Leaflet, 8.2.98

Why the Delay in Pay Revision? The Need of the Hour is United and Intensified Struggle.

Teachers today are faced with a crisis of confidence. It is an extremely disheartening fact that whereas the salaries of most commensurate employees have been upgraded and revised after the Vth Pay Commission recommendations, teachers in colleges and universities remain neglected.

Unfortunately, the DUTA leadership, since September 1997, has dissipated the all-India movement that had earlier been generated. It also seems to have become a source of confusion as to the factual state of affairs (the latest example being reports, subsequently denied by the HRD Secretary, that the Empowered Committee of Secretaries had rejected the UGC’s recommendations). Despite the best efforts of the DTF to generate a clear-headed movement, the DUTA leadership seems disinclined to muster the energy and initiative needed for the task. Proposals made by DTF members for an ongoing agitational programme (such as daily court arrests) with participation of colleges and departments by rotation have not found favour with the leadership. Instead, the DUTA President issues a threat of examination boycott, clearly an empty threat when we are demanding action from the present Government whose term ends before the examinations start.

Be that as it may, time is of the essence. The mass of teachers needs now to seize the initiative. The DTF calls upon all staff associations to meet urgently, both to assess what has or has not happened hitherto and to formulate concrete proposals for consideration by the DUTA Extended Executive (13 February). We also appeal to teachers to attend the General Body Meeting on 20 February in large numbers. Needless to say, every action step that is suggested will require to be thoughtfully worked out, approved and then implemented as a mass upsurge.

Simultaneously, the DTF calls upon the DUTA leadership to reforge the all-India movement which had found sterling expression in the All-India Teachers’ Convention of 25 July 1997. Regular, everyday contact must be reestablished forthwith with teachers’ organisations across the country and action steps coordinated with them if we are to make any real breakthrough. The DTF proposes that the DUTA Extended Executive consider rigorously ways in which to rebuild a nation-wide momentum. Steps must be taken to cement unity with the FEDCUTA and other organisations, starting with those who had responded to the call for the All-India Teachers’ Convention. It is obvious that despite the clarification issued by the HRD Secretary, teachers have to intensify the fight. The interests of higher education and the future of the teaching profession demand that this fight be fought and won.

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