Srinagar, Nov 9: Hundreds of Contingent Paid Workers (CPWs) engaged in government are without their salaries for the last more than two years.
The CPWs on Wednesday staged a protest at Srinagar Press Enclave to protest against the step-motherly treatment of the government towards them.
Prior to 2020, the CPWs working in Government schools across Kashmir were paid a minimum of Rs 25 and maximum Rs 500 a month making mockery of them.
“But since 202o we are not given a single penny despite working in schools 24*7,” said one of the aggrieved CPW here.
CPWs are considered as main caretakers of the schools who have been working in schools for the last more than two decades.
“I do almost everything at the school, from keeping the premises clean to that of dropping the kids to their respective nearby homes,” said another CPW, who is without wages since 2020.
“Earlier we used to get some money but the department has stopped it now for unknown reasons,” he said.
Notably, the schools would pay Rs 25 for each CPW and the school would manage the wages out of the “school expenses”.
Also, the primary and middle schools would manage the salary of CPWs out of the school development fund which was received in form of school fees of students.
“But since the implementation of RTE Act in J&K, the Primary and Middle schools do not have to charge any fees from the students due to which they are not able to pay wages to these CPWs,” said a teacher from Kupwara.
Notably, the government had initiated a process to regularize the CPWs in the department but only those who were appointed till 1994 were regularized while the rest of the CPWs have been left out.
Meanwhile the protesting CPWs during their protest demanded their inclusion in Minimum Wages Act and demanded that the government should release their wages as per Act.
“We have rendered our services in schools since our young age and have given our sweat in maintenance of the schools but unfortunately we are being ignored by the department,” another CPW said.
Notably the due procedure for regularization of CPWs is available in the Departmental Recruitment Rules Notified vide SRO 308 of 2008. But the CPWs are ignored by the department.
A top official said that the department was aware about the non-payment of wages of CPWs and the matter has been referred to the Finance Department for their inclusion in Minimum Wages Act.
“We are waiting for the government to make a decision on it. But yes, it is true that they are unpaid for the last two to three years,” the official said.
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