Monday, May 14, 2012

School teachers win salary battle

MUMBAI: Teachers of St Xavier's High Schoolin Nerul have a reason to celebrate. The Bombay high court on Friday passed an order in their favour and asked the school management to pay teachers in keeping with the Sixth Pay Commission with immediate effect. 

Activists feel this judgment will pave the way for payment of all schoolteachers under the Sixth Pay Commission.

"This has been a long fight but in the end, justice has been done," said a source associated with the school, adding: "This should be a good example for other schools to follow." The management will also have to pay teachers arrears for the past one year. The issue surfaced in December 2010 when the schoolteachers refused to conduct classes till the management agreed to pay them under the Sixth Pay Commission.

"While in most cases parents are opposed to fee hikes, in our school, guardians understood our plight and agreed to pay the revised fees. Still, our school was not paying us what we deserved," said one of the teachers.

Nobody from the school management was, however, available for comment.

With the order in place, teachers of the school will now get almost double their current salary because till date, the school staff was not even being paid under the Fifth Pay Commission.

Educationists and experts called it a landmark judgement, which would boost the morale of teachers. A government resolution on the Sixth Pay Commission, which was yet to be implemented in many schools, made it clear that institutes could hike their fees by no more than 50% in order to pay the revised salaries to teachers.

Several schools, however, ended up hiking fees upto 80%.

"For years, numerous complaints have been lodged by teachers but exploitation by the authorities of schools continued. They hiked fees on the pretext of increasing teachers' salaries but never actually hiked the teachers' pay. Now, there's no way they can back out," said Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education.

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