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UP: AMU Non-Teaching Staff Halt Stir After University Assurance to Release Salary, Regularisation of Service

The university functionaries conveyed that the university is making all efforts to get cadre recruitment rules (CRR) approved at the earliest, and selection committees shall be held for the position for which permission is granted.
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Lucknow: The call of strike given by non-teaching staff of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for demands of non-payment of their wages and regularisation of their service has been postponed. The teaching fraternity at the varsity had shown solidarity with the protest call. However, in a meeting called by the university administration where the pro vice-chancellor, registrar and finance officer met on Sunday with all the affected staff, the decision of postponement was taken. 

The university administration gave a written assurance to recommend the departmental promotion committee (DPC)/general selection committee (GSC) against vacant non-teaching positions to mitigate the problems of temporary/adhoc employees. The university functionaries conveyed that the university is making all efforts to get cadre recruitment rules (CRR) approved at the earliest and selection committees shall be held for the position for which permission is granted.   

The university administration has also assured to release two months’ salary by January 30.

"We were called by the university administration on Sunday who gave a written assurance for all three key demands. In view of this, we have deferred the strike," Shamim Akhtar, associate professor at Centre of Continuing and Adult Education and Extension and general secretary of AMU Employees Union told NewsClick, adding that the university has assured to release the pending salary for December and January last week of this month.

About 1,559 non-teaching staff of AMU had been demanding ( to release their two months pending salary and renewal of extension which ended on December 31, 2022 despite several approaches. 

On December 30, the non-teaching staff had gone on a strike which hamstrung administrative work of the university. But after Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor intervened and assured them that their contracts would be renewed and they would soon receive extension letters in a day or two, the non-teaching employees' unions had called off their protest. 

Meanwhile, when demands were not met even after two weeks passed, the union had decided to renew their strike from January 16 if the university did not consider their demands. However, after the mutual agreement between union office bearers and university administration it was decided to postpone the strike. 

"In the meeting, we emphasised only on three things which is to release our two months pending salary; those working for more than 15 years must regularise after screening and daily wagers should be given a permanent status under multi-tasking staff(MTS). Example if someone's duty is just to ring the bell, then other work should also be taken from him," Shamim who was in the meeting told NewsClick. 

Rehan Ahamad, former secretary of AMU Technical Staff Association who was also in the meeting, told NewsClick that they postponed the strike after written assurance by the university administration. "In the meeting which was held at pro vice-chancellor office on January 10 in the presence of registrar, finance officer and union leaders, we demanded same salary and status as it was in November in the future; screening committee, departmental promotion committee and general selection committee should held at earliest to regularise all 1,559 non-teaching staff and all causal workers/ daily wagers should be given temporary worker status and salary should be given as per multi-tasking employees are getting not on daily basis." he said.

However, the union leader was surprised when they found the third demand which was not included in the minutes of the meeting. "We were called upon on Saturday to sign a letter but the third demand which was about giving temporary status to daily wagers was not in minutes and was given an excuse by the administration that the letter of UGC is missing. We provided the letter and then it was included and we signed on the letter."

When asked about the letter, Rehan said, "In 2008, the UGC ordered to give a temporary status to the casual workers and as post of multi-tasking employees and the same salary to daily wagers and also sent a letter in this regard to the university administration. In 2013, the university also approved the order but it was never implemented in ten years. Reason, these letters are missing. However, we provided both UGC letter and copy university approval and now it was also included in the meeting."

Noted historian Irfan Habib also supported the non-teaching staff and accused the university administrator of delaying salary. He has said that when the auditor general has no objection in paying salaries to these employees, then why are the finance officers of the university stuck in a quandary. 

"When these non-teaching employees were given their November salaries, then why not paid for December and January despite the service extension of these employees which was extended by the Vice-Chancellor for six months," he said during a meeting with employees. He further added, "the university management cannot say that legally and morally they are not bound to pay salaries. If the salary was not to be given, then why did the university take work from them for a month? 

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