Amritsar, February 6
The district unit of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) today again took potshots at the state government over the slashing of the salary grant for teachers.
PCCTU district president and state general secretary Gurdas Sekhon today called for dharna protests as college teachers from across various city colleges, including DAV College, BBKDAV College and others, joined them. A massive two-hour dharna was staged by the college teachers against the decision of the Punjab Government to lower the retirement age from 60 years to 58 years for the teachers working in non-government private-aided colleges of Punjab under grant-in-aid scheme. This strike was also supported by the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (PFUCTO), management associations and the Principals association.
A revision in the pay scale of university and college teachers in Punjab was to be implemented in October 2022 after the delay of more than five years, Sekhon said. He added, “Clause 13 (ii) of the pay revision notification caused a lot of confusion and concern as it is being interpreted by the Audit Department that the retirement age of university and aided college teachers has been reduced to 58 years.” He noted that no government in the country since independence has reduced the retirement age or salary grant of any category of employee. “The Central Government retires its employees at 60 years. But, it appears that Punjab is moving in the other direction,” he rued.
PFUCTO district president Yadav said, “In higher education, due to various reasons, such as an increase in the number of years for attaining the required qualifications to teach in higher education, the UGC had first increased the retirement age to 62 years, and later raised it to 65 years but there is no justification for moving in the opposite direction and reducing it to 58 years. This move of the Punjab government has forced the college managements to relieve teachers at the age of 58 years and now it is also leading to unnecessary litigation in the courts causing trouble to all.”
Sekhon has also demanded that teachers of non-aided colleges be treated the same way as the teachers of government. He stressed that they are entitled to retirement benefits, such as pension.