Over 850 teaching and non-teaching contractual and daily-wagers of federal government (FG) schools in Islamabad have not been paid salaries for over a year.
The staffers include 700 teachers from 150 FG schools. They have been staging protests and sit-ins outside the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), demanding the release of their paychecks, but their efforts have seemingly been in vain.
At one stage, the protesting FG staffers were joined by teaching and non-teaching contractual and daily wagers, with the latter getting their pending salaries, but the former still denied theirs.
The salary issue has been brewing since March 2013, after the Pakistan People’s Party government completed its tenure. The workers were all inducted during the PPP government.
Since then, meetings with CADD and FDE officials and the CADD minister have borne no fruit, except for broken promises that their salaries would be released ‘soon’.
“Where should we go? The Islamabad High Court has ordered them to pay our salaries. But we are only being given promises by high-ups,” said Rukhsana Rehman, a teacher at Islamabad Model School for Girls, G-6/2.
The issue was also raised in the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Tuesday, by Senator Talha Mehmood. He suggested that the CADD secretary write to the finance ministry to allow them to utilise FDE funds to clear past dues.
FDE officials have no answer to why these staffers have not been paid, despite their attendance and documentation being in order. “The problem is that nobody has pursued their case seriously,” said an administration section official. Frequent top level reshuffles and transfers at the FDE and CADD are also considered to be a factor in the delays.
Similarly, the hiring of ghost employees by area education officers in Nilore and Bhara Kahu has also jeopardised the cases of genuine staffers. The senate body was told that the officers have been removed from their positions for adding ghost employees to official records.
According to CADD Secretary Khalid Hanif, he has approved the file and the necessary orders have been issued.
“Under the orders, their documents will be verified, and those eligible will be allowed to apply for permanent posts after an advertisement is floated in newspapers,” he said. Hanif added that all pending cases including salary payments would be settled by July.
Approval orders have also been issued by different quarters in the past, but nothing was done on the ground issue, which has also taken a toll on staff performance.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2015.