Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pune’s 'Sinhgad' staff on indefinite strike for salaries


PUNE: Hundreds of teachers, from across eight campuses spread through the city, gathered to voice their concern regarding the delay despite several reminders. Teaching and non-teaching staff of Sinhgad Institutes on strike at Sinhgad college in Vadgaon Budruk on Monday.

Teachers and staff members of the Sinhgad Institute on Monday began an indefinite strike against the management for pending salaries of the past 10 months. The teaching and non-teaching staff at the Sinhgad Institute took a non-cooperative stand against the institute's management after they failed to comply to their ultimatum to pay the salaries pending for the past 10 months.

Hundreds of teachers, from across eight campuses spread through the city, gathered on Monday to voice their concern regarding the delay despite several reminders. As per the ultimatum that was issued to the respective institution's principals on December 4, the last date to pay the dues to the faculty and staff members was December 14. On failing to adhere to the deadline, the management was sent another letter to comply on December 15. The letter had mentioned that in case the institute administration failed to address the situation, a non-cooperation strike will be ensued at all its campuses from December 18.

A faculty member from NBN Sinhgad School of Engineering, Ambegaon, on request of anonymity said, “We have not been receiving our salaries properly since October 2016 to September 17. Only 40 per cent has been given, with just the basic salary and AGP (Academic Grade Pay). For October and November 2017, our entire salaries are due and no communication has reached us despite the ultimatum.The strike, thus, will be on till all the payments are completed, and until then, no classes will be held.”

The professor of engineering, along with over 400 faculty and staff members from three different campuses had assembled at Sinhgad Technical Education Society, Vadgaon Budruk, in protest of the atrocity.

Sachin Shinde, the professor who was suspended from the Sinhgad Technical Education Society’s Kashibai Navale College of Engineering for taking a stand and sending a complaint letter to AICTE on September 26, 2017, told HT: “The management is continuously ignoring our calls and that is why we had to resort to an indefinite strike. Initially, when communicated, we were told that around 130 crores of money was stuck with students and social welfare department, but the staff who were collecting them, have seen the amount to be in lakhs, let alone a crore. Their claims are bogus.”

Talking about their demands, another professor of Sinhgad Institute of Technology and Science (SITS) said, “We are also demanding that the salaries need to be deposited with 18 per cent interest as compensation for the delay. Also, we have been struggling with another issue whereby the college-owned Anand Bank, where all our salaries were being deposited, has appeared faulty at several instances. We want the authorities to remedy the situation and deposit our salaries in nationalised banks instead of Anand Bank.”

“Being college-owned, the bank is being used to fulfil all dubious procedures. This includes the time when NAAC had come for an inspection and all the payments were shown to be completed. Once they departed, the amount was then withdrawn without any information. Teachers and staff got to know only when the cheques bounced. We do not trust it,” added Shinde.

“Providing excellence in education has always been our motto since the last 25 years. We want to reassure you that we have had discussions with the involved parties and are confident of resolving the matter at the earliest,” stated a public statement from Sinhgad Institutes.


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