The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has announced a three-day-long strike starting from September 16, 2020 (Wednesday) to protest against the non-release of funds to 12 government-funded colleges associated with the varsity. The union has requested the teachers of all the colleges of the University of Delhi to join the strike. During this protest, teachers of DU will also boycott online classes.
DUTA’s Vice President Alok Ranjan Pandey calls the waiting period of five months “so long”. He also demanded the government to understand the problem of teachers and resolve it to spare the employees and institutions. According to the Hindu, “grants have been released to six colleges recently, employees at the rest of these colleges have allegedly not been paid salaries for nearly five months.”
Eight teachers of the DUTA have filed a plea in the Delhi High Court and demanded the release of funds for the payment of salaries to 1500 employees of 12 colleges funded by the Delhi Government. Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh have filed a petition mentioning the mental sufferings of the aggrieved staff members. The court will hear the petition on September 17, 2020.
“The impugned actions are bad in law as much as the same is violative of the right to life as well as the right to livelihood as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the plea read.
DUTA has been demanding the release of funds since the past five months after the Kejriwal-led government delivered grants for these colleges. This grant was called “inadequate” by DUTA. In late April, the DUTA observed a day-long hunger strike from home amid the pandemic. Teachers took social media platforms, including Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and online platforms like Zoom, etc. to show their anguish against the government.
In May 2020, the DUTA wrote a letter to the CM Arvind Kejriwal over the non-payment of salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the 12 colleges. The letter read, “Thousands of teaching and non-teaching employees and their families of 12 Delhi government-funded colleges are hit with the double whammy – COVID-19 pandemic and the non-payment of salary from March. Despite our repeated requests and a day-long hunger strike over the issue of non-release of required funds by the Delhi government, there is no positive development regarding this.”
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