Punjabi University crisis: Salary paid, but non­teaching staff decline to end protest | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Punjabi University crisis: Salary paid, but non­teaching staff decline to end protest

Punjabi University managed to pay salaries to the employees on Friday, but the non-teaching  employees refused to lift the protest till the university relieved all re-employed teaching and non-teaching employees.

punjab Updated: Feb 18, 2017 15:53 IST
Members of the Punjabi University Employees Union blocking the national highway in front of the university in Patiala on Friday.
Members of the Punjabi University Employees Union blocking the national highway in front of the university in Patiala on Friday.(HT Photo)

Punjabi University managed to pay salaries to the employees on Friday, but the non-teaching  employees refused to lift the protest till the university relieved all re-employed teaching and non-teaching employees.

The protesters blocked the Chandigarh-Patiala-Bathinda road for five hours, causing inconvenience to commuters, and forcing the state machinery to clear the payment to  Punjabi University from the treasury to pay salaries.

After paying salaries, the registrar of the university also handed over a written assurance to the protesters that the university would retrench all re-employed employees by March 31, but protestors said that they won’t lift the protest till the university implements this decision with immediate effect.

The registrar also said that the university has given an undertaking in this regard to the finance department of the Punjab government, and it has to approve it from the Syndicate to relieve all re-employed persons, but employees refused to budge.

Earlier in the day, non-teaching employees, led by their union leader, Rajinder Singh Raju, who is on hunger strike, blocked the highway at 11 am and lifted the dharna only when the university transferred the salaries in the bank accounts of employees. The protesters raised slogans against the vice-chancellor and other functionaries of the university.

On the other hand, the teaching community is terming the Punjab government conditions to release grants as an attack on the autonomy of the university. They are saying that the re-employment scheme is as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines and also implemented in Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. They said that the Punjab government can’t force only Punjabi University to do away with the re-employment scheme, when other state-funded universities have implemented it.

Registrar Dr Devinder Singh said the university has given in writing to the protestors and even the Punjab government that all retired re-employed employees would be retrenched before March 31. A committee has also been constituted to curtail the expenses, so employees must lift the protest and join duty for normal functioning of the university.