Teachers, Demand Pending Salaries, Stage Protest

Srinagar: Hundreds of school teachers protesting against non-payment of their monthly salaries disrupted traffic movement at several places from City Centre Lal Chowk to Divisional Commissioner Office on Saturday.

Holding placards and chanting slogans against the education department, the employees initially staged a demonstration in the Education Department’s office premises later decided to take to the streets after receiving no official response. The protesters led by Teachers Forum President Abdul Qayoom Wani marched through the roads of Lal Chowk and after reaching Divisional Commissioners Office staged a massive protest there.

The protesting teachers told CNS that none of them have received their monthly salaries for the four months. “How could one survive without an income? It has been four months and not a single month’s salary has been given to us during this period,” complained a teacher Reyaz Ahmed posted in District Pulwama.

Many participants said they were in debt as they had to borrow money to survive this year. Some of them regretted that they had quit a private job only to get appointed as a government schoolteacher. “I left a Rs35, 000 job at a private school because the administration used to cut my salary on one excuse or the other. Now working in Government sector without an income has made me regret my decision. At least I was getting a salary earlier to run my house,” said another teacher.   

Another teacher appointed in Baramulla town said: “I am married, with three children and lived in a rented house with my parents and a mentally challenged brother. You can imagine how hard it would have been for me to run my house in these conditions. I am taking private tuitions but that amount is not enough to meet daily expenses.”

In reply to a question about complaints, they said officials gave them repeated assurances but without any positive outcome.

Talking to CNS, Teacher’s Forum president Abdul Qayoom Wani said that,“State government has resorted to its routine delay tactics and non-seriousness as a result there was no headway in redressing the salary related problems of teachers. So to awaken the government from its deep slumber and to get the issues resolved, we launched this protest programme.” 

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