Public school, college teachers launch protest

PTU, schoolteachers' union announce protest and sit-in in Islamabad from today

Ammar Sheikh April 17, 2018

LAHORE: Aggrieved school and college teachers of government-run institutions of Punjab have announced a separate protest drive and indefinite sit-ins against the government if their demands are not met.

The Schoolteachers’ Union and Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) has announced a protest and sit-in in Islamabad from today (Tuesday). The announcement came in Monday’s statement which said that the teachers rejected the federal government’s decision to increase salaries by just 10%. The statement said PTU would gather outside the parliament in the federal capital to protest against the move.

It further read that the teachers would start their protest with a rally starting from the Islamabad Press Club to the parliament and hold a sit-in there for a uniform service structure across different provinces.

The statement said that the increase was meager even compared to the recent increase in commodities in anticipation of the budget. The teachers demanded that house rent allowance should be readjusted as per their current pay scales. The allowance has remained the same since 2008.

Talking to The Express Tribune, PTU General Secretary Rana Liaquat said that the teaching community had been demanding a uniform pay and service structure across the country. "Every province has a different pay structure and our basic demand is that a uniform policy should be adopted for education."

Liaquat said that Punjab had increased the qualification of a teacher to that of a college lecturer; however, he or she gets Basic Pay scale-14, which was unjust.

To a question, he said further course of action would be decided in the capital. "We will decide after the government responds to our demands. We can camp there indefinitely if our demands are not met. But this is yet to be decided," he added.

Separately, the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA), the representative organisation of college teachers, is also organising a protest and sit-in outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. The demands of PPLA include one-step upgradation, imposition of timescale, pay protection, an end to pay cuts, professional allowances for teachers and principals, devolution of powers, restoration of MPhil and PhD allowances, end to ban on study leave for teachers and appointment of educationists to the posts of chairmen of intermediate and secondary education boards instead of commissioners.

PPLA President Hafiz Khaliq told The Express Tribune that college teachers would sit outside the secretariat until their demands were met. He said college lecturers and professors from every district and division would be part of the sit-in and the teaching community would not budge from their demands.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2018.


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