Removal of nursery teachers stayed

The Central Administrative Tribunal on Friday stayed the removal of 41 nursery teachers, who are working on contract basis in ‘early child education centres’ run by the Universal Elementary Education Mission of the education department.

This programme is run under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a flagship programme implemented by the union human resource development (HRD) ministry.

The tribunal has issued notices to UEE mission state project director, HRD ministry and the Delhi directorate of education, seeking reply to a petition filed by advocate Ashok Agarwal.
The petition stated that teachers were paid a monthly salary of only Rs 5,000, which is less than the minimum wages fixed by the city government.

According to the petition, other teachers engaged in the same programme under ‘assistant teachers’ category were getting better salaries and even hikes on a regular basis.

These teachers have been working under the programme since 2008 with periodical extension of their contract. The existing contract was supposed to end on August 31, but the tribunal asked the UEE mission administration, HRD ministry and the directorate of education to extend the contracts. It also asked them to explain why the salaries were low.

The August 28 tribunal’s order signed by CAT members Dharam Paul Sharma and Veena Chhotray states, “Issue dasti notice (to be delivered in person to the departments concerned) to the respondents. Let the matter be listed for our consideration on September 5. Meanwhile, no order adverse to the applicants will be passed by the respondents.”

The tribunal members also questioned the HRD ministry’s policy of ‘equal work, equal pay’ and non-remuneration of teachers who are on contract basis.

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