<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around four lakh contractual teachers in Bihar, who were on a warpath since 2009, sounded a cry of triumph when Patna High Court on Tuesday ruled that their demand of “equal pay for equal work” was constitutional and that they were entitled to salary on a par with their counterpart regular teachers.After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took over the reins of the state in 2005, he appointed more than four lakh teachers at the primary, secondary and senior secondary levels to fill up the vacancies and streamline Bihar’s education sector. These teachers, referred to as “Niyojit Shikshak” or contractual teachers because they were appointed on a contract basis, were offered a consolidated pay and almost none of the perks enjoyed by the regular government school teachers.A few years into their appointment, they started staging agitations, demanding equal pay for equal work and though they were given a “pay scale” in 2015, it was still less than the regular teachers. This pay scale put an additional burden of Rs 2,900 crore on the state exchequer.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay, while hearing multiple writ petitions filed by various groups of contractual teachers, allowed the petitions and said, “The state government is directed to fix their pay scales like regular teachers of nationalised schools from the date of their entry in the service notionally and actual payment since December 2009, when the first writ petition was filed.”

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Equal pay for 4 lakh contractual teachers, rules Patna High Court