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Varsity strike hits classes

Classes and administrative work in all colleges under Kolhan University were affected on Tuesday as non-teaching employees went on an indefinite strike to express their solidarity with a statewide agitation, kicked off just three days before intermediate examinations.

Protesting under the banner of Jharkhand State University and College Employees’ Federation, the employees have decided to cease work till their 11-point charter of demands is honoured.

The agitators alleged that the state HRD department discriminated between teaching and non-teaching staff and did not revise the salary structure of the latter following recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, which came into effect from January 2006.

“We want benefits under the Fifth Pay Commission in the form of arrears and implementation of Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. Though the fifth pay panel’s suggestions were implemented in the mid-90s, we started receiving the benefits only from 2010. The state should clear our dues as soon as possible,” said Vishambhar Yadav, the zonal secretary of the federation.

Meanwhile, classes remained suspended at many colleges as third and fourth grade employees did not open rooms. The fee counter and, most importantly, the library also remained shut. Administrative work did not progress either.

Non-teaching employees at six cradles — Jamshedpur Women’s College, Jamshedpur Co-operative College, Jamshedpur Worker’s College, LBSM College, ABM College and Graduate School College for Women — staged a sit-in on respective campuses.

The federation had organised a similar strike in 2009 and 2010 to push their same demands.

“In 2010, we were told that our demands will be fulfilled soon. So, we withdrew our strike. But, everything was in vain. Teachers receive their salaries under the sixth pay panel, while we grapple with our very basic needs,” said Naseeruddin, a non-teaching staff at Jamshedpur Women’s College.