Amritsar, February 4
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) on Friday launched an agitation against the Punjab Government at DAV College, Amritsar, for reducing the retirement age for teachers in colleges.
Teachers of Khalsa Collage during a protest against the government in Amritsar. Tribune photos
A sit-in was held in several colleges, including DAV College, BBKDAV College and Khalsa College. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Munish Gupta, secretary of the local unit of PCCTU, said on September 5 last year, the state government had decided to implement the UGC 7th Pay Commission scales for all university and college teachers, which had been pending for the last six years (since 2016-17). A Cabinet meeting was held in this regard on September 9 following which a notification was issued on September 28 last year.
“In the notification, which was issued in a hurried manner, the government tampered with the service rules by reducing the retirement age for teachers of government-aided private colleges from 60 to 58 years,” he said. He said the government had not only violated the 44-year-old Grant-in-aid Act, 1979, but also acted against Punjab Privately Managed Affiliated and Punjab Government Aided Colleges, Pensionary Benefits Scheme, 1996 (Repeal) Act, 2012, under which a written statement was filed by the Special Secretary of Department of Higher Education (Punjab) in which it was mentioned that the retirement age for teachers of aided colleges was 60 years instead of 58 years under the signatures of then Punjab minister of higher education Sikander Singh Maluka on December 18, 2012.
Principal, DAV College, Dr Amardeep Gupta said under the notification of Punjab Government it was mentioned in clause 11 (C) and clause 11 (E) that the service condition of the teachers in aided colleges of Punjab would remain same as previously mentioned in the rules. But clause 13 (2) of this notification says that the retirement age of aided college teachers will be on the lines of Punjab Government employees. “Now here is the main issue because the retirement age of Punjab government employees is 58 years and as per this clause teachers’ retirement age automatically becomes 58 and we have been requesting the government to rectify it for the past several months but to no avail,” he said.
Professors of BBK DAV College for Women staged a dharna at the college gate from 11am to 1pm. Seema Jaitley, president, BBK DAV, urged that the government should roll back its decisions immediately.