AN EDUCATION Committee member of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Thursday started a hunger strike to protest against the civic body for not giving Diwali bonus to teachers of the secondary section in municipal schools.
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“More than 1 lakh BMC officials received Diwali bonus. Teachers of the primary section also received a bonus but only the teachers of Classes VIII, IX and X were not given any bonus,” said Shivnath Darade, a BJP corporator, protesting outside the BMC headquarters in south Mumbai . At least 25 aggrieved teachers stood with Darade.
Meanwhile, BMC officials said the corporation was only responsible for the salaries of teachers of the primary section. Education Committee chairperson Hemangi Worlikar said, “The salary for the teachers of the secondary section is disbursed by the state government.”
According to education officer Mahesh Palkar, the BMC pays the salary of secondary section teachers in 100 municipal schools and 49 BMC teachers get their salary from the government.
He said that as the state government had decided not to give Diwali bonus to secondary section teachers, the BMC, too, did not offer bonus to the secondary teachers to maintain parity.
Darade had raised the issue with the BMC earlier this week and threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the matter was not resolved. With the BMC still deliberating, Darade decided to stage a protest on Thursday. “A decision is yet to be taken,” said Worlikar.