The unprecedented pressure of the all-India teachers’ movement, culminating in the historic demonstration and court arrest by over 30,000 teachers on 4 September, the eve of Teachers’ Day, has brought the HRD Minister down from his high horse and compelled him to make significant concessions.
While one of our major demands, namely the raising of the floor level of all grades, has not been realised, through the rounds of negotiations held on 16.8.98 with the Ministry, on 19.8.98 with the UGC and on 3, 4 & 5 September with the Ministry, the Government has finally had to concede the following:
- a)A professional development incentive in the form of cash allowance or assistance in kind or both for lecturers registered for M.Phil/Ph.D.
- b)The provision for promotion to Professorship after 8 years for Readers with Ph.D.
- c)The acceptance in principle of a third promotion facility for Selection Grade Lecturers. A scheme in this respect was worked out in the discussions held between the UGC, the AIFUCTO and the FEDCUTA on 19.8.98 as per which Selection Grade Lecturers could be placed in the grade Rs. 16,400 – Rs. 20,900. The Government has agreed to clear the scheme within four weeks of receiving the the proposal for the scheme as finally formulated by the UGC.
- d)The provision for fixation at Rs.14,940 for all teachers who were in position as Selection Grade Lecturers/Readers on 1.1.96 as and when they complete 5 years in the grade.
- e)The principle of adjusting total length of service along with service in the immediate feeder grade for promotion.
- f)Implementation of the revised pay scales w.e.f. 1.1.96.
Though these gains do not fulfil all the provisions of the UGC recommendations of December 1997, they must function as footholds in our struggle to ensure the eventual implementation of these recommendations.
The DTF hopes that the UGC will quickly translate the principles accepted by the Government into modalities that reflect its vision of a better future for the teaching profession and ensure their speedy implementation.
The DTF salutes teachers evrywhere for their resolve and countrywide unity in the face of an utterly irrational Government determined to deny teachers their due. Given the Government’s record, the DTF calls upon teachers to be vigilant to ensure that it does not renege on its commitments.
As per the decision of the DUTA General Body Meeting, the strike continues till 8 September. The DUTA Extended Executive will meet on 7 September, and the General Body wiil meet on 8 September to review the present situation.