SHILONG, April 19 � Agitating Meghalaya primary school teachers were today assured by the government that their pending salary from December would be released by next week.
Around 3,000 primary teachers were stopped by the police to march to the Secretariat in protest today near Motphran point here.
The police, nonetheless, allowed six representatives of the teachers under the banner All Primary School Teachers Association (APSTA) to meet the Minister in-charge Education, Ampareen Lyngdoh in the Secretariat for discussions.
The meeting went off satisfactorily with the government assuring the representatives to release the pending salary by April 25.
APSTA president, Mitra Dutta expressing satisfaction at the outcome of the meeting with Lyngdoh said, she has verbally assured the delegation that salary from December till February will be released by April 25.
Moreover, salary for the month of March, April and May would be released by the last week of this month, the APSTA delegate were assured.
Lyngdoh, meanwhile, admitted there was a slight delay in sanctioning of fund for the release of the teachers� salary.
The Minister added sanctioning of funds for teachers� salary falls under the non-plan budget now, due to revision of pay scales and therefore there has been a slight delay.
She also said that the present system of salary disbursement is �intricate� as a Letter of Allotment (LOA) from the Finance department is required.
�Only after the arrival of the LOA from the Finance department, the Education department can release salaries to the teachers,� she said.
Primary teachers, along with other government school teachers, have received 40 per cent arrears in January this year as per the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission. They are due to receive another 30 per cent arrears.
�The release of 30 per cent arrears is yet to get sanction from the Finance department,� the Minister said.
Dutta, meanwhile said, the teachers will be meeting Lyngdoh in the third week of May to discuss issues relating to streamlining the present system of salary disbursement, post-retirement benefits and head teacher allowances.