KOLKATA: The West Bengal government Friday announced a hike in the grade pay of primary teachers in the state on the fourteenth day of their hunger strike. The enhancement of grade pay for trained and untrained primary teachers was notified by the school education department of the government. “The grade pay of trained primary teachers in enhanced from Rs. 2,600 in pay band 2 to Rs. 3,600 in Pay Band 3 and the grade pay of untrained primary teachers is enhanced from Rs2,300 to Rs. 2,900 in Pay Band 2 with effect from August 1,2019,” the notification said.
Members of Usti Primary Teachers Association (UPTA) have been on indefinite hunger strike in front of Bikas Bhawan in Salt Lake, which houses the state directorate of school education for the past fortnight.
“We have not seen the order yet. But we have heard about it. If this announcement is true we are not at all happy. We are waiting for the government’s decision on the revocation of transfer orders of 14 primary teachers,” Sandeep Ghosh, one of the agitating teachers, said.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had said on Thursday that the government was ready to effect a hike in the grade pay of the primary teachers. Mr Chatterjee had reasoned that the teachers were transferred to schools having shortage of teachers.
Earlier in the day, actor-director Aparna Sen paid a visit to the agitating primary teachers and urged the state government to look into the matter immediately with utmost importance. She said that the state government should stop giving donations to the clubs, organising different festivals and instead pay dues to the primary teachers immediately.
“I am ashamed to think myself as a Bengali. What is happening in our state? (The state government must) stop giving donations to the clubs … stop organising different festivals and immediately pay the dues to these teachers,” Ms Sen said after meeting the agitating teachers.