SHILLONG, May 15: Seeking intervention into the demand of the teachers’ union to provide benefits of maternity leave to teachers recruited and working under the budget head of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in the State, as per the provisions of the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, Right to Payment of Maternity Benefits and Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act, 2017, the delegation of Meghalaya SSA School Association (MSSASA) central body on Tuesday called on Deputy Chief Minister , In-charge Labour Department, Prestone Tynsong at his office and submitted a memorandum seeking prompt action on the matter.
President of the teachers’ union Aristotle C Rymbai, after meeting the Deputy Chief Minister, informed the media that since the beginning of the implementation of SSA Flagship Programme in Meghalaya till date, the contractual teachers working under SSA were not entitled to avail the benefits of maternity leave as enjoyed by other categories of teachers.
“The teachers’ union last year has submitted several representations to the State Government through the State Project Director SEMAM-SSA office. But the erstwhile government failed to address the issue though the State Project Director SEMAM-SSA Ambrose Ch. Marak had sent a letter to the State Government on October 9 last year, requesting the government to examine the demand of the union in respect of granting of maternity leave to female SSA teachers of SSA supported schools,” Rymbai said.
Rymbai also said the Ministry of Labour & Employment in its clarification issued on April 12, 2017 to all States and UTs government clearly mentioned in Section 2 of the Maternity Benefits Act that the Act is applicable to all women who are employed in mines, agricultural, shops and any institutions or otherwise could be either in organized sector or unorganized sector either on contractual or as consultant, but unfortunately in Meghalaya till date the benefits of maternity leave have not given to teachers working under SSA.
Rymbai also said that the delegation have brief all the facts and figures to the Deputy Chief Minister citing example of the neighbouring State like Assam, where SSA teachers are entitled to avail leave as Special Annual Leave, Medical Leave, Study Leave besides Maternity Leave, which he (Tynsong) has assured of looking into the matter and said it is a genuine issue which the State government needs to address.