Contractual college teachers await their five-month dues in Chandigarh
It’s been five months since about 40 contractual college teachers hired under Chandigarh Higher Education Society (CHES) have not received their salaries.
The teachers joined their services in September 2019 but UT administration is yet to process the file of their dues.
According to documents, UT treasury, Sector 17, has raised an objection to hiring of the teachers and has sought an approval of the competent authority for the same. An official of the UT finance department, requesting anonymity, said that concurrence of the finance department is required before the UT treasury processes the teachers’ salary bills and the same is yet to be obtained by the education department.
CHES was established by the UT higher education department to outsource teachers after the disaffiliation controversy of the Government College of Commerce and Business Administration (GCCBA), Sector 50, last year. Later, hiring was done for various self-financing courses at three city colleges -- Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11; PGGC-46 and GCCBA-50 for bachelor of business administration and bachelor of computer applications courses.
The teachers were hired by societies of these colleges against the funds generated by self-financing courses at an overall consolidated salary of ₹25,000 per month. The teachers were engaged for subjects such as management, economics, computer applications, English, Punjabi and history on ‘pure temporary basis’ according to the CHES advertisement released in 2019.
‘CONTRACTS TILL MARCH 31’
A teacher, who did not wish to be named, said, “I am living here on rent, have my parents to look after and I have not got salary for the last five months. I fear to come out and say anything because the education department will refrain from hiring me again. We have no choice but to stay silent and wait.” Almost all teachers that HT spoke to refused to come on record. They said their contracts are till March 31 and fear that the UT education department might not hire them again for next session if they complained or spoke to media.
As per the provisions under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, salaries need to be paid before the seventh day of every month after the last day of the wage period. In case a company or organisation has less than 1,000 employed workers, the dues are to be paid by 10th day of every month.
Director higher education Rubinderjit Singh Brar said that formalities regarding new posts “usually take time to get completed.” “The department is hopeful that the salaries will be released before the end of this month,” he said.
SCHOOLTEACHERS HAVING SIMILAR WOES
Similar is the case of 300 odd computer teachers, counsellors and other contractual employees of 114 government schools in the city as they are waiting for their salaries to be credited for November and December 2018 and January 2020.
The delay in the credit of salaries is nothing new for these 200 computer teachers, including senior and junior instructors, data entry operators, 87 counsellors and other employees who are yet unpaid. There was a delay in the credit of salaries for September 2019 also and the same was paid on October 25. Commenting on the issue, Brar said, “As far as I am aware, the file of their salary has been processed. We are facing issues due to government e-market (GeM).”
Earlier, the computer teachers, counsellors and data entry operators working in government schools of the UT were outsourced through the information technology department -- Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC). However, after the UT education department’s contract with the SPIC ended, the department decided to hire faculty members through GeM which is a one-stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use goods and services required by various government departments.