Agitating teachers, comprising SSA, RMSA, among others under the banner of sanjha morcha, observed ‘black’ Diwali in Punjab by holding protest marches, dharnas, blocking roads at several places across the state to protest against the Government’s refusal to regularise their jobs without a pay cut.
Donning black dresses and carrying placards, the teachers took out protest marches at various places, including Mohali, Bathinda, Patiala, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Faridkot and Jalandhar, against the State Government's decision to fix their monthly salary at Rs 15,000 during first three years of probation period for regularisation of their services.
The protesting teachers are demanding regularisation of their services with full pay.
Presently, the contractual teachers in the state are getting Rs 42,300 per month.
Shouting slogans against the Congress-led Punjab Government, the teachers also blocked roads at a few places.
In Patiala, the protesting teachers clashed with the police when they were approaching towards the personal residence of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the Moti Bagh Palace. The police stopped the teachers at barricades installed near the House.
“We will continue with our stir till our demands are not met,” said Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha's state committee member Bikramjit Singh.
The contractual teachers, under the banner of the Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha, have been holding a sit-in at Patiala — the home town of Chief Minister — in support of their demands since October 7. The protest started after the State Cabinet, on October 3, had given its go ahead to the regularisation of the services of as many 8,886 teachers recruited under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), as well as in Adarsh and Model schools.
However, those whose services would be regularised with the state School Education Department would be paid Rs 15,000 for first three years — a condition vehemently opposed by the teachers.