The Delhi University administration and the teachers association seem to be deadlocked in a never-ending game of one-upmanship.
Days after the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) announced that it will launch an indefinite relay hunger strike to protest the “sidelining” of teachers in matters of policy making,the administration sends a letter to principals asking them to deduct salaries of teachers who participated in a earlier day-long strike.
The letter from the Deputy Registrar to Deans,Heads of Departments and College Principals,described as “illegal” by DUTA refers to the August 28 strike organised by DUTA.
Just after the strike was announced in August,the varsity administration had written to principals,asking them to cancel leaves and invoke ‘no work,no pay’ and maintain “attendance records” of teachers during work-hours.
The latest letter is a follow up of that order and asks principals and deans to implement that order.
DUTA is expectedly outraged at the development. “This letter smacks of the arrogance and authoritarianism which have become the hallmark of the current University Administration. Since the teachers’ service conditions are well-defined in the University Ordinances,the Vice Chancellor has no authority,not even under emergency powers,to take any such action,” said a statement.
It pointed out at a recent decision to cut salaries of non-teaching staff members.
“The same objections apply to the recent decision to cut the salaries of DUCKU members. This absolutist mode of functioning befits a feudal king and not the chief academic and executive officer of a modern educational institution,” it said while calling on to college governing bodies to safeguard the right of their teachers to participate in democratic action on legitimate issues.
At a General Body meeting on Sunday,DUTA had decided to “intensify the stir” against the varsity administration and agreed to launch a relay hunger strike beginning October 10 to protest against the way decisions were being made in the varsity.