Cash-strapped Mumbai university sacks 470 contractual employees
Mumbai city news: The university has around 2,500 non-teaching employees, including 1,500 hired on contractmumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2017 00:41 IST
The University of Mumbai (MU) has decided to not renew the contracts of 470 non-teaching employees to curtail its expenses and expedite the introduction of technology.
The university has around 2,500 non-teaching employees, including 1,500 hired on contract. The lay-offs have reduced manpower by around 20%. “Many of the employees whose contracts were allowed to lapse have been working in the university for the past eight to 10 years. It will be difficult for them to make ends meet,” said a temporary employee.
An official from MU’s establishment department said the move is aimed at curtailing expenses. He added that the varsity is moving in the direction of automation and reducing its dependence on people. “The decision was taken after a labour audit of all the varsity departments. The university has adopted technology for various tasks, including an on-screen marking for paper assessment,” he said.
However, the university has been complaining about a shortage of staff. “In the last 30 years, the state has added only eight posts,” MU vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had said while presenting the varsity budget for the financial year 2016-17.
Currently, there are 1,319 posts for permanent employees, of which 1,000 have been filled. The salary for these employees are paid by the state government. Moreover, citing irregularities in the varsity’s appointments, the state has withheld 25% salary funds granted to the varsity since 2004. Besides, the salary bill for 1,500 temporary employees was also completely footed by the university.
The MU’s financial woes were revealed by its decision to prematurely withdraw Rs111 crore from fixed deposits in the past 22 months, revealed a response to an RTI query. “MU’s monthly salary expenses are between Rs 6 crore to Rs7 crore. Also, pension of many employees has become a liability,” said MA Khan, MU registrar.