Teachers’ stir: State adopts ‘no work, no pay’ strategy

Bhubaneswar: Taking a strong note of the disruption caused to the school children’s education due to ongoing agitating of teachers, the state government has adopted ‘No work, no pay’ policy against the agitating teachers and issued necessary instructions to the district and field-level officials in this regard.

School and Mass Education secretary PK Mohapatra has asked the District Education Officers (DEOs) and Block Education Officers (BEOs) to ensure that the agitating teachers do not get their salary for the days they were absent in their respective schools.

“It is directed to take necessary steps to check the attendance of all teachers, including junior teachers, junior teachers (contractual), from September 6, 2018 and ensure that teachers who have remained absent without permission and without proper reason do not get their salary for the days they are absent,” Mohapatra said in his order.

In the case of contractual teachers, he said that unauthorised absence could be treated as a reason for not renewing the annual contract due in March 2019. “Authorities may take action to disengage them after due procedure,” the secretary said.

The BEOs have been asked to make local arrangements for the smooth functioning of schools during the absence of the agitating teachers.

Stating the government has already initiated steps to consider the demands raised by the teachers, Mohapatra said, “Hence, the agitation called by such groups is not all justified.”

Meanwhile, S&ME minister Badri Narayan Patra appealed to the agitating teachers to call off their strike and go back to respective schools and colleges and resume academic duties, as the students are suffering unnecessarily.

Though the inter-ministerial committee set up to look into the demands of the teachers was supposed to meet this evening, it was cancelled as the Assembly session continued till late evening, sources said.

Reacting to the letter of Mohapatra, Odisha School and College Teachers’ and Employees United Forum convener Pabitra Mahala said, “They can take whatever action they want to. We will continue our protest until our demands are fulfilled.”

About 60,000 block grant teachers of 5,500 schools and colleges have been staging protest since August 16 over their six-point charter of demands at the PMG Square here.

They are demanding implementation of Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and the new grant-in-aid system, which was introduced by the state government in October last year.