School teachers in Meghalaya under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) on Sunday threatened to take mass casual leave and hold a hunger strike if their pending salaries are not cleared within the coming week.
A report appearing in the The Telegraph stated that under the banner of the Meghalaya Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan School Association, there are 12,541 trained and untrained teachers teaching in over 5,000 SSA-supported schools across the State.
The report further stated that the association has served a “demand notice” for release of their five months’ salary for the period from April to August 2018 and eight months’ arrears salary of the 2016-17 financial years for the period from July 2016 to February 2017.
The association General Secretary HM Marbaniang, in a statement, said the teachers have given the Government time till Wednesday to fulfill their demands. “If the Government cannot fulfill the demands, the teachers will go on a mass casual leave on September 24 and 25 next, which will be followed by a two-day hunger strike on October 11 and 12, Marbaniang said.
The non-release of pending salaries has affected the livelihood of the teachers and the families, the association said. In their recent meeting with the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, the association was told that the government would need three to four weeks to release the pending salaries. The association has also sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the pending salaries are cleared.
In a letter to Modi, the association said the State Government had given assurances that it would take up the matter of pending payment of salaries with the Centre. It also said the State Education Department had cited the
non-release of funds from the Union Human Resource Development Ministry as the reason for the delay in releasing the pending salaries. However, the association learnt from reliable sources that the ministry had transferred funds under ad hoc installment to all States in April-May 2018.