FAISALABAD: The employees of the Education Boards of Faisalabad and Lahore on Thursday decided to move court against the administration on the latter’s refusal to grant them a 50 per cent pay raise.
Khalid Javed Niazi, the All Punjab Education Boards Employees Federation chairman, told The Express Tribune that they would move court in the next three to four days.
The administration of these boards says that the employees should only be entitled to a 35 per cent raise in basic salary as they had recently recieved a 15 per cent raise in medical allowance.
Niazi rejected their stance. “Basic salary and fringe benefits are two different things,” he said, “They cannot deny us of a 50 per cent increment on grounds that we were granted a medical allowance.”
He said a similar situation had come up in 2001 as well when the Lahore High Court gave a favourable ruling distinguishing between fringe benefits and basic salary.
Meanwhile, Prof Akram Kashmiri, the Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education chairman, insisted that these employees can only get a 35 per cent raise in basic salary. Talking to media on Thursday, he said that they were recently given a medical allowance so “they should no longer bother the board with such demands.”
Niazi maintained that the boards were not authorised to bypass the cabinet’s decision. “The parliament has decided that all government employees will get 50 per cent raise. The education boards cannot overrule its decision.”
An official of the Faisalabad Board said that most of the protestors believed that the boards were using the issue as an opportunity to punish the employees for putting up staunch opposition to the cancelation of registration fees in February. He said that most of the office bearers of the union belonged to Faisalabad and Lahore.
The board employees of Faisalabad and Lahore have been staging regular protests for one week. The employees of the other six education boards in the province have been granted a 50 per cent increment in basic salaries in accordance with the government directives.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2010.
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