Primary teachers' to go for fast over pay hike

Members of West Bengal Teachers Cell during their Bidhan Saba Abhijan protest against the state government, in Kolkata. (PTI File Photo)

A section of primary teachers from state-run and state-aided schools of West Bengal is set to launch an indefinite fast from July 15 to press for its demand for a pay hike, alleging that the TMC government, despite repeated reminders, has failed to address the concern.

Pintu Parui, the general secretary of West Bengal Primary Trained Teachers' Association (PTTA), said Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had promised to look into the issue in February, but no measure has been taken by the government so far to increase the salary.

"A deputation of PTTA members met senior officials at Bikash Bhavan, the state education department headquarters, on April 10, to push for the demand. However, all requests have fallen on deaf ears, thereby forcing us to call for an indefinite fast from July 15," he said.

Keeping in mind the qualification of the teachers, the pay scale should be increased at par with their counterparts in other states, Parui asserted.

"Primary teachers here get less than their counterparts in other states. This is unacceptable," he said.

The association has also requested the government, on several occasions, to facilitate the recruitment of candidates who had qualified way back in 2005-06, Parui claimed.

"The recruitment of candidates, who qualified in 2005 -06, has been hanging fire for the past 13 years. The Left Front was at the helm back then.

"The Trinamool Congress had assured us to look into the matter after coming to power in 2011, but it, too did not live up to its promises," he added.

Despite repeated attempts, the education minister could not be contacted for his reaction. 

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