LAHORE - Several educators, who were recruited on contract basis and then regularised after some years, have approached the Education Department to count their contractual service, grant increments and other benefits under the court judgments.

Pointing out discrimination to them, the public sector teachers said the policies of the state should be the same for all stakeholders. On one hand, a person recruited just a day earlier to the other one is considered senior. But on the other hand, many years of contractual service was not considered by the government, they told The Nation while requesting anonymity.

The Punjab government has already directed all the Executive District Officers to grant increments in compliance with the Supreme Court judgment.

The schools secretary, in a circular to all the EDOs, directed them to comply with the SC order passed on March 9.

Quoting the SCP order, the circular says: “When a civil servant appointed has been held that when their salaries which they have received prior to their regularization/confirmation were in accordance with law then they are entitled also to the annual increment on the basis of the same, no distinction can be drawn between the untrained and trained teachers, so the findings of the tribunal by allowing teacher to full annual increment for a period of first two years from the date of their original appointment till their regularization/confirmation and restricting them only to half of the increment for rest of their services would not be just and fair and does not meet the ends of justice.”

In the light of the above discussion, civil appeals filed by the teachers are allowed entitling them to receive full annual increments for the whole period prior to their regularisation; whereas civil appeals filed by the department are dismissed.

The competent authority, the SED secretary, has allowed the untrained teachers from 1984 to 1990 to receive full annual increments prior to their regularisation. The Services Tribunal and the Supreme Court have in their judgments ordered to grant increments.

Some other teachers working in Punjab government also approached the secretary schools office on the same grounds.

They also referred the PST judgment dated 30/09/16 that says “the previous service rendered by the appellants on contractual basis with the department shall be counted towards seniority, retirement, pensionary benefits.”

One teacher requesting anonymity said that he was appointed on contract basis in 2004 and his services were regularised on 2009. After confirmation, we were denied our right to six more annual increments of my contract period.

“A good number of teachers have already been retired while others are approaching age of superannuation and government is not ready to grant the benefits. After the PST and the SCP judgments, the education authroties should not compel the teacher community knock at the court door or go to the streets to force the government resolve their lawful matters,” he added.

Thousands of teachers would be benefited from the government decision to give annual increments for untrained period of their services to the teachers. It is still unclear whether only those would get benefits who approached to the tribunal earlier, or all of the teachers.

“The KP government had already allowed benefits to the teaching community. Many teachers had approached to the service tribunal and they got the order in their favour. They got not only increments for the untrained period but also received the arrears," the teachers said while regretting over the situation in Punjab province.

Later the induction of untrained teachers in the public sector schools was stopped in the KP and Punjab provinces, they further said.

Asif Ali, Muhammad Afzal, Samina Bibi and other teachers have announced to approach the higher authorities to implement the court orders regarding counting of service and other benefits.