Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced regularisation of the services of guest lecturers, part-time and whole-time contractual college teachers while at the same time slamming the para teachers and government employees for their agitations over “persistent demands”.

“The service of these college teachers would be ensured till 60 years and they would get a three per cent hike every year,” announced Miss Banerjee at the administrative review meeting for Howrah district at Sarat Sadan. She said henceforth colleges cannot appoint any such teachers without approval of the state higher education department and these teachers too would have to take the government-prescribed number of classes.

The state government would re-designate the guest lecturers, part-time and whole-time teachers of colleges as ‘State Aided College Teachers’. There are around 13,500 such teachers in colleges across the state. Those who meet UGC criteria, would be re-designated as ‘State Aided College Teachers Category I’ and those who do not meet the UGC criteria would be ‘State Aided College Teachers Category II’.

The remuneration structure of the teachers has been framed such that under category I, teachers with above 10 years of teaching experience would be paid Rs 30,000 per month and those with upto 10 years experience would be paid Rs 26,000. Under category II, teachers with above 10 years experience would be paid Rs 20,000 and those with upto 10 years experience would be paid Rs 15,000. Miss Banerjee also announced pay protection for the teachers who currently receive higher remunerations. The gratuity has also been hiked from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, Miss Banerjee added.

“During the Left Front’s tenure, the governing bodies of colleges had appointed guest lecturers, part-time and wholetime contractual teachers and paid a meagre remuneration to them. These teachers had approached the chief minister and finally the state government has decided to regularise their services,” said Mr Partha Chatterjee, education minister. Hitting out at the parateachers for staging an agitation for a wage hike, Miss Banerjee said that the Left Front government had recruited these teachers and paid them Rs 4,000 a month in 2012 which was increased to Rs 8,000 in 2018.

“Now, within one year, they want Rs 10,000. Where will the money come from? I respect teachers but what kind of educators are they and what would students learn from them?” she asked. Next, she came down heavily on government employees for their continuous demands for dearness allowance (DA). “Bengal is the only state in the country that provides pension. Tripura used to give pension but they have stopped now. IPS and IAS don’t get pension. Even after paying Rs 56,000 crore as debt we provide 123 per cent DA, pension and salary on the first of every month. Despite doing so much, the demands continue.”

“If you think that you will put up an agitation under any banner, continuously asking for this and that, please remembere we would do whatever our limits permit. Should only your demands be met and not those of the common people?” Miss Banerjee questioned.