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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

More college teachers join stir across Maharshtra over pay, staff crunch

Fadnavis must intervene, say teachers; state says solutions will take time

mumbai Updated: Oct 02, 2018 14:31 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
An empty classromm in BK Birla College, Kalyan, on September 25, the first day of the strike.
An empty classromm in BK Birla College, Kalyan, on September 25, the first day of the strike.(HT FILE)
         

Into its eighth day, the ‘cease-work’ protest of teachers from aided colleges across Maharashtra received extra support with lecturers from more prominent institutes planning to join the indefinite strike.

Teachers across the state, affiliated to the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (MFUCTO), started their strike from September 25 over the filling up of vacant posts, implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission according to University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines and equal wages for equal work, among other demands.

According to this ‘cease-work’ protest, teachers have been attending college, but without marking their attendance or conducting regular lectures.

In a series of meetings held across colleges, teachers from the aided sections of St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao; Sathaye College, Vile Parle; Bhavan’s Hazarimal Somani College, Girgaum Chowpatty, said they will join the protest from Wednesday, October 3.

“The government seems to be pushing the teaching community to the edge and has periodically failed to keep their commitments. The repeated neglect of the government towards our issues is the reason why we (teachers) all need to come together and raise our voices,” said Avkash Jadhav, professor, St Xavier’s College, and a member of the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU).

“The strike has acquired new strength and vigour in Mumbai with more teachers supporting the cause. The state education minister has made it very clear that he has to wait for approvals from the finance and other departments so we are demanding the intervention of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis,” said Tapati Mukhopadhyay, member, BUCTU.

“The government has already given them written assurances that their demands will be addressed on a priority basis. The Seventh Pay Commission is something the government is working hard on and it will be implemented soon. Similarly, we are also going to address the problem of shortage of staff in colleges. None of this can happen overnight,” said state education minister Vinod Tawde.

EXAMINATIONS WON’T FEEL THE BRUNT

While the teachers will continue their protest until the state government comes up with a solution, they have made it clear that examinations will be exempted from the strike

“We don’t want students to suffer, so teachers will report for supervision duty during the upcoming exams, but they will not mark their attendance for the day,” said Tapati Mukhopadhyay , Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union ( BUCTU).

About the strike

College teachers across the state, affiliated to the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (MFUCTO), started an indefinite strike from September 25 over some demands.

Their major demands

- Filling up of vacant teacher posts

- Implementation of the 7th Pay Commission according to University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines

- Equal wages for equal work

Earlier last month, teachers had protested for a day by suspending regular lectures, leaving many colleges with no option but to send students back home.