Buckling under pressure of non-teaching employees and the Punjab government directive, Punjabi University has decided to relieve all re-employed teaching and non- teaching employees from February 28.
A formal order in this regard was issued by registrar Devinder Singh, who held a meeting with non-teaching employees, who then decided to lift the protest in wake of the orders issued by the university.
“All the re-employed teachers will be relieved from February 28 afternoon. However, in view of PhD and MPhil students enrolled with these teachers, and various research projects funded by external agencies, the university will provide them library, laboratory and adequate sitting place, to complete their research-related work,” read the orders.
Non-teaching employees started a protest on February 8, when the university failed to release the salary, as the Punjab government stopped the release of Rs 12-crore grant putting the condition that the university must relieve all re-employed employees.
While the authorities tried to pacify the protesters by saying that the re-employed teachers will be relieved after this academic session or March 31, but protesters insisted for their immediate removal.
Even a FIR was registered against the employees for blocking a road, but they didn’t back down and pressurised university authorities to concede to their demand. As the deadlock persists, the vice-chancellor directed the registrar to issue relieving orders.
The protesters said that the university has taken a good decision, as it will improve the financial condition of the university.
On the other hand, the teaching community has termed it as an attempt to undermine the autonomy of the university.
“The decision to retrench services of re-employed is fully wrong, against university autonomy, UGC guidelines, and right to equality, as other universities have adopted the re-employment scheme.”
“We will approach the court against the decision,” said a re-employed teacher, confirming that the order has been issued by the university.
WITHDRAW CASES: DTF
The Democratic Teachers Front, in its emergency meeting, asked the government to immediately withdraw the FIR registered against protesters. It also demanded that a white paper on the financial condition of the university be issued at the earliest so that real causes of the financial mess in the university be identified.
“Members felt that the prolonged bad governance by the university administration has created the circumstances which resulted into financial bankruptcy, hence 18-day delay in payment of salary and thereby generation of feeling of insecurity among employees that ultimately translated into a long dharna and blocking of highway which could have been avoided has the university released salary in time,” said Jaswinder Brar, convener of the DTF.
He said that the NPS contribution for the month of January 2017 must straightway be deposited with bank accounts of beneficiaries.