Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) has given a call to its members from colleges affiliated to Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, to proceed on mass casual leave on October 12, to register their protest against non-payment of salaries. About 3,000 teachers from 136 colleges in Punjab have not been paid salaries for nine months.
Teachers will hold a protest rally the same day at Chattar Singh Park, Ludhiana. The protest will be followed by similar actions by teachers of GNDU on October 16 and by Punjabi University on October 20 at Fatehgarh Sahib.
In a statement, PCCTU president Dr Jagwant Singh condemned the attitude of Punjab government towards higher education. He said there was a backlog of salaries of nine months due to failure of the Punjab government to release grants. “In a completely unlawful fashion, the amount of house rent allowance (HRA) and medical allowance has been reduced,” he said.
While UGC has extended the date of completion of refresher course/orientation course up to December 2013, the Punjab government did not extend the date beyond December 2000 to the dismay of the teachers. The promised amendment of Security of Service Act to cover unaided staff in a categorical way has also not been fulfilled and was pending since 2008.
Dr Jagwant Singh also stated that teachers and academicians are extremely worried about the fund crunch and lack of commitment on the part of state and central governments. He said the lack of finds had affected research in institutions funded by central government, including Panjab University, as meant for the purpose were diverted to pay salaries.
The colleges are struggling to survive and some have passed resolutions that government should take over.
He said teachers are also concerned that central government was yet to appoint UGC pay review committee, while seventh pay commission would submit its report before December 2015.