Teachers, education secretary meet today to resolve pay issue

Karachi:20 september:A day after police thrashed teachers protesting against non-payment of salaries outside the Karachi Press Club for the second time in less than week, a meeting was scheduled for Wednesday (today) between Education Secretary (Schools) Abdul Aziz Uqaili and representatives of the New Teachers Action Committee (NTAC).

According to a press release issued by NTAC on Tuesday, discussions would be held with the secretary regarding release of two months' salary payments. However, a procedure has been introduced by Uqaili to verify the appointments of the teachers who were appointed during the tenure of former provincial education minister Pir Mazhar Ul Haq in 2012 and later their appointments were declared fake.

NTAC Chairman Abubakar Abro and Teachers Association Sindh (TAS) Chairman Zahir Ahmed Baloch have expressed their apprehensions, saying if the process of verification was not completed fairly the teachers would continue to stage demonstrations.

The verification process would be rejected altogether it favouritism was shown towards anybody, they maintained. On the other hand, TAS representatives condemned the police for not only using water cannons but also baton-charging the protesting teachers to disrupt their demonstration held outside the local press club on Monday.

What triggered the law enforcers’ wrath was the demonstrators’ decision to move towards the Chief Minister House which falls under the Red Zone. On September 13, two teachers were reportedly injured in during their protest while three were taken into custody. Altogether, around 25 teachers were injured while 40 protesters, included female teachers, were arrested by police during the two recent protests.

But the protesting teachers, hailing from the ruler Sindh, have since 2012 been demanding to be paid their salaries. Organised under the New Schools Teacher Associations, the teachers have been protesting against the provincial education department for over past three years now.

Appointed during the tenure of Pir Mazhar Ul Haq, in 2012, the appointments of the teachers were later declared fake. However, they claim that they were not only issued appointment and joining letters but were also made to fulfill election and other duties, but were yet to be paid for either of the jobs.

Speaking to The News shortly after the mayhem, Saddar SP Tauqeer Muhammad Naeem said the protesting teachers were in the process of a dialogue with the provincial education secretary, and hoped that the protest would end shortly.The news.