Leaflet, 26.8.98

Defeat NDTF’s disruption. Keep the strike going.

In the face of overwhelming response from Staff Associations for continuance of the strike, the NDTF tried to use the “Minutes of the meeting between Minister for Human Resource Development and Representatives of AIFUCTO, FEDCUTA and DUTA held on 16.8.98”, procured through request by “Shri Oberoi”, as a new development requiring withdrawal of strike action in yesterday’s meeting of the DUTA Executive. The NDTF not only delayed the start of the meeting by over two hours, it deliberately dragged the meeting beyond 11.30 pm with a view to tire out and harass members of the Executive some of whom had pressing responsibilities at home. It shows the desperation of the BJP Government that its agents here should be arguing for withdrawal of strike on the basis of the minutes of negotiations held ten days ago. Such a naked and shameful attempt to disrupt the teachers’ struggle is not directed at Delhi University alone. Both the FEDCUTA and the AIFUCTO, which were party to the same 16 August meeting with the HRD Minister, have since decided to intensify the agitation. If the NDTF is able to break the strike here, it would have a significant demoralising effect on teachers elsewhere. Such sordid dramas will be staged everyday from now on.

Having failed to either open a fresh round of negotiations or obtain any commitment from Mr Joshi on the understanding reached with the UGC on 19 August, the NDTF chose to base its withdrawal argument on these “minutes”. It is ironical that these minutes in fact repudiate the claims made by the NDTF till now as to what had transpired in the 16 August meeting :

  1. No upgradation of scales
  2. The much talked about “higher fixation” formula for readers is meant for only those “in certain categories of colleges”. Further, there is no such formula for those in Readers grade.
  3. No third promotion for Lecturers in Readers’ grade.
  4. Promotion for Readers to Professorship in colleges remains vague and uncertain.
  5. In fact, in the absence of proper modalities for promotion from one grade to other, not even one promotion can be taken as granted.

Our major demands relating to UGC scales, three assured promotions up to Professorship and autonomy from governmental impositions in framing service conditions are yet to be resolved. We should stand resolutely for our just demands alongside lakhs of teachers countrywide and refuse to be used by the BJP Government or its agents here as a weapon to demoralise other teachers and break the ongoing struggle.

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