Around 4,000 teachers working in 172 non-government affiliated colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh observed cease work for two hours in their respective college campuses on Monday.
Addressing a rally at DAV College, Amritsar, the general secretary of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) said their organisation had been compelled to adopt the agitation path as there had been unwarranted delay in accepting the just and genuine demands of the teachers.
He said the agitation would be intensified by organising a rally at Talwandi Sabo on August 13 and by observing Teachers' Day (September 5) as Black Day. The PCCTU has chosen Talwandi Sabo for the protest as a bypoll is being held in this assembly segment.
Elaborating on the demands, he said the government had not released the grant meant for the payment of salaries for the past 15 months to these colleges. As a result of which, the teachers and other employees of many colleges in the state had not been paid salaries for the past three to 12 months, he claimed, while pointing out that half the affiliated colleges were on the brink of closure.
Walia said the government had shown a callous attitude towards other demands of teachers, which included lifting of ban on recruitment, security of service for the teachers working against unaided posts, relaxation from refresher courses, implementation of pension and gratuity scheme, enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 65, financial assistance to unaided colleges, and streamlining the office of DPI (colleges), Punjab.