KOCHI: The state government’s ‘salary challenge’ has elicited mixed reaction from the state’s teaching community. M Salahudheen, general secretary, Kerala Pradesh School Teachers Association (KPSTA), said while they do not oppose the idea, they are against the decision to force teachers to contribute their one month’s salary. “Not many teachers can afford to contribute such a big sum,” he said.
He said they met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and informed him that teachers were ready to contribute a significant amount that they were comfortable with. He said some teachers were ready to contribute 10 days worth of their salary, while some were ready to give up an entire month’s pay. “The decision to do so should be vested with them,” he said.
Salahudheen, who is also the general convenor of State Employees and Teachers’ Organisation, said people were okay if the government was unable to pay them the entire salary for April in May. “They can even cut one-third of the salary and pay it back bit by bit,” he said. He said the employees have decided to take legal route if the government cuts their salary forcibly.
A section of university teachers also came out against the salary challenge.The Confederation of University Teachers’ Organisation of Kerala (CUTOK) has demanded that the government withdraw the directive. “The government should be ready to accept whatever contributions teachers make,” said K Gangadharan, president, CUTOK. However, general secretary of Federation of University Teachers’ Association P Paslithil said they had expressed their willingness to contribute a month’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.