They demand renewal of contract, release of wages

Specialist teachers in the fields of arts, sports and work experience staged a protest in front of the Ernakulam office of the Samagra Shiksha Kerala on Thursday demanding renewal of their contract and release of their reduced wages with retrospective effect.

The protest, organised by the Specialist Teachers Association as part of a State-wide stir, was held as per the COVID-19 protocol by ensuring physical distancing.

Association district secretary Jinshad M.J. said the government had appointed nearly 2,400 specialist teachers in the fields of arts, sports and work experience in 2016 with support from the Union government. They were appointed on contract basis with a monthly salary of about ₹ 26,500, including travel allowance. From 2018-19 onwards, the salary was reduced to ₹14,000 stating that the Union government had reduced its share of contribution, he said.

The teachers said the State government had not renewed their contracts in the new academic year, claiming that their services were not required with schools remaining closed in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

The agitating teachers said they had been left jobless for the past five months and it had affected their livelihood. “We request the government to renew our contract and restore our original pay package with retrospective effect,” they said.

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