The 82 contractual employees at the FTII who were laid off got a breather on Friday after the three-member committee from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that visited the campus advised the institute’s administration to “postpone” the lay-off.
The committee also gave a hearing to a delegation of contractual employees.
FTII director Prashant Pathrabe had announced on July 27 that services of 82 of the 150 contractual employees would be temporarily stopped from September 1 as they were not needed at the campus due to the ongoing students’ strike. The students’ body had opposed the move alleging that the administration was doing it to armtwist students into withdrawing the strike.
When the students’ representatives met the delegation from Delhi, they raised the issue about the proposed laying off of the contract employees. Khan enquired with Pathrabe as to how much would the institute save per month by sacking the contractual staffers. Pathrabe apprised him that the sum was around Rs 30 lakh per month. Khan then advised Pathrabe to wait for one more month before asking the employees not to report to work.
This news spread cheers among the contractual employees.
“I have been working here for 15 years and this is for the first time that someone from the Ministry has met us. It’s like acknowledging our presence. We convyeyed to them our issues and were told that the proposed lay-off could be postponed by a month. This assurance has really uplifted our mood since prospects of losing our jobs had scared everyone of us,” said a 49-year-old lightman who did not wish to be named.