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Content for now, teachers call off strike

Friday, October 12, 2018
By Tanishka Sodhi

Education Minister agrees to fill most of the 9,500 vacant teaching posts, to implement 7th Pay Commission soon

After being on strike for 15 days teachers from across Maharashtra have called off their strike on Wednesday and resumed teaching in their respective colleges since yesterday.

The strike has been called off after negotiations between representatives from the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (MFUCTO), who have been spearheading the strike on behalf of the teachers, and a government committee, along with Education Minister Vinod Tawde.

Tawde has agreed, in writing, to a number of demands of the teachers, including the filling up of 60 per cent of the vacant teachers post and starting the process for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission immediately. 40 per cent of the teachers on hourly basis will also be remunerated, and the proposal for releasing the 71 days salary of the teachers, on hold since 2013, will be sent soon. The vacancy for the non-teaching staff has also been promised to be filled soon. The teaching staff of the self-finance courses will also be remunerated.

According to government authorities, there are 9,500 vacant teaching posts- however, according to sources, there are more than 30,000 posts vacant that need to be filled.

A large number of the teachers on strike were contractual teachers, who face a number of problems that vary from low pay, to doing the work expected of the permanent faculty, but are deprived of the benefits that the permanent faculty receive. These teachers, according to the terms agreed by the government officials, will also receive more pay from now onwards, which will be implemented soon.

President of Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (MFUCTO), Tapati Mukhopadhay, has been fighting for the rights and demands of teachers since years. Talking to the Afternoon D&C, she says, "We are happy with the decision that has been taken. The negotiation that has been worked on by our representatives and the government officials is a good package. We are counting on the officials to keep up to their word. The teachers have resumed taking lectures since yesterday."

Some of the other demands, like the implementation of the old pension pay has not been agreed to by the government officials. The teachers are content for now, but want the new terms to be specified completely, in writing.

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