SSA teachers call off indefinite sit-in-protest after assurance for release of salary

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SHILLONG, JULY 21: The state government on Thursday assured to release Rs 122 crore for payment of four months’ pending salary of the over 12,541 SSA teachers following which the indefinite sit-in-protest by the teachers was immediately called off.

The MSSASA has called off the indefinite agitation after the state government had issued a written assurance to release their pending salary.

“The state government has agreed to release our four months’ salary by July 27. Therefore, we have decided to call off our agitation for now,” MSSASA president Aristotle Rymbai said after the general executive council meeting held at the protest venue near the additional secretariat.

“However, if the state government fails to fulfil its promises, we will have no other option but to resume our indefinite protest,” he said.

Rymbai also thanked all the NGOs and concerned citizens who have extended their unconditional support to the teachers during the four-day protest.

Earlier, the decision on release of salary was announced by the Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong after a meeting held with the delegation of the Meghalaya SSA Schools Association (MSSASA).

“I have communicated that the government will release the pending salary of four months out of five months next week and the remaining one month will be released only when the fund from the Government of India is received by the state government,” Tynsong told reporters.

The written assurance, which was handed over to the MSSASA president Aristotle C Rymbai after the meeting stated that the state government will release the pending salary capping norms amounting to Rs 44.0 crore by the end of the day.

It said that the state government will also replenish the Corpus Fund of Rs 78.0 crore which will be refunded when the first installment is received from the Centre and the Education department will send the proposal by the end of the day.

The above amount will be able to cater to the payment of four months pending salaries of the teachers as soon as the amount is credited to the SNA account and in any case not later than July 27. The remaining one-month salary will be paid on receipt of funds from Government of India, it said.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Tynsong will also take up the issue of SSA teachers with the Centre in New Delhi on Friday.

“We are going to Delhi tomorrow and we will try our best to convince the Ministry of Finance if possible at least quarterly they should release the installment to the respective state governments. Other states are also facing similar problems since the installment is released very late. I am sure the Centre will also consider the grievances faced by the state government,” Tynsong said.

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