Private school teachers hit streets demanding salary of lockdown period

Many teachers don’t voice their concerns fearing action from school administration


Private schools’ teachers of Sunsari district have hit the streets to press for payment of their long due salaries.

Organised under the banner of Institutional School Teachers’ Union, Sunsari, around 300 teachers staged street rally in Itahari yesterday.

Addressing a corner meet, teachers spoke against school operators and the government and urged them to pay their pending salaries of the lockdown period. ‘’We never demanded even a fraction of the huge benefits that school operators gained. We are just asking them to pay our regular salaries,’’ said Hemantamani Dahal, a teacher from Dharan.

Another teacher from Dharan, Jiten Tamang said he had not even received the salary of three months before the lockdown. ‘’My fellow teachers are demanding salaries of lockdown period. I am unpaid for almost six months now,’’ lamented Tamang.

Another teacher, Bidyabhusan Gupta said teachers would padlock all schools and their umbrella organisations if their salaries were not paid.

‘’It is not just a struggle for salary,’’ said Gupta, adding, ‘’It is a struggle for survival of our families.’’ Indira Sharma, provincial member and the district vice-president of ISTU, said private schools’ teachers were facing unnecessary troubles. ‘’Some schools are willing to pay the pending salaries.

However, we have learnt that the umbrella organisations are pressuring them not to do so because if some schools paid others would also have to follow suit,’’ said Sharma.

Ram Gautam, another speaker at the corner meet criticised school operators for being inhumane and cruel.

‘’If you can’t pay your staffers for four months, better shut down your schools,’’ said Gautam, venting his anger. He added, ‘’Many teachers do not voice their genuine concerns fearing action from school administration.”

Yagyaraj Shrestha, president of ISTU Sunsari said if their demands were not addressed they would stage protest against local governments of Sunsari. ‘’We have central committee pressuring federal government and at local levels, we are making further plans to exert pressure on local governments,’’ said Shrestha, adding that their struggle was not just for teachers, but also for all non-teaching staffers of private schools.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 5, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.