37 public university teachers begin work abstention for indefinite period

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Dhaka, Jan 11: Teachers of 37 public universities on Monday started its indefinite period work abstention halting the activities including classes and exams across the country.

Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers’ Association (FBUTA) started their indefinite work abstention from Monday morning demanding implementation of the promises under 8th National Pay Scale and removing salary discrimination.

President of FBUTA Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed said, “No classes or examinations are taking place in any public university anywhere in the country.”

He said the teachers are also not carrying out any administrative duties assigned to them.

Reports from Jahangirnagar University and Sylhet’s SUST indicated that classes and examinations were not taking place there.

“The bureaucrats have driven us to this agitation. For nine months, they have behaved like upper caste and declined to give us what we deserve,” Fariduddin said.

The teachers have been upset with the ‘discrepancies’ in the Eighth National Pay Scale.

The public university teachers have been continued a movement for last eight months to press home four demands that included declining status of teachers in pay scale and separate scale; and maintaining selection grade and time.

They started their movement about nine months ago when the draft of the new pay scale was proposed. They argue that it had lowered their status, and that the time-scale and selection grade had been abolished to do that.

The Cabinet then approved the pay scale in September last year and it was gazetted in December last year.

Amid waves of widening protests, the government had formed a committee, headed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, to look into the demands of the teachers.

After sitting with the teachers on December 6 last year, Muhith had promised to fulfill three of their demands.

But the teachers alleged that the pay scale’s gazette, published 10 days after the meeting, did not reflect his pledge in any way.

With no end to the deadlock in sight, the FBUTA on January 2 announced that they would go on the indefinite strike from January 11 if their demands went unheeded.

The teachers at all the public universities also wore black badges on January 3 and observed a two-hour strike on January 7.

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