Several teachers, under the leadership of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Tuesday observed a day-long hunger strike from home over non-payment of salaries to employees of 12 DU colleges funded by the Delhi government.
“The Delhi government has so far not cared to respond to repeated pleas by DUTA for the immediate release of salaries in these unprecedented times. Teachers found innovative ways to communicate their anger using social media like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter and online platforms such as Zoom, etc and to protest against the injustice meted out to the colleagues of these 12 colleges,” DUTA said in a statement.
— ASHWINI KUMAR ‘SUKRAT’ (@KumarSukrat) April 28, 2020
“For many months, Delhi University and Delhi government were locked in a bitter fight over the formation of governing bodies of these 12 colleges. Things reached a major flashpoint when the Delhi government withheld grants to these colleges required for disbursal of salaries, pensions, and other financial dues to all employees. DUTA strongly condemned this linking of formation of governing bodies to the sanctioning of grants, and wrote several representations to the Delhi government in this regard. When grants were finally released after much delay by the Delhi government on March 25, it was found to be insufficient to pay salaries, pensions, and other financial remittance,” it added.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the education minister, said the colleges had been paid their dues till March. “If colleges have not paid their staff, it is their fault. As for the money for the next quarter, it is not paid in advance. It is in process and will be paid in a month or two,” he said.
DUTA president Rajib Ray said it was “extremely unfortunate and painful to note that three colleges — Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya and Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences — have not paid salaries of March and will not be able to pay salaries of April to their employees”.
“It is extremely shocking that the Delhi government is penalising employees of these colleges, and has not responded to the appeal to release salaries in these stressful times. Withholding of salaries even at normal times is unwarranted but at a time when the entire nation has come together to unitedly fight COVID-19, the Delhi government is failing to discharge its duty in the matter of sanctioning of grants to these 12 colleges,” he said.
Executive Council (EC) members A K Bhagi and V S Negi too said the Delhi government was not just taking an “inhuman approach” but it was also “discriminatory” as “employees of more than 50 UGC-funded colleges are getting their salary without delay”.
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