Islamabad school staff goes on strike

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 11, 2013.

Islamabad – Education is expected to suffer at the twenty Islamabad Model Colleges on Monday as the teaching and nonteaching employees of the colleges have announced a complete strike.

At a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday, representatives of two employee associations of Islamabad Model Colleges said they will completely boycott educational activities on Monday to lodge their protest with the Federal Directorate of Education and the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD).

The employees have a six-point demand agenda that includes time-scale promotions, regularization of daily wage employees, education allowance for the staff and the establishment of new model colleges.

“If our demands are not met by Monday evening, we will launch a street protest from the next morning,” Aftab Tariq, president of the Central Academic Staff Association of Islamabad Model Colleges, said at the press conference.

The foremost demand of the employees is the immediate implementation of an October 2010 directive by then-prime minister Yusuf Raza Gillani to grant time-scale promotions to the teachers with related benefits and monetization.

The employees are also demanding “hiring facilities” or payments for hired houses to all employees.

The Nonteaching Welfare Association of Federal Colleges in Islamabad has also voiced its support for the protesting Islamabad Model Colleges employees.

Aftab Abbasi, president of the Islamabad Model Colleges and Schools Employees Welfare Association, said there will be a complete “lockdown” and school transport will not operate on Monday.

The daily wage employees of the model colleges had been protesting for their regularization since January. Both permanent and daily wage employees started a black armband protest on February 4 as the first phase of a coordinated protest strategy.

Tariq said the associations had sent their demands to minister CAD Nazar Muhammad Gondal, secretary CAD Riffat Shaheen Qazi and director general FDE Shahnaz Anjum Riaz.

He said they are discontinuing the education activity because none of the officials contacted them since they began their protest.

“We do not want to abandon the classrooms and hurt the students, so we request the higher authorities to take immediate action to resolve our problems,” Tariq said.

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