LAHORE, Aug 24: The Punjab Teachers’ Union (PTU) announced a protest outside the Lahore Press Club on , Aug 24 against the policies of the provincial government.
In a statement on , Aug 23, the PTU leadership, including Central President Chaudhry Muhammad Sarfaraz, Syed Sajjad Akbar Kazmi, Rana Liaquat Ali and Jam Sadiq, stated the bureaucracy of the province was destroying the education system.
A PTU spokesperson said that because of the faults of such bureaucrats, teachers were suffering. “The government has upgraded the basic pay scale of clerical staff, but are not willing to do the same for teachers. As a result, we are forced to take the streets and protest against this injustice,” the statement added.
It claimed the government had made it impossible for teachers to get in-service promotions which had forced the community to protest for their rights. The statement warned that teachers from all over Punjab would protest in front of district press clubs. “The provincial chapter of the PTU will protest outside the press club in Lahore.”
The basic demand of public school teachers was up-gradation of their basic pay scales. The primary ask of the school teachers (PST) was to get a pay scale of Grade-14, while elementary school teachers (EST) demanded a basic pay scale of Grade-16. Similarly, the secondary school teachers (SST) demanded a pay scale of Grade-17.
They demanded that those who were already in grades 14, 16 and 17 get two additional promotions, along with other benefits. Other demands of teachers were related to stopping the handover of public schools to NGOs through the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) and halting disciplinary action.
Earlier last month, the PTU decided to protest against the government in its core committee meeting and announced protests against the government. Later, a meeting was held between the Punjab School Education Department (SED) functionaries and the leadership of the PTU.
The schoolteachers, despite assurances by the SED that their basic demand of scale upgradation would be met, announced they protest on August 24 outside press clubs in every district. On September 16, they would stage a sit-in in front of the Punjab Assembly in Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2017.