Gauhati University launched an agitation against non-implementation pay

Teachers at Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University traded class notes for placards and launched an agitation against non-implementation of the revised pay package recommended by the University Grants Commission.

Hundreds of faculty members of both the universities vented their anger against the alleged reluctance of the Tarun Gogoi government to implement the 6th Revised New Payscale which was approved by the UGC last year for teachers in central and state universities.

The human resource development ministry, while approving the new payscale, had asked the state governments to implement it.

More than 200 teachers of Gauhati University assembled in front of the vice-chancellor’s office at noon today and staged a demonstration.

The teachers, under the banner of Gauhati University Teachers’ Association, demanded that vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi come out from his official chamber and intervene.

Medhi emerged from his office and assured the teachers of his support.

He said implementation of the new payscale would be possible once the state government approved it.

The existing basic pay for a lecturer of the university is Rs 8,000. It is Rs 12,000 for a reader and Rs 16,000 for a professor.

According to the revised payscale, the basic salary is expected at Rs 16,000 for a lecturer, Rs 37,000 for a reader and Rs 39,000 for a professor.

Jogen Chandra Kalita, the general secretary of GUTA, said it was high time teachers got a pay package on a par with central universities.

“The academic qualifications of our teachers are the same as those working in central universities. We are doing the same amount of hard work as our counterparts in the central universities. It is unfortunate that while most of the states, including Bihar, have implemented the new payscale, Assam is still lagging behind. Teachers have also demanded enhancement of the retirement age from 60 to 65 years,” Kalita said.

Teachers of Dibrugarh University also began their strike at noon, displaying placards and banners in front of Jyoti Batchora, the main entrance of the university.

“We have been facing discrimination by the state government when it comes to pay hike. Many of our teachers have now shifted to central universities for better pay packages - this has created a void in the state-run universities,” Jyoti Prasad Saikia, the general secretary of Dibrugarh University Teachers Association, said.

The strike at the two universities comes a day after the Assam College Teachers Association decided to defer their protest programme after the chief minister invited its representatives for talks on November 26.

The association was to begin indefinite class boycott in 189 provincialised colleges across the state.

Their demands included immediate implementation of the revised UGC payscale, release of arrears, implementation of provincialised rules, resolution of problems relating to NET/SLET, creation of new posts and abolition of contractual pay for qualified teachers.

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