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Demanding salary dues, Malegaon teachers sit on dharna

Threaten hunger strike if demands are not met

Wednesday January 25, 2012 10:37:41 AM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

 

Malegaon: Miffed by Malegaon Municipal Corporation’s permanent refusal to pay their salary dues and outstanding in pension amounts, hundreds of corporation school teachers and pensioners are sitting on a 3-day dharna in front of the civic headquarter in Malegaon. They are threatening to start an indefinite hunger strike from January 27 if their demands are not met.

The 3-day dharna which began on January 23 outside the civic headquarter building near the historic Malegaon fort is decided after the persistent demands made since April 2011 by the teachers and pensioners failed to convince the Municipal Commissioner to pay their outstanding salaries and pensions amounting to over 21 crore rupees, Convenor of Municipal Corporation Primary Teachers’ Core Committee, Altaf Ahmed, informed the ummid.com.

 

“The Municipal Commissioner’s lacklustre attitude and dilly-delaying tactics in fact forced us to sit for the dharna”, he said.
 

Quick Statistics

Total no of MMC schools: 103
Total no of teachers: 547
Total no of pensioners: 866
Breakup of outstanding amount

Against teachers’ salary: 6 cr 43 lakhs
Against 6th pay difference: 1 cr 99 lakhs
Pending pensions: 5 cr 09 lakhs
Against graduatey of the pensioners: 4 cr 55 lakhs
Against pension bikri: 3 cr 63 lakhs

(Total 21 cr 69 lakhs)

The protesting teachers are also angry over the Municipal Commissioner for not meeting them though they are sitting near the corporation main gate for the second day now.

 

“It shows what kind of respect the civic head has about teachers”, Altaf Ahmed said.

He said that if the Commissioner does not take any decision even after this dharna, they will be forced to begin a hunger strike. “If our demands are not met, four teachers will sit for an indefinite hunger strike beginning January 27”, he said.

A total of 103 Urdu and Marathi schools that fall under the jurisdiction of Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) recruit 547 teachers. The MMC is also responsible to pay the pensions to 866 retired teachers.

According to Altaf Ahmad, the convenor of Municipal Corporation Primary Teachers’ Core Committee – an umbrella organisation of over half a dozen associations working for teachers and pensioners, the problem of non-payment of their salaries began in 2001 when the State Government reduced the salary grant from 80% to 50% after it converted Malegaon civic body into a corporation.

 

“But the MMC citing poor financial condition declined to pay its share of 50% amount and the teachers’ salaries were made only using the state government’s grant and 20% share the MMC used to pay when it was a Municipal Council”, Altaf said.

As a result there was a delay of 4-5 months in the payment of salaries and pensions. In between, the matter also went to the Supreme Court and High Court. The matter was resolved in March 2011 after the teachers threatened to boycott the census work and the MMC in its general body meeting held on March 18, 2011 promised to pay 50% share of the teachers’ salaries from 1st April 2011.

 

“By this time our dues with the MMC was 21.69 crores. But the corporation was totally tight-lipped on how and when it will pay this amount though it paid our salaries from April 2011 every month", Altaf said.

Interestingly, before sitting for the dharna the teachers had approached the Principal Secretary Urban Development, Manu Srivastav on January 13, 2012 in Mumbai. Annoyed over the delay in the payment, Srivastav reportedly called the commissioner and threatened to stop the grant for under-ground drainage system unless he cleared the teachers’ dues.

When ummid.com contacted MMC Commissioner Jeevan Sonawane he said that the MMC has asked for monetary support from the State Government to tackle the situation.

 

“As per the general body decision taken in March 2011, we are following up with the state government for a special grant or loan to pay the teachers’ dues”, he said.

The teachers however are not ready to buy the commissioner’s statement showing a state government letter that categorically says that the government will not give any further grant to the MMC as it has already given 13 crore and 11 crore rupees loan for the purpose in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

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(Photo: ummid.com)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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