September 28, 2020

LNMU teachers sore over denial of arrears

MADHUBANI: Fresh resentment prevails among teachers — retired and working alike — as well as non-teaching employees of Lalit Narain Mithila University over the university spending lavishly on events like the recently organised convocation while citing financial stringency as the reason for its failure to pay their dues.

The immediate cause of anger among teachers is the non-implementation of university’s own notification dated February 4, 2017. The notification stipulates stoppage of adjustment of 131 days of absence during the strike of university and college teachers in the year 2000 from the earned leave (EL) of retiring teachers.

Teachers are currently entitled for a maximum of 300 days of EL, depending upon the length of service. After deduction of 131 days, the accumulated EL of 300 days gets reduced to 169 days. This, in monetary terms, translates to a loss of pay for four months and 11 days worth around Rs 7 lakh.

Worse, even the curtailed amount is not being paid to the retired teachers reportedly since 2014 as the financial adviser is reportedly not approving the EL calculations.

The teachers had gone on strike for 131 days to press for their demands, including protection of hard-earned promotions which were undone by the Lalu Prasad government. Though the strike ended without any outcome, subsequent parleys resulted in an order being issued by the government to universities to pay the salary of teachers after they compensated the teaching loss for the strike period, which effectively was of 88 days.

The government even released salary grants of that period to universities. Sources said LNMU also received Rs 32.9 crore vide Human Resource Development memo — 2/g-1-08/06 HE, Patna — dated March 27, 2007. Subsequently, teachers were paid the salary for the strike period after they compensated the teaching loss by engaging classes in vacations in 2008.

However, the university suddenly started deducting the amount while paying arrears of teachers and retirement benefits of retiring teachers. The then LNMU authorities also started adjusting the 131 days of absence during the strike period from the EL of retiring teachers. The practice is still continuing.

Lalit Narain Mithila University Teachers’ Association president Chandra Mohan Jha alleged on Tuesday the university teachers were being given three separate punishments for one single offence. One, they are being denied their salary for strike period; two, their EL is being cut and three, they are being made to suffer more as their salary at the time of strike was much less than what is actually being deducted by way of EL adjustment at the time of retirement.

He said the university authorities, by not implementing their own notification which was duly approved by the Syndicate and Senate, were violating not only the statutes but also the human rights of teachers.

Courtesy: TNN

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