Work was suspended in colleges across the state for over two hours on Thursday as teachers observed a strike to press for their demand to implement the new pay scale recommended by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
General Secretary of the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (PFUCTO),Dr Jagwant Singh,said the new pay scale was notified by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on December 31,2008. He pointed out that teachers pay scales were revised under the terms of reference of the Sixth Pay Commission which was to be implemented from September 2008. Notification of the UGC pay scale was delayed due to the imposition of the model code of conduct after the announcement of assembly elections, Singh said.
He also averred that the Central government had announced that it would bear the additional financial burden arising out of the pay revision up to the extent of 80 per cent from the period of January 1,2006 to March 31,2010. Since the state government has to bear only 20 per cent of the liability,it should not be difficult for the Punjab government to accept the demand of the teachers, said Singh.
Professor Rakesh Mehta and Rupinder Chatha,president and secretary of the Chandigarh District Council of PCCTU respectively,in a joint statement said,The strike was held in all the non-government aided colleges of Chandigarh. Teachers will proceed on mass casual leave on January 28 and participate in the rally to be held in Sector 25. They will also participate in the protest in New Delhi on February 23 and march to Parliament to draw the attention of the Centre towards issues concerning higher education.