ISLAMABAD: Teachers and employees of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and other departments have demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan should ensure that there is no discrimination in raising salaries of the federal government employees.
Talking to Dawn, a number of teaching and non-teaching staff of the FDE and other departments such as the Department of Communications Security, Estate Office, PWD and National Archives of Pakistan said it would be a discrimination if the government did not increase their salaries in line with the proposal made for a pay raise of Secretariat employees.
They said following recommendations from the secretaries’ committee, a summary to grant an extra allowance equal to 100pc of the basic pay to the Secretariat employees was being submitted to the prime minister through the Ministry of Finance.
They said they witnessed such a discriminatory move in 2013 when an extra 20pc special allowance was granted to the Secretariat employees ignoring teachers and other employees.
Professor Tahir Mahmood, an active member of Federal Government College Teachers Association, expressed concerns over the move.
“It is totally not understandable why the federal government is giving preference to the Secretariat employees and ignoring other attached departments. Are we not working for the federal government? Are we not drawing salaries from the accountant general of Pakistan revenues?”
He said teachers were not generating a revenue for the government in the physical monetary sense because education as such was not an industry or a physical unit of production. But the PTI had set education as its top priority in its manifesto,” he told Dawn.
He said whenever the question of enhancing quality of education was taken up at any governmental forum, the bureaucracy played its cards in its own favour.
“Are we supposed to take part in nation building silently and bear up every discrimination? Teachers have nothing like telephone call ceiling, transport monetisation and other facilities bureaucrats enjoy in the federal government,” added Ayesha Kiran, a college lecturer.
Mehdi Hussain, an assistant professor at a college, said: “When the 20pc special allowance was granted to Secretariat employees in 2013, the employees and teachers of the federal education department were ignored.
“We were compelled to move the Islamabad High Court but got no redressal of our genuine demand. Later, we approached the Supreme Court where the matter is still pending,” she said.
Professor Tahir Mahmood said: “In the wake of such directionless policies, seeking justice seems almost impossible. However, if the Ministry of Finance does not include teachers in the proposed pay raise, we would have no other option but to raise our voice in the streets. We warn the authorities not to disappoint us by such discriminatory treatment. The PTI won all the three seats of National Assembly from Islamabad chanting the slogan of ‘Insaf’. We urge the prime minister to take notice of the discriminatory move,” he said.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2020