Islamabad - Though the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) received the awaited 35 new buses on Wednesday, yet the daily wages staff of the model education institutes is still looking for getting their unpaid salaries of several months.

Talking to The Nation, a member of Daily Wages Staff Association, said that daily wages staff had withdrawn their last salary in October last year. “Hundreds of daily wages’ employees had received only two months unpaid salary after staging a month-long protest last year while two months dues were unpaid,” he said.

According to him, again two months have been passed after October and the staff was awaiting its four months salary collectively.

“Up-gradation of model educational institutions is a positive step but the Prime Minister should also pay heed to the problems of teachers performing their duties without salaries,” he said.

As per information available with The Nation, the FDE had released the unpaid salary amount of Rs42.995 million through the Accountant General Pakistan in October last year.

Around 2,000 daily wages staff, including teaching and non-teaching, of 20 model educational institutions was given salaries after negotiations with Minister of Capital Administration & Development Division (CADD) Tariq Fazal Chaudhry. Some Rs14,000 salary per month was disbursed among the daily wages employees.

A source at CADD informed The Nation that daily wages employees were being paid from supplementary grants while no amount was fixed in the budget of FDE. “The Finance Division rejected the recently sent summary for release of salaries,” he said.

The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Division in last meeting also raised the non-payment of salaries to daily wages employees and has summoned all responsible officials in next session.

Talking to The Nation, Coordinator Prime Minister Education Reforms Programme (PMERP) Dr Tariq Masood said that issued was raised last year also and finally employees were paid but this time the matter is in court. “The FDE sent the summary of salary disbursement of daily wages employees of model colleges but was rejected by the Finance Division as court has to decide the issue now,” he said.

Dr Tariq also stated that around 20 people met the minister to discuss the salary issue on Wednesday when buses were handed over to the FDE.

“Government pays every penny against the labour but there are some legal compulsions which the government is trying resolve them,” he said.

According to him, the matter of regularisation of these employees has been also taken to court and now it is up to it what it decides.

Coordinator PMERP also informed The Nation that total of 35 new buses were handed over to model colleges in first phase while 35 more will reach in next month. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif handed over the new buses in a ceremony held at the Model College for Boys F-8/4.

According to the programme, Dr Tariq said, the FDE had planned to purchase total of 200 buses out of which 70 would be given this year but now following the directions of Prime Minister 200 more buses will be purchased also.

The Prime Minister announced to give 422 buses to 422 model educational institutes of federal capital.

He said that out of 35, five buses will be given to special educational institutes carrying special provisions for them.

“Following the directions of PM, priority will be given to girls’ educational institutes and schools at rural areas when finalising the list,” he said.