With the approval of major pending demands raised by Panjab University faculty members in the emergency Syndicate meeting on Sunday,they had a reason to cheer. While the teachers considered it a Diwali bonanza,the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) executive members wasted no time in grabbing credit.
The three major items in the Syndicate agenda were wards of female employees to be treated at par with those of male colleagues in granting of medical facilities,including reimbursement,long pending CAS promotions and leave encashment to be increased from 180 days to 300 days to teachers.
This is the first time in the history of PU that an emergency syndicate meeting is called for the demands raised by PUTA. We consider it as our achievement that we were able to get these demands approved by the syndicate, said Manjit Singh.
Since there was a call for clarification by some members of the House regarding the recommendations of the Committee constituted to look into assigning weightages to be given under the Academic Performance Indicators (API),the V-C constituted a five-member Committee with a brief to give its recommendations within 24 hours in order that the ongoing selections/promotions should not be held up.
The issue was that whether the co-investigator of as project should be given weightage at par with the main member or researcher. While some Syndicate members suggested that it should be divided in a 60:40 ratio the teachers demanded that it should be on an equal point system. The members of this committee included Dean Students Welfare,Dean University Instructions,Registrar along other two members.
In another decision,the wards of female employees will be treated at par with those of male colleagues in the granting of medical facilities,including reimbursement. The decision to this effect was taken by the Panjab University Syndicate in its meeting held here on Sunday as the House unanimously accepted the recommendation of the G K Chatrath Committee that had been constituted by the Vice Chancellor,Prof R C Sobti to look into the longstanding demands of the female employees.
In making its recommendations,the Committee took cognisance of Article 15 (1) and 15 (3) of the Constitution that states: The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion,race,caste,sex,place of birth; Nothing in this Article shall prevent the state from making any special provisions for women and children.
The House also unanimously accepted the recommendations of the G K Chatrath Committee regarding the revision in the rules and regulations governing leave encashment to teachers. This included teachers of both University and its affiliated colleges Where earlier the earned leave at the credit of a teacher could not be accumulated beyond 180 days,it shall now be accumulated as prescribed by the Syndicate/Senate from time to time. Moreover,the term ’employee has now been clearly defined to read as ‘teaching and non-teaching.
In another statement,PUTA president Akshaya Kumar said,We had warned the authorities that we would go to the Women Commission if the medical re-imbursement to their wards is not approved. All these years,this was not implemented only on the pretext that it would inflate the medical bills,which is no justification. When the female employees are giving an affidavit that their male counterparts had not claimed any medical re-imbursement,there is no reason this should not be implemented.
Pertaining to the CAS promotions,the PUTA executive members claimed that no breathing time would be further given to the authorities as they had already taken two months time for deciding over this issue.