Teachers in unaided schools threaten stir if they are not treated well

The Kerala Unaided School Teachers and Staff Association has threatened agitation measures if the State government continued to neglect the “sad plight” of the un-aided school staff members, denying them even the basic rights.

The association office bearers said here on Monday that thousands of teachers and other supporting staff members in unaided schools in the State were working for a paltry sum as their monthly salary for the past several years.

Though the two-member commission appointed by the government comprising K.G. Sukumara Pillai, former Additional Secretary (Finance), and A.A. Baby, from Centre for Development Studies, submitted its report with several recommendations more than five years ago, no actions were taken by the authorities to implement it, they accused.

According to M. Rajan, State president of the association, the condition of majority of the teachers and other staff members in the sector continued working in extremely miserable conditions despite the frequent call to find a solution for their plight.

“A majority of them not only get poor salary but also work in most undemocratic circumstances,” he said. This is despite the Delhi High Court’s direction to ensure them all the benefits stipulated in the fifth pay commission in 1996, he added.

In some of the CBSE schools in the un-aided sector, the situation is reported to be bad despite the relatively sound financial condition of their management.

“Some of these managements even force the employees to give in writing that they (the employees) wouldn’t ask for any other benefits due to them other than the salary, said P.K. Prabhakaran, secretary of the Association. “Many employees have also been persecuted by the management for joining trade unions as a last resort,” he said.

It is known that the teachers and other staff members in the sector are not given Provident Fund or Employees State Insurance benefits, let alone the vacation salary given to teachers and other staffs in other sectors.

“Their situation is almost similar to the slavery system that existed in the pre-Independence era,” said Mr. Prabhakaran.

According to Mr. Rajan in most cases, the teachers in this sector possessed high educational qualifications including post graduation and above. They were denied all the benefits legally due to them only because they were working in the unaided sector, he said.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Station Human Rights Commission by the association several months ago.

“The commission promised to look into the issue and seek a solution for it without any delay, but nothing happened yet,” said Mr. Rajan, who maintained that the association was planning to launch strong agitation measures to bring the attention of the authorities to this blatant injustice.

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