GUWAHATI: Contractual teachers in the state have been given two options: to continue in the post and receive an increment, or to opt for regularization to start afresh and forfeit the increment they are getting now, meaning less salary.
Contractual teachers have been demanding unconditional regularization of their posts. There are 25,500 contractual teachers under the Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and 9,500 contractual teachers under the state pool. The regularization process for the contractual teachers has been started by the state government.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced during his Independence Day that the posts of contractual teachers would be regularized.
Education Minister Ranoj Pegu, however, has set certain conditions for regularization of contractual teachers during this financial year. Following the demand of the contractual teachers for unconditional regularization, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu held a meeting with them, following which he said, "If there is any precedent for such regularization (without pre-conditions) according to the rules and acts, we will discuss along these lines. The Finance Department has rules regarding the regularisation and provincialisation of teachers. There is also the Budget Management Act of 2005. According to this, the career of a teacher will be counted from the day the post is regularized or provincialized, prospectively."
He further said, "Although they are contractual teachers, they have the status of near-regularization, due to which they get salary as per ROP and 42% DA. There is a pay increment on basic pay, and they can serve until the age of 60, but they will not get a pension. However, a regularized teacher will be eligible for a pension, and in the event of death, the teacher's family will get a full pension. If a contractual teacher dies on the job, his family will be entitled to receive Rs 5 lakh but no pension. I have discussed this with the Finance Department, and they said that a teacher's career will be counted from the day the post is regularized. The past duration of their job will not be counted. Even if a contractual teacher has 15 years of experience, it will not count, and he has to start afresh. Also, from the day the post is regularized, they will not be entitled to earlier pay, as the present increment will not be paid."
Placing the ball in the contractual teachers' court, Pegu said, "So, I give two options to them. They can continue as contractual teachers and get incremental pay or opt for regularization, in which case they will have to start their careers afresh." "In the meantime, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has formed a committee for regularization and it is examining all angles. A report will be submitted within 10 days. Depending on the committee's report, we will start the process of regularization," Pegu added.