Workers in Education Dept demand implementation of Minimum Wages Act

Srinagar: The contingent-paid workers working in the Education Department on Friday threatened to lock down the schools in case the government fails to implement the Minimum Wages Act by May 1.

Seeking intervention of Governor, N N Vohra, and Director School Education, they said they were not able to feed their families in the salary provided to them.

“At present, we are being paid Rs 1,000 per month. Amid inflation, how is it possible for us to fulfill the needs of our families in a small amount? Once the Minimum Wages Act is implemented, we will get paid well,” said Mohammad Iqbal.

Around 24,000 in number, the workers said they have giving their best to the department.

“Among us are 15,620 cooks and 8,998 sweepers, watermen and other staff. It is we who clean the schools and prepare food. During 2016 unrest, we ensured that schools remained open,” said Bashir Ahmad of Budgam.

“We are not being paid as per work. It is a total violation of the Supreme Court directions.”

They said they approached the authorities concerned several times to seek a solution of their issues.

“Although we were assured that our plea will be addressed, but so far nothing has happened. If the government fails to implement the act, we will be forced to close down the schools,” said a worker.

Secretary Rigzin Samuel could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

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