Punjab, Chandigarh college teachers on strike

Hundreds of teachers of private colleges across Punjab and Chandigarh went on a three-day strike Tuesday.

Chandigarh: Hundreds of teachers of private colleges across Punjab and Chandigarh went on a three-day strike Tuesday to protest the state government`s failure to implement their demands, especially a pension and gratuity scheme.

The teachers have been joined in by college managements and other non-teaching staff.
The strike call has been given by the Joint Action Committee of the Non-Government Colleges Management Federation, the Federation of Associations of College Principals, the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers` Union (PCCTU) and the Federation of Non-Teaching Employees of Punjab.

December examinations of nearly 170 private colleges, which thousands of students were to take, were the immediate casualty of the strike. The exams slated for Dec 13, 14 and 15 have been postponed by college authorities till the agitation continues.

Earlier this month, the teachers had gone on cease work and sit-in strike besides taking mass casual leave.

PCCTU president Jagwant Singh said the strike was called after the Punjab government`s failure to accept its demands, including that for implementing an already announced pension and gratuity scheme for hundreds of college teachers.

"The Punjab government has failed to implement its own notification of December 2001 on a pension and gratuity scheme for teaching staff. Punjab is the only state where college teachers do not have a pension and gratuity scheme," Jagwant Singh said.
The demands also include lifting of ban on recruitment, implementation of revised pay-scales on the basis of parity with those working in government colleges, he said.

The PCCTU has been observing a two-hour strike in all colleges since early November to press its demands.

Jagwant Singh said teachers would hold candlelight processions Tuesday followed by protests outside residences of Punjab ministers and legislators Wednesday and road blockade Thursday.


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