Covid-19: Mumbai unaided college teachers are awaiting their salary

MUMBAI: Teachers employed by unaided colleges are awaiting their salary, some have been doing so for months together. The situation is no different for visiting and part time faculty who are also clueless about their requirement in the ensuing academic year.

Faculty payment has stopped and the lockdown has only worsened matters for them. The Mumbai University and College Teachers Association (MUCTA) which received pleas from several professors has urged universities and the state governments to press colleges to release faculty emolument. The Mumbai University sent circulars to all affiliated colleges asking them to clear salary dues. Soon, the joint director of education (Konkan region) also followed suit.

“Faculty in unaided colleges and those employed by institutes running unaided courses are awaiting their salaries for months. Engineering colleges are the largest defaulters. In some cases, faculty were told that they would be paid the entire annual salary only at the end of the year (March) but that too has not come in,” said Vaibhav Narawde, MUCTA president.

The state government has called for an online video conference meet of all the vice
chancellors of public universities on Tuesday. Heads are likely to discuss the strategy
for holding the summer examinations as also how to start partially opening up the
lockdown. “Moreover, the state is going to discuss the roll out of the academic year and if the lockdown period ought to be considered vacation or not,” said a source.
Three universities, Mumbai, Pune and Sholapur, have declared the lockdown as
vacation. But lecturers of colleges have asked to work from home, and several
faculty organisations have opposed the universities decision to declare the
lockdown as vacation.

Faculty fears come true as thousands of teachers hired to teach unaided courses are waiting for their remuneration even as April has set in. The Covid-19 has not only impacted the academic calendar but also affected teacher pay. In case of unaided colleges, a faculty added, remuneration is very low and some colleges are “exploiting” teachers.

“We have requested the college management to pay our salary and the conveyance allowance that is due to us. As visiting faculty, we don’t even have access to any gratuity or other service benefits,” said a faculty who teaches BAF at a suburban college. Several faculty, he added, have complained to the education authorities in the state but no action has been taken on the defaulters.

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