Odisha block grant teachers threaten to boycott panchayat polls
Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 22:
Hundreds of block grant secondary school teachers under the banner of Odisha Block Grant Secondary School Teachers and Employees’ Association today staged a demonstration in Lower PMG of Bhubaneswar demanding fulfilment of their nine point charter of demands and warned to boycott upcoming panchayat polls, if their demands are not met.
“Our demands are just and are long pending. Each time, the government tries dilly-dallying techniques. This is not going to work this time. The 35,000 block grant high school teachers and their family members will boycott the panchayat polls this time, if our demands are not met,” said Secretary of the Association Prashant Mohapatra.
”We have been protesting since long demanding fulfillment of our nine point charter of demands that includes abolition of block grant system, provision of full grant-in-aid, permanent appointment, government take-over of all private schools and equal pay for equal work among others,” he added.
According to the association, teachers and employees of 2608 block grant high schools today participated in the demonstration today.
The agitation was backed by Odisha unit of BJP as well.
“Their demands are long pending. Even though Odisha Government made many promises, they forgot to implement them. BJP supports their demands. We will raise this issue in the Assembly and take it up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should there be a need,” said BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit.
It may be mentioned here that Odisha Government on July 26 announced 25% increase in basic salary of block grant school teachers as per the Grant-In-Aid provision. The hike was implemented retrospectively from June 1, 2016. The move, however, was criticized by block grant teachers who claimed that it was a scrupulous design by the government to avoid a government take over of the schools.