Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan contract employees agitate at Zilla Parishad headquarters

NASHIK: Employees on contract under the government's SarvaShikshaAbhiyan (SSA) protested in front of the ZillaParishad headquarters on Tuesday, demanding to be absorbed and to make provision of having special employees for handicapped students as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The employees are taken on contract for six months and are then given a break for a day before being taken on contract for another six months for the SSA. This exercise is being done since 2001. The employees are now demanding that they be made permanent. Of the 6,720 employees of the SSA, 200 are from Nashik district.

"Since 2001, we have been employed on contractual basis and are earning just Rs 14,000 to Rs 15,000 for working full time. More than 50% of the employees are above 40 years but we still do not have any benefits or financial security," said Pramod Pagare, one of the employees.

In March, the employees had also observed a state level strike and had put up the same demands. "Back then, minister of state (Maharashtra) for education Fauzia Khan had assured that she will look into the matter, but till now nothing has been done in this regard. Two months back there was a resolution of the zilla parishad to make us all permanent. All the posts are necessary and the resolution also mentioned this," said district representative of the SSA Contract Employees Union, Sunil Darade.

He said that as per the RTE, teachers should be employed to provide academic services for the handicapped till their home but this has not yet been done. There are teachers for handicapped but there is need for such teachers to reach students' homes.

The district assistant programme officer, engineers, special teachers, data entry operators, subject experts, clerks and others are employed under the SSA.

District president of the union Dnyaneshwar Kshirsagar and other representatives presented a memorandum of their demands to the deputy chief executive officer of the ZP, Sandeep Malode.

"The employees of the SSA in Nashik are doing good work in the state. We have given a feedback of their work to the government. We will soon be sending a proposal to the government to absorb them," said Malode.

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