PESHAWAR: Criticising the federal government for a nominal 7.5% increase in the salaries of government employees, the All Primary Teachers Association K-P chapter has demanded a 25% increase in the provincial budget 2015-16 being announced on Monday (today).
Members of the association made these demands on Sunday at a condolence reference held at a local hotel for primary school teachers – Shabana Shaheen and Khalid Khan – who died during local government polls last month. Shaheen died when a stray bullet hit her while she was returning home from election duty, while Khan died as a result of a heart attack while on election duty at a polling station in the city.
At the programme, teachers announced a boycott of any upcoming duties they might be assigned, saying teachers’ primary job is to teach, not preside over elections or carry out polio vaccination campaigns.
They rejected the federal government’s 7.5% increase in government employees’ salaries in fiscal year 2015-16 and demanded a 25% increase from the provincial government.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, All Primary Teachers Association K-P President Malik Khalid Khan said the association has several demands.
“We want the Shuhada package for the teachers who died in the line of duty on election day so their families can be compensated,” said Malik Khalid. “Second, the government should promote serving teachers like it does with other employees.”
The president said their third demand was an explanation about where the money deducted from their salaries for Education Employees Foundation is being used. “Funds are deducted from 78,000 primary teachers’ salaries, but we don’t know where they are being used,” he added.
According to Malik Khalid, they have learnt that the K-P government will announce a 10% increase in government employee salaries today. He said the percentage would be an insult to teachers and they will reject the move.
He added the government should merge the 100% ad hoc relief in the basic salary of teachers and increase salaries keeping in mind the inflation. He threatened of launching a protest from September 1 if their demands were not met.
All Primary Teachers Association Peshawar President Azizullah said PTI chief Imran Khan criticised the federal budget for the minimal salary increase, but has not done anything about the same issue in the province his party rules.
“If the provincial government fails to increase salaries by 25%, we will take to the streets in protest and shut down all schools across the province,” said Azizullah.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2015.