The financial fiasco and SSA salaries!
Whenever the voices of dissent grow shriller, government comes up with a new assurance.
By: SAMEER FIDA HUSSAIN
By now my ingenuity on the topic of SSA and SSA teachers has nearly exhausted. Lot has been said but nothing has been done in this regard. This deprived lot has been left to fend for themselves as SSA teachers, or more appropriately the General Line Teachers recruited under SSA, are being deprived of their hard earned salaries for months together. Each time their demand for the release of salaries either draws a blank or is being diluted by providing a temporary respite in the form of a one or two month salary credit. There is no constancy in the release of their salaries but there is a comical constancy in the “assurances” that are being given to them. Whenever the voices of dissent grow shriller, the Government comes up with a new assurance.
One fails to understand as to how the coffers run dry when the poor employees demand their dues. The aggrieved lot are once again feeling deprived as the administration has snubbed them yet again. Earlier in the year they were promised the benefits of 7th central pay commission along with a permanent solution to their salary woes in the form of de-linking of the salaries from the central budget. All this was done before a massive gathering of print and electronic media.
The agitating teachers went home with the assurance that their pay would be released as per 7th pay commission recommendations and a roadmap vis-à-vis the de-linking of the salaries from the central budget would be prepared and made public by or before the official deadline of 10th November 2018 set by the governor administration. But the salary that was released post the breakthrough was in accordance to 6th pay commission scales. The state project director, SAMAGRA ShikshaAbhiyaan, released the funds for the salary of the month of July 2018 as per 6th CPC scales. Ideally, the Government should have released the salary for the month of September as per 7th pay commission to calm the nerves of these teachers but the non-seriousness of those at the helm is forcing these teachers to take extreme measures.
If the salary is to be credited in a month-wise succession then what prompted the administration to release the salary of June before February in the allotment released earlier. In certain educational zones of the state, the teachers are yet to receive the salary for the month of February.On 25th of October, the State project directorate accorded sanction for the release of the salary for the month of July as per 6th pay commission scales but it must be borne in mind that the salary liability of teachers working under erstwhile SSAstands at four months. (August, September, October and November).In some educational zones the salary for the month of February also stands unpaid. The credit of a mere one month salary becomes news and things are projected in such a manner so as to believe that everything is hunky-dory. The hype that the salary credit gets makes one believe as if the Government is giving them some favor. Credit of a solitary month’s salary back in October and uncertainty regarding the submission of the committee report by the given deadline has once again pushed the panic button and set the tongues wagging.
The beleaguered teachers have raised loans and sporadic salary credit has compounded their problems. For a major chunk of teachers the one month odd salary released occasionally to avoid a deep confrontation goes into paying EMI’s, loan installments and other liabilities. How come will these teachers run their domestic affairs without a penny in their pockets?
An employer engages an employee in lieu of a monthly salary on some terms and conditions which are mutually agreeable to both the employee and the employer. Once engaged, it becomes the prime responsibility of the employer to pay the employee as per the norms. The employer is bound to pay the salary and wherefrom it gets arranged is not the concern of the employee. Salary becomes the basic right of the employee and delaying or withholding the same is tantamount to human rights violation. Human rights bodies particularly the state human rights commission should come forward and take a strong note of this thing. All the employees of the state are governed by a set of Civil service regulations and those must be followed in letter and spirit.
SSA teachers have been stigmatized. Their identity has been decimated beyond repair. People are making jokes over them. Owing to the financial constraints arising out of nonpayment of salaries, the dignity, pride and prestige of the teachers has been demolished. The gory events that have unfolded from the last couple of years have had a cataclysmic effect on the psyche of these educators and expecting quality education from those who have been rendered paupers is something too big to ask for. Confrontation between an employee and the employer never augurs well for the system more so when the department involved is education. The official committee tasked to find a permanent solution to the grievances of the teachers has, supposedly, failed to submit its report till 10th November 2018 which was the official deadline fixed for submitting the report vis-à-vis the grievances of teachers recruited under SSA. The state administration must feel the pain of these teachers and clear the air surrounding this issue so that teachers heave a sigh of relief.