“I have incurred debts amounting to Rs Rs 60,000 within a span of six months. All because I have not received salary for six months,” says Anuradha* a government school teacher from Gadag.
Anuradha fears that if she speaks openly against the government, she will not get paid.
For six months, over 12,000 teachers from 14 taluks across Karnataka including Gadag, Bantwal, Madhugiri and Belthangady areas have not received their pay.
“We have informed the district administrations, we have written so many letters to the state government and also the Finance Department. No one has bothered to even send us a reply,” says Gurikar, President of the Karnataka State Teachers’ Association.
Like Anuradha, many teachers say that they have begged and pleaded with local and state-level officers but each official has been passing the buck on to other departments.
“Our association members had even submitted a letter to the Finance Department. They said that all teachers appointed under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Anbhiyan (RMSA) in 14 taluks have not got their pay. When we asked state government officials, they blamed the Centre and said that they (state government) had not received funds from the Union government,” says Deepa*, a teacher from Madhugiri in Tumakuru district.
According to the Finance Department, the Union Human Resource Ministry had not made timely payments to the state government.
“There were teachers who had not been paid for three months because the central government did not send the funds. A week ago, we paid around 5,000 teachers. There are some of them who have not got paid because the Centre has not sent the funds,” an official with the Finance Department said.
According to Gurikar, around 25,000 teachers in Karnataka have been appointed under the RMSA scheme.
A few months ago, Gurikar and a few of his association’s members had approached their respective district officials, who passed the buck onto the state government.
“The local block education officers and deputy directors told us that there was some software problem with the Khajane-2 software installed for salary disbursal in the Human Resource Management System. They said that some of the employee codes were wrong in the system. Now, they are saying that the Centre hasn’t send funds. How can we believe them?” Deepa says.
These teachers were recruited under RMSA, so their salaries are paid by the central government. The Central government has mixed up the code numbers and now they are verifying the correct numbers. Once that is done they payment will be made,” the Finance Department official said.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who took note of the issue on Wednesday, told a delegation of teachers that the issue would be rectified immediately, The New Indian Express reported.
“I have learnt that 12,000 teachers have not got their salaries for six months now. This is because the Centre had stopped sending the funds. I have instructed officials of Finance and Education departments to address the issue immediately. There is enough funds in the treasury to pay their salaries,” Kumaraswamy said.
*Names changed to protect identity