After talks failed with the Punjab government, hundreds of temporary teachers restarted their protests to demand job regularisation and salary increment, on Thursday, June 17.
A day before, on Wednesday, more than 500 teachers under the Temporary Teachers' Union staged a protest at the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) building in Sector 62, Mohali. They blocked the entry and exit points of the building.
Some of them climbed atop the building with petrol bottles in their hands and threatened to set themselves on fire if the government did not resolve their concerns, The Indian Express reported.
Amid the demonstrations, one of the protestors attempted to commit suicide by consuming sulphas tablets. This aggravated the protests, and teachers pledged they would continue until their demands are met.
She was rushed to the hospital and was discharged within a day. The same day, she rejoined the protest.
According to the report, currently, several teachers, majorly from primary schools, have been working overtime and receiving meagre salaries. Many approached the state education department multiple times, but they were not heard.
The protestors demanded that a total of 13,000 temporary teachers who had been teaching for the past several years in the state should be regularised without any condition, reported NDTV.
Speaking to the media, Temporary Teachers' Union leaders Jhujar Singh Sangrur and Ranjit Singh Bhattiwal said the teachers had staged a protest in 2016 as well. At the time, right before elections, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had visited them and assured of regularising the services of teachers, once his party comes to power.
"More than four years have passed and the state government has not lived up to its promise. So, we have decided to hold massive protest till anyone from the government comes and gives us assurance. We also demand our salary be increased to Rs 40,000," they said, reported Hindustan Times.
Another leader of one a protesting union, Ajmer Singh Aulakh informed the meeting was held between the union representatives, state Education Minister OP Soni, and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Captain Sandeep Sandhu. Punjab Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa and education department secretary Krishan Kumar were also present in the meeting.
The meeting started at 12:30 pm and continued till 3:00 pm, however, the discussion did not lead to a concrete conclusion.
The teachers put forth a clear stance that they would not accept any negotiations and wanted the regularisation of their services. They plan to continue the protest in front of the education department's building until they reach a breakthrough.