FASTOM resents unequal pay hike


SHILLONG, July 4: The agitating ad hoc school teachers on Monday expresses dissatisfaction over the state Cabinet’s decision to upgrade their salaries by 25-50% and said they will take a call on their movement on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters that the ad hoc teachers’ salaries were last revised in June 2017. The decision on Monday to enhance their pay with effect from July 1, 2022, was based on a slew of memorandums received.
He said the decision will add Rs 100 crore to the state budget and the government would have to spend about Rs 320 crore annually.
According to him, the higher secondary, secondary and science teachers will get Rs 9,000 more. This works out to Rs 33,000 per month for a higher secondary teacher, Rs 29,000 for a secondary teacher and Rs 31,000 for a science teacher.
The monthly hike for the upper primary, lower primary, Hindi and the fourth teachers under SSA has been fixed at Rs 6,000. This works out to Rs 22,000 for an upper primary teacher and Rs 18,000 for a primary, Hindi and fourth teacher.
The ad hoc teachers, agitating at the parking lot near the Additional Secretariat, will decide Tuesday morning whether or not to accept the Cabinet’s decision.
Unhappy with the decision, the teachers under the banner of the Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) protested outside the Main Secretariat, demanding an upgrade from the ad hoc to the deficit system apart from the pay enhancement.
“Not a single teacher is happy. We feel insulted and disappointed by the government’s decision without taking our views into consideration,” FASTOM spokesperson Mayborn Lyngdoh said while addressing the agitating teachers following the Cabinet decision.
He said the teachers have been demanding a uniform salary enhancement of Rs 18,000 for all upper primary, lower primary, secondary and higher secondary teachers in the state.
Lyngdoh said the CM, Deputy CM and Education Minister were silent on the proposal for an upgrade.
“The officials also could not tell us what the proposal is. The only reply we get is that it is confidential. But we were assured that the proposal is upgraded and it is a better one,” he said.
Lyngdoh said if the earlier government could enhance the teachers’ salaries by 100% in 2016, the present government could very well do so. He accused the government of implementing the British divide-and-rule policy on the teachers.
“They are sitting in their chairs, earning lakhs per month and they feel they know how much we should earn. They are trying to divide the teachers,” he said.
The FASTOM spokesperson said Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had told them that the state government was planning to allocate Rs 200-plus crore for the enhancement of their salaries.
“But the number today is Rs 100 crore. We would like to know where the remaining Rs 100 crore is and where it has gone. How can, in a span of three days, the amount come down by Rs 100 crore,” he asked.
Lyngdoh lauded former chief minister Mukul Sangma for the 100% enhancement of their salaries in 2016.
Pointing out that the last enhancement was when the budget allocation of the state was only Rs 13,000 crore, he said the budget allocation is Rs 17,500-plus crore currently.
“The pay was enhanced by 220% from 2010 to 2016. We did not ask for 220% from the government, only an average of 75% but even that is not being given to us,” Lyngdoh said.
He sought to know where the 3% cess levied for Education has gone in the last six years.