india

Guest lecturers’ sense of relief over receiving salary dues short-lived

Question mark over October salary with no formal order from State govt.

The sense of relief for the over 600 guest lecturers of the 10 newly-converted government arts and science colleges in the central districts over receiving pending salary dues last month seems to be short-lived.

When they received their salary dues for three preceding months from the Bharathidasan University after a series of protests, the guest lecturers of the 10 colleges that were earlier constituent units of the university were given an assurance that the salary expenditure would henceforth be met by the Higher Education Department.

“We have not been paid the salary for October, and now find ourselves left high and dry as there is no word yet from the department on fulfilment of its promise to come out with an order in writing, specifying government takeover of the responsibility of paying the salaries,” a guest lecturer said.

Amid reservations expressed by its own teaching and non-teaching staff over utilising reserve funds for meeting salary expenditure of the guest lecturers, Bharathidasan University, despite its poor financial position, had coughed up the amount required for paying salary dues for three months.

“The university had been assured that the amount it had spent on settling pending salaries would be reimbursed, but the final word on a government order to this effect is still awaited," a senior professor said.

Earlier in the year, the university received a communication from the higher education department that the government would start paying the guest lecturers their monthly salaries with effect from the start of the 2021-22 academic year. However, on the insistence of the government thereafter, the university paid the salaries to the guest lecturers for July, August and September.

The premise of the university for not paying the guest lecturers their salary for the month of June was that the State had been following this policy for paying guest lecturers of government arts and science colleges. The guest lecturers are given re-appointment orders every year.

Guest lecturers in the newly converted 10 government arts and science colleges wondered why they were not yet being accorded parity with the existing guest lecturers of older government colleges.

The salary ought to have been ₹20,000 per month for the three months of unpaid dues, as per the revision made by the government for guest lecturers through an official order last year. “We are eligible to receive the revised amount as monthly pay, and hope the Government issues an order to that effect," another guest lecturer said.

The guest lecturers indicated that they had plans to approach Chancellor and Governor R.N. Ravi.

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