The Meghalaya SSA Schools’ Association (MSSASA) on Tuesday set a March 25 deadline for the government to release the two months’ salary of 12,541 SSA teachers or be prepared for some stern decision.
“We want to send a clear message to the government that if it fails to release the fund for payment of our two months’ salary on or before March 25, we will call an emergency general meeting of the executive committee to decide on our next course of action as a mark of protest against the MDA government’s adamant attitude (to clear the pending salary),” MSSASA president Aristotle C Rymbai said in a statement.
The decision was taken after no action was taken to release the two months’ salary despite assurance given by the Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on March 2, after SSA teachers took to the streets to protest against the delay in releasing their five months’ salary.
“Even after 20 days, the fund is still lying with the state government or with the state finance department. It seems that the assurance given by the education minister on behalf of the state government is just a delaying tactic in order to calm down the anger of the teachers,” Rymbai said.
He said the education minister had assured the two months’ salary would be released within a week during the meeting held with the delegation of the MSSASA.
Asking the state government not to play with the SSA teachers, Rymbai said, “We are here to serve the children of the state so please don’t force the SSA teachers to come out to the streets along with our family members and relatives.”
“We want to send a clear message to the state government that this (delaying tactic) is not going to work. We are here demanding for our rights and livelihood. Just imagine living five months without salary, it is not a joke,” he added.
The MSSASA president said the association had also conducted a follow up on the matter on March 10.
“Very interestingly, the secretary of Education, Ambrose Marak, told us that the delay is due to this budget session because all the officers are engaged with the session, okay that’s fine now the session is already over so why there is a delay is the question we want to put to the state government. Yesterday I again followed up with the secretary of education and came to know that the file is still under process (which is very disappointing),” he informed.
HEK READY TO MEDIATE
BJP legislator from Pynthorumkhrah, Alexander Laloo Hek said he is ready to take up with the Centre for immediate release of the pending salaries.
“I can take up the matter with the Government of India and write to Dharmandra Pradhan, Minister of Education, requesting his immediate intervention in the matter,” Hek said.
He said the government should understand the problems faced by the SSA teachers adding it is the responsibility of the education department to address the plight of the SSA teachers.
He said many of the teachers are staying in rented houses and working for five months without salary. How will the government expect them to survive, he asked.