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Protesting teachers in Punjab celebrate black Diwali

November 9, 2018

Vowing to intensify their stir against the Congress government over its refusal to regularise their jobs without a pay cut, agitating teachers in Punjab observed ‘black’ Diwali on Wednesday.

The teachers are against the state government’s decision to fix their monthly salary at Rs 15,000 during probation period for regularisation of their jobs. At present, contractual teachers are getting Rs 42,300 per month. They have been holding a sit-in in Patiala, the chief minister’s constituency, in support of their demands since October 7.

For their protests, the teachers put posters, marking “kali (black) Diwali” — asking “Congressmen not to visit them seeking votes” — outside their houses across the state, instead of decorating them. “We have no money to celebrate Diwali as our salaries are pending for the past five months. The department has been decreasing our salaries and cancelling our leaves. Due to our ongoing state wide protest for the past one month, the Punjab education department has withdrawn the 2017 leave policy and ordered that the old policy pertaining to the year 2014 will be applicable, which has decreased our leaves,” president of SSA/RMSA union Harjeet Singh Todarpur said.

The next course of action will be decided after a joint meeting of teachers’ unions, employees’ unions and farmers’ outfits which is scheduled for November 10 at Patiala.

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