The state government has asked the Centre to release funds to pay college and university teachers according to the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations even if its condition of raising the retirement age of the teachers to 65 is not met.
State higher education minister Bratya Basu on Thursday said his government was against raising the retirement age from 60 but did not rule out the step.
“The proposal is still under the government’s consideration. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is looking into the issue. But funds should not be blocked for this,” said Basu.
The Centre had warned the previous Left Front government that it would block the funds, amounting to Rs 814 crore, unless the retirement age was raised.
Basu recently wrote to Kapil Sibal, the Union minister for human resource development. “We have asked the Centre to release the funds without stressing the retirement age,” the state minister said.
“We are disappointed with the state government’s stand. The government had assured us that the retirement age would be raised to 65 years,” said Tarun Naskar, the general secretary of the All Bengal College and University Teachers’ Association.
“If the state government does not raise the retirement age, teachers won’t get the arrears under the pay commission,” said Naskar. An “acute shortage” of competent teachers in colleges and universities had prompted the UGC in 2009 to call for an increase in the retirement age and salaries.
“In 1996, the Centre had said enhanced salaries for college teachers would be released only after their retirement age was raised to 62. But the Centre later relaxed the condition,” said Basu.