Delhi University Teachers Strike Against Non-payment Of Salaries
The teachers alleged that Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) office bearers' attempts to get an appointment to meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the matter was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday.
Delhi University teachers on Wednesday held a strike to protest against the alleged non-payment of salaries to employees of 12 varsity colleges fully funded by the city government for the last five months. It was the first day of the three-day strike called by the Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA). "The obdurate position taken by the government, offering flimsy excuses for not releasing grants, has forced teachers to strike work for three days (from September 16 to September 18) as they are at the end of their tether," the DUTA said.
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"Things have now come to such a pass that employees without salaries or pensions are unwilling to tolerate this assault on their livelihood and have taken legal recourse to thwart the attack on their basic right to livelihood," it said. The teachers alleged that DUTA office bearers' attempts to get an appointment to meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the matter was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday.
"This refusal to meet teachers' representatives to try to find a resolution reveals the callous and irresponsible attitude of the government that he heads towards the crisis faced by the employees of these colleges," the teachers said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in a press conference, said there is huge misappropriation found in audit of Delhi University colleges and added that the government stands together with the teachers of DU.
The colleges have enough funds in their FD and other existing accounts yet the administration is not paying salaries to its staff, Mr Sisodia, who also holds the Education portfolio, said.
"The Delhi government has provided sufficient funds to the colleges for their projected salary needs under the pattern of assistance," Mr Sisodia said. The DUTA called Sisodia's statement "shocking" and said the government has been repeating a series of allegations with respect to the financial and administrative management of these colleges.
"It is extremely unfortunate that teachers are caught in the crossfire of these allegations, which is neither of their making, nor their responsible in any way. The DUTA believes that at the end of the day the employees cannot be penalised and must be paid their dues immediately," the Association said.
Even in the six colleges that have recently received grants after the DUTA observed Black Teacher's Day on September 5, the institutions have been asked to submit to a fresh audit, it alleged.
"It is pertinent to note that these institutions have already submitted to three different audits namely, Internal Audit (conducted by Auditors from the approved panel of DU), ELFA Audit (conducted by Delhi government) and AGCR (conducted by CAG). It is evident that the Delhi Government is attempting to divert attention with these repeated allegations of maladministration in these colleges," it said.
On September 4, the Delhi government had released data stating that it had released Rs 1.95 crore to Maharaja Agrasen College, Rs 2.70 crore to Acharya Narendra Dev College, Rs 1.49 crore to Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences, Rs 1.80 crore to Bhaskaracharya College, Rs 1.64 crore to Shaheed Rajguru College and Rs 2.48 crore to BR Ambedkar College.
The Delhi University and the AAP dispensation have been locked in a tussle over the formation of governing bodies in 28 colleges fully or partially funded by the government. In a statement released last month, the varsity had said that the governing bodies of the 12 colleges have been formed in accordance with the DU rules.