College teachers in Punjab, Chandigarh on 72-hour strike

March 3rd, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, March 3 (IANS) Teachers of government and non-government colleges in Punjab and the union territory of Chandigarh went on a 72-hour strike Tuesday demanding higher pay.
The 72-hour ‘Education Bandh’ was called by the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (PFUCTO) in support of their demand for implementation of the new notifications of the University Grants Commission (UGC) on pay scales for faculty.

Over 10,000 teachers of five universities, 54 government colleges and 170 non-government colleges of the region are associated with PFUCTO.

“There was some confusion among teachers of some colleges Tuesday because of the implementation of model code of conduct but nearly 7000 of them participated in the strike. However, from Wednesday, there will be no teaching activity in any of the colleges and all 10,000 will go on strike,” Jagwant Singh, general secretary of PFUCTO, told IANS.

He said in the past few days states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh had also implemented the UGC notifications but the “comparatively rich” Punjab has shown no signs of working in this direction.

“Discontentment among teacher community is rising and in the next two-three meetings we will also discuss the issue of boycotting Akali government in the forthcoming elections,” said Singh.

Singh said: “We think that code of conduct has nothing to do with the implementation of already announced notifications but we will also talk to the election commissioner before deciding our future course of action.”

The Punjab government has to contribute only 20 per cent and central government would release the remaining 80 per cent of funds, but still the state government is reluctant, he said.

The new UGC notifications came Dec 31, 2008 with the approval of the central government. Earlier they were supposed to come in October last year but got delayed because of assembly elections in Delhi.

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