The protesting staffers of Banur’s Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital didn’t resume teaching on Thursday even as the management carried out its threat and sacked four assistant professors and seven non-teaching workers.
The afternoon meeting on the campus between the protesters and director of medical education and research Dr Manjit Kaur Mohi also failed to break the deadlock, since the employees want their pending wages first. College chief executive Manish Jakhar called striking employees’ stand being “inconsiderate to the suffering students”. The classes have been suspended since February 25.
“In its heydays, the college paid its employees the best of salaries. Now when we are recouping from a deep financial crisis, they are making it harder for us. They should return to work, as already we have agreed to clear all the dues by the end of this month,” said Jakhar. The senior teachers said the management had lied to them several times in the past six months. “Even last month, the chief executive gave us this assurance in writing but we got only two salaries till November after 90 days of protest,” said a teacher.
Threatening to involve political parties in the protest, another senior teacher said: “We want timely clearance of dues and revocation of all termination letters.”
College shuts door on staff
When the college opened at 9am, the protesting employees were stopped at the main gate where police had a heavy presence. A protesters said the employees had seen it coming since the management had threatened them on telephone and shot 11 termination messages on email on Wednesday midnight to bring them under pressure.
Undeterred by the action, nearly 200 staffers sat outside the main gate and raised slogans against the management. Later, they pitched tents on the spot in a sign of digging in for a long battle. They accused the state government of being soft on the management. The management claimed that all classes had resumed but teachers said only the medicine and microbiology classes were running.
The management is reported to have assured the students that the state government would bring them guest teachers from the government medical colleges. Medical education secretary Hussan Lal denied the possibility.
Shift our wards, say parents
Driven desperate, the parents now want their wards shifted from Gian Sagar Medical College. A parent, UP Singh, asked the state government to either get the classes resumed or transfer the students. “The situation can’t be allowed to linger, since the final examinations are due next month and our wards are short of attendance,” he said. Another parent, not wanting to be named, said the teachers had a genuine grouse, since they were not bonded labourers, “but where should our children go”?