PATNA: With the Bihar Government unwilling to implement Patna High Court’s recent order that contractual teachers be paid the same salary as regular teachers, nearly 3.6 lakh contractual teachers have threatened to go on a strike from February 1, 2018.
The strike could disrupt the matriculation and intermediate examinations to be held in February next year. The contractual teachers, whose pay amounts half of regular teachers’ pay, had boycotted work during the evaluation of matriculation and intermediate answer books earlier this year to press for their demand. The results had got delayed due to the strike.
Patna High Court had on October 31 ruled that contractual teachers are entitled to a salary on par with the permanent teachers. But the State Government, which opposed the demand during the hearing, later hinted that it was unwilling to raise the salaries of contractual teachers.
“We have given the Government time till January 31, 2018, to implement the High Court ruling. If that does not happen, we will lock the primary, middle and high schools across the State and boycott matriculation and intermediate examinations,” said Anand Mishra, General Secretary, Bihar Contractual Teachers’ Association.
The Nitish Kumar-led government, which had in 2006 started appointing teachers on contractual basis at lower salaries, is now planning to move Supreme Court. Sources said a sturdy petition is being drafted.
“The recruitment process and recruiting agency are different for contractual teachers. So, the two cannot be compared,” State Education Principal Secretary RK Mahajan said.
Contractual teachers, whose work is no different from that of regular teachers, receive an average salary of Rs 20,000 post a 2015 hike, while the 70,000 regular teachers in the State are paid Rs 40,000 a month. Regular teachers’ salaries would be hiked when the seventh Pay Commission Report is implemented.
The annual budgetary allocation for education in Bihar is Rs 25,000 and the current expenditure on teachers’ salary stands at about Rs 9,500 crore a year.