Government college teachers across Manipur have launched a series of protests starting from Tuesday, September 24, against the failure of the state government to implement the 7th University Grants Commission (UGC) Pay and Regulations 2018. They will be on mass casual leave on September 24 and 25, and organise sit-in demonstrations on September 26. The protests have been called under the banner of the Federation of Government College Teachers’ Association (FEGOCTA).
The Association had on September 9 warned the state government that they will launch state-wide protests if the 7th UGC Pay and Regulations were not implemented by September 23. Speaking to media, FEGOCTA General Secretary Dr N Somorendro had said that the college teachers have no intention to vitiate academic atmosphere by going on strike, unless the government outright refused to meet their demands.
Talking to NewsClick, Dr Somorendro said, “We are aware that the students’ community will face the brunt of the agitation by the teachers. We had no intention of doing anything that affects our students, but we are no longer able to bear the pain the state government is causing us. This is a sheer violation of our rights.” FEGOCTA has said that they will resort to cease work starting from October 3, if the government continues to remain indifferent to their plight.
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The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) had issued an order on November 2, 2018, to chief secretaries of all the state asking that the pay of the teachers of universities and colleges be revised as per the 7th pay structure. The ministry had also informed that the central government will make 50% reimbursement to the state government towards arrear payment from January 1, 2016, to March 3, 2019. Even though almost a year has passed since the order was issued, the Manipur state government has failed to implement it.
FEGOCTA President Dr N Pishak told NewsClick that the 6th Pay was implemented for college teachers 13 months after it was implemented for other state government employees. Also, the college teachers did not receive the special compensatory allowance or the travel allowance, while the other employees of state government did. He said, “It is highly questionable as to why the state government denied special compensatory allowance and travel allowance to college teachers while it was able to pay the two allowances to its over 60,000 employees. As repeated appeals to pay the two allowances had fallen on deaf ears, the matter would be taken to court.”
Dr Somorendro said, “UGC Pay and Regulations for college and university teachers are revised every ten years after central pay revision. Manipur was the last state in India to implement the 6th UGC pay for the college teachers, and also the only state that refused to seek 80% reimbursement from January 1, 2006, to March 31, 2010.” He added, “It is clear that the state government does not care about us, and the students have to bear the brunt of this along with us.”
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