High level meet leaves ReTs dejected

High level meet leaves ReTs dejected
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Just another committee formed, say teachers

IRSHAD KHAN

SRINAGAR: Dashing the high expectations associated with it, a high level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday to address the issues of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers (ReTs) has instead disappointed the latter.
With officials like Chief Secretary, B B Vyas, Finance Minister, Altaf Bukhari and Education Minister, Chowdhry Zulfikar attending the meeting, the teachers who have been long protesting for delinking their salary from the union government expected the high level meet to take a call in their favour.
However, the CM ordered the constitution of another “high level committee” headed by chief secretary Vyas to look into the issues of the ReTs. This despite that several committees constituted by the government in this regard have failed to address the demands of the teachers.
Despite the protesting teachers recently saying that they had “boycotted” April month’s salary released by the government as per the 6th pay commission, Monday’s meeting has again deprived them of the benefits of the 7th pay commission, they said.
The teachers complain that they have been singled out while rest of the employees took their salary as per 7th pay commission starting April.
Although the CM ordered release of Rs 143 crore in favour of the teachers, the latter said that the released money was insufficient for them.
“The teachers had high hopes with today’s meeting because honourable CM had intervened in the matter, which we welcome… No doubt we are thankful to the Cm for intervention, but what we wanted has not happened. Our aspirations have not been fulfilled. The troubles of the teachers have not been done away with,” President JK Teachers Forum, Abdul Qayoom Wani told Kashmir Reader.
“If the salary since February was pending, why did they release the salary of April first and withheld that of earlier months?” asked Wani.
“They created a confusion and to convey that the salary for April would not be considered for 7th pay commission in favour of the ReTs,” he added.
“We were expecting that the 7th pay commission would be implemented… Our protest programme for June 13 would remain because today’s decision would not have any effect”.
“The concern is that why were they debarred from the benefits of 7th pay commission even as they have availed the benefits of 6th pay commission and yearly increments,” complained Wani.
Chairman J&K ReT Teachers Forum, Farooq Ahmad Tantray said that the Vyas-led committee constituted by the CM on Monday was “just another committee” added to the ones set up earlier.
“They have set up many of them earlier as well, but what did the committees do finally?” Tantray asked. Releasing the salary in favour of the ReTs as per 7th pay commission, Tantray said, “would have come as a healing touch.”
“We understand that delinking of salaries would take some time,” he added.
Delinking the ReTs’ salaries and providing them the benefits of the 7th pay commission has “huge financial implications” Education Minister, Chowdhry Zulfikar said.
“We have to find out the way. The ReTs have been regularised in air without there being posts for them. Now we have to create posts for them. We will see how we can create them. It will happen only under a long-term plan,” added Zulfikar.
“We will give them the benefits of 7th pay commission. When did we deny them? We will discuss the modalities first. There is a financial burden of Rs 486 crore on the same, but we are committed to do something for it,” he further added.
The Monday’s meeting as per the education minister had a “threadbare discussion” over the issues faced by the ReTs.
“The committee (headed by the CS Vyas) would work out the route map of giving them the benefits of the 7th pay commission and delinking their salaries”.
The ReTs are already on a lockdown strike against the government’s failure to delink their salaries and depriving them of the 7th pay commission benefits.

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