Education Department, etc.
While addressing the protesting teachers, Ganesh Khajuria accused the Education Minister of harassing teachers and appealed the Chief Minister to intervene directing the concerned authorities to release Mid-Day meal grants and salaries of teachers working under SSA, RMSA and NPS within two weeks.
Rajinder Gupta, Gopal Singh, Yog Raj Singh, Soorat Singh Toofani, Raj Singh and others also addressed the gathering.
In Srinagar, a large number of teachers, led by senior trade union leader and JKTF chairman Abdul Qayoom Wani, assembled at the Directorate of School Education office premises in city centre and started their march towards Divisional Commissioner’s office.
Wani criticized the State Government for not releasing the salaries of the teachers and not fulfilling their demands. He accused the Government of harassing and insulting teachers on the pretext of screening test and ban on private tuition.
“Today the teachers across Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are holding protests in favour of their demands. Our three main demands are: release of salaries, regularization of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers and time bound promotion of ReTs,” he said. The trade union leader strongly opposed the screening test decision of State Government, saying it is akin to insult.
“In the guise of High Court order, the State Education Department is insulting and victimizing teachers. Directing all teachers with professional degrees to appear in exams is clearly an insult. The Government can scrutinize degrees but exams are unacceptable and we will oppose it tooth and nail,” Wani said.
The president also lashed out at Human Resource Development Department for withholding Rs 1000 crore funds of teachers and said that the JKTF would go to Delhi and hold protest at Jantar Mantar if HRD Ministry does not release these funds.
The employees’ leader said if State Government doesn’t accept their demands, they will intensify the protests. “We are holding meeting of our executive body on December 7 in Jammu and if Government fails to accept our demands then we will announce second phase of our protests on the same day,” Wani said. He appealed Education Minister Naeem Akhtar to “seriously” look into the matter. “He is being misled by some of his officials in a committee that has been constituted by him,” he claimed.

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