The Academy of Fine Arts,a premier art gallery of Kolkata,wore a desolate look as its employees union went on an indefinite strike from Friday.
The main entrance of the academy was locked,denying visitors access to art and photography exhibitions going on its premises.
Over five years ago,we entered into an agreement with the executive committee of the academy that we will get a salary hike of Rs 700 to Rs 1000. But it is yet to be implemented, said Santosh Das,secretary of Academy of Fine Arts Employee Union. On February 25,claimed the union,it informed the committee about its complaints and it was assured of implementation of the new salary structure. But even in March,we have not received the hike. Worse,even those who worked extra hours in January are not paid their dues, said Das.
The authorities,however,denied the charges. We never entered into an agreement fives years ago. We only started the negotiations then. The executive committee did come to a conclusion regarding the hike a few months ago but that is subject to approval by the board of trustees, said Asit Paul,vice-president of the executive committee.
Regarding the wages for overtime,he said: We are planning to scrap the concept of overtime. In some cases overtime dues have been more than the salary and we cant afford that.