Ad hoc school teachers under the banner of the Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) on June 28 began their “indefinite sit-in protest” in front of the secretariat in Shillong against the Meghalaya government’s failure to enhance their salary.
The decision came a day after chief minister Conrad Sangma had convened a cabinet meeting, which had failed to discuss the demands put forth by the ad-hoc teachers.
Speaking to reporters, FASTOM spokesperson Mayborn Lyngdoh said: “We have decided to come back to the streets because we have been betrayed by the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.”
He said the state government has failed to take any decision to fulfil its promises to implement the demands of the teachers after three sittings of the cabinet.
“When we met the chief minister and additional chief secretary DP Wahlang on May 12, we were assured that they needed only three cabinet meetings to solve the problems of the ad-hoc teachers. However, (the time sought) for three cabinets is over, we realised that the government has lied to us and it has betrayed us,” Lyngdoh said.
He said, therefore, the FASTOM has decided to stick to its decision made on May 12 that “we will come back and we will sleep in the streets of Shillong if the government does not respond to our demands.”
The ad hoc teachers have been demanding an enhancement of Rs 18,000 and an annual increment of 5 per cent.
Lyngdoh maintained that the teachers are not looking for dialogue with the Meghalaya government anymore.
“The time for dialogue is over, now the government should immediately issue an order for implementing our demands. If we do not get any order, we are going to sleep in the streets till the government is ready to fulfil its promises,” he stated.
The decision of the teachers was also conveyed through the open letter sent to the chief minister and his cabinet ministers on June 12.
Meanwhile, the FASTOM spokesperson said the teachers have assured to give back 2 per cent of the 5 per cent increment in the form of professional tax if the government is under huge financial constraints.