Matric school teachers should get same pay as Govt teachers: HC

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Chennai, May 3 (UNI) Madras High Court has ruled that teaching and non-teaching staff members of private matriculation schools are eligible for pay parity with their counterparts in Government schools.

Passing orders on a batch of writ petitions and appeals from teachers, school managements and various associations, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and S Palanivelu, said it was a judicially settled issue that matriculation school teachers were entitled to get pay on par with teachers working in Government schools.

Decrying private school managements for citing their poor financial health to deny pay benefits to teachers, the Bench said the school authorities must honour the undertaking they had given to the Government while seeking recognition for their institutions.

''It is to be borne in mind that while getting recognition from the Government, the matriculation school authorities have given an undertaking that they would abide by the guidelines formulated by the Government in the matter of payment of salary to their staff,'' it noted.

The private school teachers submitted in their petitions that every matriculation school got recognition under the Code of Regulation for Matriculation Schools of Tamil Nadu. The Code made it mandatory to implement Regulation 16, which stated that teaching and non-teaching staff of matriculation schools should be paid at least Government scale of pay. ''Therefore, the barest minimum expectation is parity with Government teachers.'' The managements contended that the schools did not receive any State aid and hence, it was not possible for them to match the salary paid by the Government. If the pay scales as fixed by the Government were applied to self-financing schools, the institutions have to be closed down, they said.

The Director of School Education told the court that as per Chapter V, in proviso 16 (ii) of the Code of Matriculation Schools, teaching and non-teaching staff in matriculation schools should be paid salary at least on par with the Government pay scales.

Citing various orders of the Supreme Court, the Bench said the apex court had ruled in unequivocal terms that equal pay for equal work was a cardinal principle of law.

UNI XR GD PD HS1134

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