Wednesday, May 25, 2011

West Bengal promises First day salary to teachers.

Mamata to implement pay pledge by July if not in June itself.
The Mamata Banerjee government has promised to disburse on the first of every month the salaries of teachers who now have no fixed date to get their pay.
The move will benefit nearly three lakh teachers in over 59,000 primary and around 16,000 secondary state-aided schools across Bengal.
“Teachers working in state-aided schools in Bengal will now get their salaries on the first day of every month,” the chief minister said at Writers’ Buildings.
Mamata said the government would try to implement the decision from June. “If we fail to pay the salaries to the teachers on June 1, we will definitely give effect to the decision in July,” she said.
The decision was taken after discussions with finance minister Amit Mitra, she added.
The state government has to shell out around Rs 650 crore every month for the salaries of the teachers.
Teacher associations, which had been demanding payment of salaries on time, welcomed the government’s move.
Among them was the CPM-affiliated All Bengal Primary Teachers’ Association (ABPTA). “We welcome the move of the new government,” said Samar Chakraborty, an ABPTA leader. “The teachers will definitely benefit if they get their salaries on the first of every month,” he added.
The Left government had cited lack of manpower for not accepting the demand of the teachers to disburse the salaries on a fixed date.
In Calcutta’s state-aided schools, salaries are released between sixth and 10th of every month. But in some districts, the salaries are paid to the teachers as late as on the 20th.
“We had requested the government several times to at least ensure that the teachers’ salaries are paid on a fixed date across Bengal. But the government had not paid heed to our appeals,” a teacher said.
Teachers had complained that the situation had worsened over the past four years in some districts where salaries were being disbursed in the third week of every month.
For Subhankar Banerjee, general secretary of the School Teachers and Employees’ Association, an organisation of anti-Left teachers, the move is a “great victory”.
“Mamata Banerjee has proved that the previous government could not solve our long-standing demand because it lacked the will to do so,” Banerjee said.
Ashoke Maity, former general secretary of the West Bengal Headmasters’ Association, an anti-Left body of headmasters of state-aided schools, too was of the same opinion.
“If four lakh government employees can be paid their salaries on the first of every month, there is no reason why the government could not take an initiative to offer the same facility to schoolteachers,” he said.
But Mamata’s announcement sparked speculation about whether the government would be able to deliver on its promise in the long term.
The headmaster of a Calcutta school said: “The process of releasing the salaries for three lakh teachers is not an easy task. It may be possible to ensure the salary on the first of every month for a month or two.
“But it will be a difficult task to sustain it unless some drastic measures are taken to increase the existing manpower in the offices of the district inspectors (DI) of schools.”
The headmaster stressed the need for simplifying the existing long-drawn process.
The process starts with the requisition of salaries by the schools every month. The requisition is given to the DI offices, from where it is sent to the finance department. The department then issues orders for release of the salaries
Source : The Telegraph.

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