Arshad Farooq Butt (To read in Urdu)
The sit-in of school education department teachers, assistant education officers, clerks and other government employees in the provincial capital Lahore continues for the sixth day.
The Employees Grand Alliance is organizing a large scale protest in front of Club Chowk in which Punjab Teachers Union, APCA, Association of AEOs and their members are present.
Pay Protection, Regularization and disparity reduction allowance, these three demands have been presented to the Punjab Government by the sit-in protesters.
What is Pay Protection?
The Department of Education recruits teachers on a contract basis. After completion of three years of contract service, teachers should be made permanent by “date of joining” so that their annual promotions and allowances are included in the salary.
But unlike other departments, teachers are made permanent by deducting the contract service period instead of the date of joining, which halves their salary. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of teachers on pay protection but the federal government is not implementing the apex court ruling.
What is Disparity Reduction Allowance?
To close the pay gap for employees of various government departments, the federal government had issued a notification in Islamabad on February 10 that government teachers would be given a 25 per cent disparity reduction allowance before the budget.
The decision has been implemented in the federal capital Islamabad and Balochistan. Promises have not been fulfilled in the Punjab yet.
Why AEOs, SSTs are not being regularized?
The Punjab Education Department recruited about 11,000 teachers and education officers through NTS tests. These teachers and officers have not been made permanent even after seven years and now for their regularization they have to pass a test and interview with the Punjab Public Service Commission.
This condition of the government has put a question mark on the future of these teachers and education officers. There are some of these education officers who left their permanent post headmaster and became AEOs. Now if for any reason they fail to pass the Punjab Public Service Commission exam, their future will be bleak.
There is nothing wrong with making these teachers and education officers permanent. The government will have no benefit in firing these experienced employees. However, there is a “communication gap” between the government and employees that needs to be bridged.