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Will not withdraw strike until lasting solution is reached: SSA-RMSA teachers

SSA-RMSA teachers thronged Directorate of Education office in Imphal as a part of their indefinite strike on January 14, 2020 (PHOTO: IFP)
IMPHAL: Hundreds of SSA and RMSA teachers under the banner of Joint SSA and RMSA Teachers’ Association Manipur (JSRTAM) on Tuesday thronged the education (S) directorate to submit ‘intimation letter’ of cease work strike.
The teachers have been on cease work strike since Monday on the ground that are being denied the facilities such as timely salary and promotion avenues even though they are employed as regular employees of the state government.
The letter addressed to the director, Education (S) mentioned that the teachers will not perform their duties until the demands to disburse salary regularly and to create promotion avenues are fulfilled.
The enraged teachers have also decided not to take part in the upcoming class 10 and 12 examinations if the demands are not fulfilled. Agitation will continue until a permanent solution is reached, according to them.  
Speaking to the media, vice president, JSRTAM, Nongmaithem Prakashchandra contended that there has been no positive response from the government despite their repeated appeals and pleas to bring a permanent solution.
“Even though we are employed on regular basis since 2011, we are denied the facilities of a regular teacher. The government treats us as second class teachers. Salaries of only two or three months out of the seven-eight backlog are disbursed only when we took to the streets like beggars”, he said.
Till date salaries of six months are still pending, he added.
While noting that the SSA and RMSA teachers are the backbone of the ‘School Phagathansi mission’ of the government, he demanded the government to take up necessary steps for disbursement of salary and for creating career progression avenues at the earliest.
The JSRTAM vice president said teachers are compelled to take up extreme step of cease work strike because it has become “an issue for survival.”
Meanwhile, director, Education (S) directorate, Th Kirankumar clarified that the salaries are not disbursed on time as there are certain financial constraints.
“With the merging of funding for SSA and RMSA under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in 2019, the central share in funding for SSA and RMSA has been decreased. Earlier, the state government used to fund around 10 percent. However, the state government is compelled to make up for the decreased central share as much as 50 percent,” he said.
Regarding the provision for career progression or promotion avenues, Kirankumar said that the RR for SSA and RMSA lacks the processes and terms and conditions of promotions.
While noting that the demand of the teachers is reasonable, he said that he will urge the authorities including principal secretary (finance) for early solution.
He also appealed to the teachers to bring solution through dialogue and to air their grievances to the higher officials. The teachers’ stand not to engage in any kind of talks is not a right move, Kirankumar added.  
Source: Imphal Free Press

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