Teachers in universities and government and private colleges of Punjab went on strike on Saturday demanding clearance of arrears under Sixth Pay Commission rules. The strike was called by Punjab Federation of Universities and College Teachers' Organisation (PFUCTO).
In Bathinda, Punjab Government College Teachers' Association (PGCTA) threatened to launch a hunger strike in Chandigarh from September 21, if their arrears were not cleared by the state government.
The local unit of Government Rajindra College in Bathinda staged a dharna in front of the college gate. The teachers threatened to step up their agitation with a state-level dharna in Chandigarh on September 5. They also demanded that vacancies in colleges and 10% of posts of professors be filled up soon.
Associate professor Manju Mehta, secretary of PGCTA local unit said: "We also demand Internet facility to MPhil and PhD students in our college."
Prof Jagwant Singh, PFUCTO general secretary, said teachers of 136 private aided colleges, 55 government colleges, Guru Nanak Dev University and Punjabi University held rallies throughout the state demanding that arrears between January 2006 and March 2010 be cleared.
Addressing the rally at RSD College here, Prof JR Prashar, state president of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) said, "While the state government has already paid 70% (40%+30%) of the arrears arising out of the revised pay scales to its employees, no arrears have been released for teachers of GNDU in Amritsar, Punjabi University in Patiala, government as well as aided colleges. This, despite the fact that the Centre will reimburse 80% of the arrears in two to three instalments."
According to PCCTU district president Prof Gurtej Singh, the other demands of the teachers are enhancement of retirement age as per the recommendation of University Grants Commission, greater funding of higher education by the government, filling up of vacancies, providing security of service for unaided staff by restoring amendment of Security of Service Act, 1974 (amendment of December 2007), implementation of pension-cum-gratuity scheme for aided colleges approved by the cabinet on December 11, 2001.