Some schools force teachers to work overtime: Teachers Association

Teachers Association has raised concerns that some schools force teachers to work on overtime without due pay.

Teachers Association President Athif Abdul Hakeem told Sun today that Article 37 (b) of the Employment Act makes it mandatory for all employers to pay their employees for the time they spend working beyond scheduled working hours.

He said that the teachers are only paid 8 hours of overtime regardless of how long they work and that all teachers are entitled to refuse to work for more than 8 hours.

“A fax massage from the Ministry of Education regarding overtime payments stated that a staff can only work for 8 hours if he or she is to be paid overtime. Therefore, I would like to tell all heads of schools to refrain from forcing any staff to work for more than 8 hours. If they are to work more than the mentioned 8 hours, they shall be paid for their overtime work, as mentioned by Article 60 of the Civil Service Act,” Athif said.

Athif also said that some schools have threaten their teachers who refused to work overtime, saying that they might have to think twice about how they fill out their appraisal forms. Athif said that the Association will not hesitate to take such parties to court.

He said that the that law states that salaries and allowances for Civil Service employees is to be established by the Civil Service Commission along with the advice from the Ministry of Finance, but said that Ministry of Education continues to issue circulars and fax messages regarding salaries signed by heads in political positions.

He said that there are no legal grounds to view that the such decisions made by political appointees in the Ministry are equal to the decisions of the Civil Service Commission and said that Association advices all such parties to refrain from such irresponsible deeds.

Regarding this issue, Education Minister Dr. Asim Ahmed said that the claims by the Teachers Association that teachers are being forced to work overtime without pay are lies that have no basis.