Ad hoc teachers warn of stronger protest if HRDD tries to short-change them

Gangtok, 08 Feb:

All Sikkim Adhoc & Temporary Employees Association [ASATEA] has warned that if the Human Resource Development Department does not address all issues discussed and agreed upon in the meeting of the committee constituted by the department itself, then the teachers would launch the strongest democratic movement of the decade in protest.

The association has stressed that their movement will continue till the department takes out an official notification covering all issues of adhoc teachers discussed in the said meeting.

Addressing a press conference here today, ASATEA executive member Yogesh Sharma claimed that as per the information received by the association, the file on adhoc teachers demands sent to the Chief Minister for approval has included only the issue of regularisation of competent teachers who have completed more than five years in service. The other demands are not in the file, he claimed.

The ad hoc teachers, it may be recalled, had contended that the Department had also agreed to offer appointment letters for two years at a time on the assurance that the ad hoc teachers acquired the qualifications required for appointment as regular teachers. The understanding was that their services would then be regularised.

Mr Sharma stressed that the department should not fool “innocent” teachers on their genuine demands, otherwise the association will launch a strong democratic movement.

He reiterated that the movement will continue until all the demands discussed and assured by the committee in the meeting are delivered.

Mr Sharma stressed that ad hoc teachers have been supporting the department and expected the same response and forthrightness from the department.

“We have never politicised our issue and never approached any political or other organisation for support. But, if the department tries to fool us, we will launch a strong movement by taking support from other teacher associations of the State,” he said.

ASATEA also hinted at going for a state-wide school strike if all the demands were not fulfilled as already agreed upon.

Mr Sharma also informed today that district officials of the HRDD have been threatening ad hoc teachers with termination if they did not immediately join their schools. The ad hoc teachers, it may be recalled, have not joined duty yet awaiting delivery on their demands.

He mentioned that the association will take legal and other action if such threats continued.

He also mentioned that some elements have been trying to defame executive members of the association on social media with allegations trying to give the movement a political colour and to instigate the people.

On the same, he asserted that the association has a clear stand that no ad hoc teacher should be left out and that the ad hoc system itself should be abolished from the State.