Monday, July 13, 2009

30,000 teachers in Maharashtra on strike from July 14

Around 30,000 University and college teachers across Maharashtra will go on indefinite 'cease work' strike from tomorrow demanding implementation of 6th pay Commission and regularisation of around 10,000 teachers affected by NET/SET from 1991 and 2000 among others.

The teachers are forced to hold `cease work', as the promises made in the Legislative council on June 4 are not being fulfilled, secretary of Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers' organisations (MFUCTO)Prof Tapati Mukhopadhayay told reporters.

Tomorrow the `cease work' will begin at 6.30 am and "the metropolis is already on the move and the teachers are determined to get the genuine benefits due to them from the government, she said.

This is also to express their resent and protest against the state government's failure to implement its several long pending demands.

Under the banner of the MFUCTO, a conglomeration of 10 teachers' unions in the state, the teachers will stop working from tomorrow for an indefinite time, the Federation president Prof C R Sadasivan said.

On June 4, the Minister for higher and technical education Rajesh Tope assured in the Legislative council to implement 6th pay commission recommendations for university and college teachers by mid-July.

If implemented, the teachers will get a 30 per cent hike and the arrears for the last three years that comes to a total of around Rs 1500 crore.

"The strike is to make the government realise that our demands like implementation of 6th Pay Commission, resolving the long-pending demands of the academic community including the problem of National Eligibility Test (NET) and State Eligibility Test (SET) qualification condition wrongly introduced on about 10,000 teachers retrospectively are to be taken seriously by the state," Sadasivan said.

The Maharashtra state has not implemented Sixth pay Commission revised pay scales for teachers in spite of Central financial assistance communicated through directions of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and University Grants Commission to do so and pay 40 per cent of arrears immediately and claim the amount by March 31 this year, he said.

The teachers Federation also demanded for uniform leave package which was advocated by the UGC and other demands which were due from 5th pay commission.

"We are also opposing corrupt practices in admissions, which denies the interest of merit-based admission in the universities and colleges," he said.

MFUCTO president said that the Federation sent a series of letters from February 2009, to Maharashtra Minister for Higher and Technical Education, Tope, the Secretary in the Department J S Saharia, and copy to the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

The Federation has sent their letters of original Movement in April and in June and even gave a call of mass casual leave on July 6 to make the government realise their demands.

"Since there was no response from the government, we have decided to go on strike. But we want to make it clear that we wanted to avoid the indefinite 'cease work' because it will have far reaching impact on the academic calender and student community when the universities and colleges have begun the academic year 2009-10," Mukhopadhayay said.

"It is still not late for the government to invite us for debate, " he said.

It is unfortunate that the Minister has promised the teachers on the floor of the House that he will take up the issue immediately and introduce a Government Resolution, but alleged that the bureaucracy is determined to create obstacles to the process, Sadasivan added.

Meanwhile, the officials from the Department of higher and technical education said the teachers have been already told that the matter is under consideration.
Source : Samay Live.

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