''Not Taking Extreme Step Thinking Of Our Family'' Teachers Unpaid For 19 Months In Sinhgad Institutes, Pune
The teaching faculties of Sinhgad Technical Educational Society (STES), Pune are now being terminated from their job. They have been on a non-cooperation strike from November 2017 over the non-payment of their salaries of the last one and half years. The teachers had also met the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis on February 27, who wrote a letter to the chief secretary on the matter.
It is being reported that about 300-350 Professors and Assistant Professors teaching in colleges under STES have received their termination letters and moreover about 60-70 teachers have been transferred to Lonavala campus which is almost 70 km away from Pune.
Three different petitions have been filed by the teacher’s groups in court. STES resorted to this measure as the protest was defaming the college.
Few of the teachers have also written to the Governor of Maharashtra, asking him to take swift action or allow them to take their own lives.
350 teachers terminated, more than 60 transferred
The Logical Indian spoke to few of the teaching staffs. One of the Professors of Sinhgad College of Engineering (SCOE) said, “Teachers on non-cooperation strike were specifically targeted. There are two colleges in the Lonavala campus. In one of these colleges, the teaching staff was 60, out of which 55 were terminated. Of the teachers transferred from Pune to Lonavala, we have noticed that most are female lectures. It is the administration’s way of forcing them to resign on their own, because they know that most of these female lecturers have young kids and would not be able to travel distance of about 70 km one way every day.”
Another Assistant professor said, “One of the transferred teachers is a professor who was nine months pregnant. After we said that if anything happens to her or the baby while travelling every day for the Lonavala campus, the management will be held responsible, the management decided to retain her in the Pune college.”
Non-payment of salaries
40% of the teachers’ salary is paid through the money received from Social Welfare Department (SWD) and the other 60% is paid by the management. Social Welfare Department (SWD) pays the fees of students belonging to the socio-economically backward families. It is being alleged that the college is trying to divert the case by saying that they have not received money from SWD because of which they have been unable to pay the teachers. One of the senior professors said, “The management is completely putting the blame on SWD even though they are equally responsible. What about the money they are receiving as fees from unreserved students? Where is that going?”.
The professor added that the case has been going in the court for many months, during which the hearing Bench has changed as many as three times. “There is a confusion on whether the money which is to come from the SWD will go to the management of the university for further distribution among teachers or any other mechanism will be put into place. This is leading to a delay. Amidst this chaos, the end sufferers are the teachers only.”
“We have knocked every door, from government authority, college management and even social workers, but we are yet to receive justice. We are stopping ourselves from taking our lives just thinking of our family behind.”
Earlier the money was deposited in a non-nationalised bank which is owned by the Institute only. The teachers were not paid PF or gratuity as well. One of the professors also said that in the past, they never received any notification of the salary being deposited in their accounts. They would get to know by hearsay, after which they had to rush to the bank.
The Logical Indian take
It is a matter of utter shame that teachers who shape the future of a country are being made to run pillar to post just to get the salary which they rightly deserve. The helplessness teachers are facing can be felt from the fact they went on to ask the Governor the permission to end their lives.
The kind of treatment meted out to these teachers is extremely abysmal and The Logical Indian hopes that swift action is taken.
The Logical Indian covered their non-cooperation strike in March as well, read about it here.