The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the regularisation of the services of 5178 teachers recruited by the Education Department, with full pay scales.
Also, following a protest by contractual nurses in Patiala in which two nurses jumped from the building of Rajindra Hospital recently, the Cabinet gave its approval to regularise the services of 529 staff nurses. There are 650 staff nurses working with the government on a contractual basis. The rest 121 are yet to complete three years of probation period. The decision to regularise them has been left to a Sub-Committee headed by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra.
On Saturday, when the Cabinet had discussed the agenda to regularise contractual teachers, Jails and Cooperatives Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had raised the issue that if only teachers are given the benefit, the agitating nurses would intensify their protest. This had led to the Cabinet deferring the agenda. The Chief Minister Amarinder Singh held a meeting on the issue on Tuesday. It was decided to hire the nurses on permanent rolls.
Sources told The Indian Express that the decision to regularise the teachers would be implemented from October 1, 2019. They will complete two years of service then. The Cabinet has reduced the mandatory three years probation period to two years. The teachers would be assigned seniority from the date of completion of their probation period.
Of the 5178 category teachers, 5078 were recruited in the Master cadre and 100 as Classical & Vernacular (C&V) teachers by the Department of Education in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
These teachers are currently paid Rs 7500 per month and their salary would be now fixed at a minimum of grade pay of Rs.15,300 per month till the time they are given full scale.
Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal praised the efforts of Education Minister O P Soni and Education Secretary Krishan Kumar for sorting an issue between the government and the teachers hanging fire for a long time.
The teachers had been protesting for a long time in favour of their demands. After Soni took over as the Education Minister, he held several numbers of meetings with them and sorted the issue. Though the RMSA and SSA teachers are still unhappy as they have been ignored in the process.
The problem in their case is that they were hired under a Centre government scheme which was later discontinued. The state government, however, did not terminate their services but there seems to be no solution in sight for their issue.
Reacting to the decision of regularising the jobs of teachers, SAD leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said: “The government does not have money in the budget. They cannot give Dearness Allowance of employees and winter uniform of students. It is a just a ploy to fool the teachers’ union so as to try to get them on board for the elections. But teachers are sensible people and they will not fall for this election gimmick of the Congress.”
Bikramjit Singh Kaddon, a member of Adhyapak Sangharsh Committee, said: “We were promised that the full pay scale will be given with effect from February this year. But the government is now saying that the full pay scale will be given from October.”
Meanwhile, two staff nurses who had jumped off from roof of Rajindra Hospital Patiala to press for their demand of regularisation of services, will be regularised after Cabinet’s Wednesday decision. Sources said the name of two, Karamjit Kaur Aulakh (37), president, Punjab Contractual and Ancillary Staff Union, and Baljit Kaur Khalsa (35), is in the list
of the nurses who would be regularised.