With the Punjab and Haryana high court asking for an explanation on the delay in paying arrears to Punjabi University’s faculty members, the state government has claimed that issue would be sorted out within a week.
Punjab higher education director TK Goyal said, “The issue would be taken up with the varsity authorities and a solution found within a week. We are studying that why 20% arrear as demanded by varsity’s teaching staff was withheld. Appropriate decision will be taken in consultation with the varsity authorities.”
Interestingly, in its November 5 order, the HC had directed department of higher education principal secretary to explain the reason for the delay in disbursement of arrears by December 21. The court had also put it on record that the principal secretary was to be appear before it on December 21, in case the affidavit was not filed well before the date, it is learnt.
Meanwhile, the university’s faculty members are in no mood to relent with their protest on this issue entering the second day.
More than 100 faculty members of different departments joined the stir and demanded the immediate release of arrears for all teachers - a total amount of `13.5 crore - pending since 2013.
Varsity’s Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) convener professor Jaswinder Brar claimed, “We have been denied our due since long. Even after giving a representation to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, nothing has changed.”
The arrear was raised after state government did not release 20% of the increased salary of teachers as recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission that was implemented from January 1, 2006, in the year 2013. A senior faculty member said that the central government was about to implement the report of the 7th Pay Commission but faculty members of Punjabi University were still struggling to get the arrears of Sixth Pay Commission
Faculty members claimed heir protest would remain continue till the time their arrear was not been released.
They added that the government college teachers and teachers of government-aided-private colleges and that of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, had already been paid the arrears fully during March 201, but the non-release of 20% amount to them was unjustified, unconstitutional and arbitrary and the university was responsible for the delay.