People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

October 28, 2012



School Teachers Press for Long-Pending Demands


ON October 12, hundreds of activists, workers, leaders and sympathisers of the Jammu & Kashmir United School Teachers Association (JKUSTA) gathered in front of the Directorate of School Education at Jammu, where they held a demonstration and day long dharna on the day. They were led by JKUSTA president Hari Singh.


The JKUSTA is an affiliate of the School Teachers Federation of India (STFI).


The action was meant to focus the long pending demands of the teachers and the non-teaching staff of the schools run by the state government --- demands over which the authorities have adopted a lackadaisical approach. To the JKUSTA, it is unfortunate that the state government has maintained a stoic silence even over the issues which could have been addressed in routine. This is so even while the JKUSTA has been being drawing the attention of the concerned authorities from time to time through memoranda and charter of demands and ventilating the teachers’ grievances through demonstrations and dharnas.


On October 12, the agitating teachers reached the Directorate complex at 11.30 a m. They had come from various districts and reached the venue while carrying placards displaying their demands and shouting slogans.


JKUSTA general secretary Rajiv Kumar, Banarasi Dass, Sham Prasad Kesar, Seva Ram, Darshan Lal, Chamel Singh, Dr Shashipual Singh, Pardeep Singh, Zulfikar Ali Malik, Krishan Koshal, Sajjad Mirza, Raj Kumar,  Mohad Nisar, Ershad Ahmad and Rajinder Kumar, among others, addressed the dharna participants. At the culmination of the dharna a memorandum containing the JKUSTA charter of demands and addressed to the Jammu & Kashmir chief minister was submitted to the director of school education at Jammu.


Addressing the gathering, JKUSTA president Hari Singh dwelt upon the issues pertaining to the school teachers and non-teaching employees of government run schools. While strongly castigating the central and state governments for inflicting innumerable economic hardships upon downtrodden masses of the people and the working class including fixed income group through their devastating anti-people, pro-corporate and pro-imperialist bankrupt economic policies, he strongly condemned the hike in the price of diesel, curtailment of the subsidised cooking gas cylinders, rise in the price of levy sugar, and the decision to allow FDI in retail, insurance and pension sectors.


All the speakers threw light on the demands included in the JKUSTA memorandum and asked the state government to concede them without any further ado. One of the demands was the formulation of a rational transfer policy in respect of teachers and non-teaching staff in the school education department. They pointed out that due to the lack of any transparency or accountability, transfers in this department have become a matter of open political interference as well as of the subjective whims of authorities, and also a lucrative business for many. The JKUSTA therefore asked the state government to take a cue from the transfer policy framed in regard to teachers in the state of Andhra Pradesh and implement it through due interactions with the representatives of the teaching community. Other demands of the JKUSTA pertained to counselling, 300 days leave encashment at retirement for teachers (as is in vogue in the neighbouring state of Haryana), regularisation of RET teachers, enhancement of  their wages, transfer policy for regularised RET teachers and inclusion of five years of unregularised period in their service record,  DPC for Class IV and other non-teaching employees of schools, selection grade for trained undergraduate teachers, promotion of all  trained postgraduate teachers and masters as lecturers, removal of pay anomalies for undergraduate teachers appointed between 1992 to 1997 and pre-revised pay scale of 6500-10500, recruitment on all vacant posts in schools, adoption of a common school system, quality education to all, protection and strengthening of public education, and stop to commercialisation and privatisation of education.