Millennium Post

From salary to leave, ad-hoc teachers say won't end strike till all demands are met

From salary to leave, ad-hoc teachers say wont end strike till all demands are met

New Delhi: "They have forced educated teachers like us to come and protest on the street" said an ad-hoc teacher, who sat outside Delhi University (DU) Vice-Chancellor's (VC) office, while protesting against the August 28 circular, which the teachers see as an attempt to hire them as guest teachers instead.

Ad-hoc teachers fill almost 40 percent of the teaching task force, which means that the the decision would have affected around 4500 teachers.

Speaking to Millennium Post, Hansraj Mehta professor at DU said that even as some of their demands have met, the August 28 circular has not been fully absorbed, which is the demand of the protesting teachers. Explaining the issue in detail, Dr. Varun Kumar, who has been an ad-hoc teacher in the subject of Geography for nine years said, "We ad-hoc teachers are given a four-month contract and after that, we are given a letter saying we are no more part of this."

Why did this happen?

Dr Kumar said that there is a bigger picture behind the whole issue. He said that this is a way of breaking the education system. "They want to privatise the education system," he said.

However, in a meeting on Thursday between senior UGC and ministry officials with the VC, it was decided that the circular shall be amended to "The colleges/institutes shall fill up the permanent vacancies before the start of the next academic session without fail. During the interim period, if vacancies which have to be filled for maintaining smooth academic functioning of the colleges/institutions, adhoc/temporary/contract guest faculty can be appointed." What this effectively does is put a cap of July 2020 to fill all permanent posts. It also means all ad hoc teachers who had served during the current academic year can continue until then.

Other issues

Teachers have claimed that by making them a guest faculty, their salary will come down drastically. "This decision is going to affect all ad-hoc teachers, irrespective of how many years they have been working for. Lectures will be increased, and our pay will be highly reduced. Our pay will be reduced to 50 percent," said an ad-hoc teacher Supriya.

She added that if an ad-hoc teacher gives 16 lectures per week, their salary comes down to Rs. 90,000. "However, now all ad-hoc teacher's salaries will be reduced to Rs 50,000," she added. The teachers have also not been paid their salary for the month of November. "Unlike a permanent teacher, we don't have leaves," said Supriya, an ad-hoc teacher. The Delhi University teachers' association (DUTA), meanwhile, has said the strike and current boycott of duties for end-semester exams will continue.

Nikita Jain

Nikita Jain

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