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Daily wage school staffers to go on strike today

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Daily wage school staffers to go on strike today
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:41:52 AM »
Daily wage school staffers to go on strike today
ISLAMABAD:09 January:As the annual academic session in schools nears its end with students preparing for their final exams, the teaching and non-teaching staff – working on a daily-wage basis in the capital’s public schools — will boycott their duties from today (Tuesday).

The staffers argue that they have not been paid their salaries for the past eight months.

Around 2,200 daily wage employees of the capital’s government-run schools have been working without pay since May 2017. The issue of their regularization issue has also been pending for years.

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Various parliamentary panels have taken up the issue, with the issue featuring in debates on the floor of the parliament, but little has been done to resolve their grievances.

The issue, though, complicated further after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled last November that all daily-wage staffers, who had been appointed at government schools and colleges in the capital without following due procedure and observing principles of transparency, were illegal.

Recent advertisements for new recruits issued by the capital’s education administration have stoked fears amongst employees that they may not be adjusted.

On Monday some daily wage employees staged a protest outside the office of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) — the main body which looks after affairs of educational institutions in the capital.

They blocked the entrance to the directorate’s offices and demand that their salaries should be released that new recruitments must be halted.

They cried slogans including “new appointments, not acceptable”, “FDE shame, shame”, and ‘no college, no class, boycott, boycott’.

While the employees have been agitating for their demands for the past week. However, they announced that from Tuesday, they shall boycott their duties in schools and colleges of the capital until their salaries are released, their remuneration is increased as per the formula adopted to increase it in other government cadres.

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Noting that daily-wage teachers are paid the same Rs.15,400 as non-teaching staffers in Islamabad, the employees pointed out that in neighbouring Rawalpindi Cantonment salaries of teachers has been enhanced to Rs25,000.

“We have been teaching for the past six months in a civilized way,” said Rabia Waheed, one of the daily wage teachers who was protesting outside FDE’s office on Monday.

“We have met with the Capital Administration Development Division (CADD) Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, the FDE director general and even approached the finance ministry personally to pursue our case,” she said, adding that the officials only told them to follow their file.

Waheed, though, lamented that their files were returned with multiple objections.

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“Is it our job to roam around the ministries to have our salaries released,” Waheed questioned, adding, “Should we teach our classes or resort to administrative work which officials of the CADD and FDE supposed to do.”

The daily wage teacher went on to say that they now had a decision to make — whether or not to take to the roads with their agitation.

“When we sit on the roads and block the traffic, then the interior ministry will ask the relevant ministries to resolve the issue. This will make them issue our salaries,” Waheed said, noting that every year they had to resort to this formula for their salaries much like other marginalized groups.

Meanwhile, FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi explained that they had taken the issue of unreleased salaries to the Finance Ministry.

“[Salary release] will be approved, hopefully, in a week,” Qureshi said.

Regarding the protest, he said that they had made arrangements.

“We have called the police and they [protesters] will not be allowed to lock the FDE offices.”Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2018.
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