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Pune’s Sinhgad institute salary row: Terminated staff paid pending salary

College management forced to issue cheques after joint charity commissioner’s intervention

pune Updated: Aug 22, 2018 14:50 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Sinhagad institute,terminated staff
Former staff members of Sinhgad institute, after receiving salary cheques in Pune on Tuesday.(SHANKAR NARAYAN/ HT PHOTO )

A long-standing tussle between the staff members of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES) and the management finally appears to be coming to an end as the college administration on Tuesday commenced the process of clearing the pending salaries of those terminated recently by the institution, by giving out cheques.

The STES paid ₹11 crore to close to 350 former staff members of the institution at the charity commissioner’s office.

Earlier on Monday, the protesting staff members of the STES along with the Maratha outfit called Sambhaji Brigade staged a protest in front of charity commissioner’s office in the city on Monday.

Dilip Deshmukh, joint charity commissioner immediately intervened and ordered the STES to give salaries to the staff. The STES management, following the directive, gave away salary cheques to 350 staff members who were terminated by the college administration, at regular intervals during the protests.

Sachin Shinde, former teaching faculty at STES engineering college said, “It is indeed a moment of happiness for all the staff members who have been protesting for the last few months for their own rights. While the management has started giving away salaries for few members, we will continue our struggle till the last staff member of STES gets all the dues cleared.”

STES teaching and non-teaching staff has been through a rough journey for almost a year fighting with the college management for not giving salaries for more than 16 months.

Thousands of teachers were terminated without clearing their salary dues. While many took the legal path, staged indefinite hunger strikes and protests, few left the teaching profession in search of better options.

Ravi Kiran Chavan, who worked at the Warje campus of STES said, “I was terminated by the STES management in the month of May. Ever since then I have no job and my family is facing a major cash crunch. However, as I have got my pending salary now, it is indeed a moment of joy”.

Chandrashekhar Navate, chief of finance , STES said, “Currently, we are giving away salaries to 350 former Sinhgad Technical Education Society members which amounts to a total of ₹11 Crore. While we have begun the process, we will release the payments for other staff members immediately after we receive our pending dues of ₹117 Crore from the social welfare department of Government of Maharashtra.”

‘Thankful to charity commissioner’

Shivashri Naravade, vice-president of the city unit of Sambhaji Brigade who led the protest in front of the charity commissioners’ office on Monday said, “We are really thankful to charity commissioner Dilip Deshmukh who not only accepted our requests, but also took swift actions by ordering STES to clear the dues. As far as revoking termination of the STES staff is concerned, the joint charity commissioner has called for a meeting on September 2 to take the final decision. If the wrongfully terminated teachers are not taken back, we will continue our protest.” Prashant Abhonkar, who was a computer faculty in Lonavla campus, received the first cheque and said that he was elated to receive his hard-earned money.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 14:26 IST