As many as 700 lecturers engaged on academic arrangement and working on contract basis in different Colleges across Kashmir are without salary for the past nine months.
In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, while the department paid their employees- permanent as well as contractual , on time, the higher education department continues to deprive these lecturers of their wages, alleged the lecturers.
“Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, it is very difficult for us to sustain a quarantined life without salaries which further enlarges the crises and hamper our morale to combat the fight against this pandemic,” said one of the lecturer.
“Even in the pandemic, the department seems to be unmoved. It doesn’t show any goodwill gesture towards the deprived section of teachers by releasing our pending salaries,” he said.
The lecturer served the department on contract basis for more than 20 years to fill the gap which gets created due to the delay in the recruitment for filling the vacancies of assistant professors in colleges.
“We have always worked at par with the permanent faculty of the colleges, and have played an active role in building career of hundreds of students. We have given our best in all possible ways to benefit the students,” a college contractual said.
The academic arrangements accused the HED for doing step-motherly treatment with the contractual staff saying that the authorities were least bothered to address their genuine grievances.
“The department is hell-bent to ruin our future. We are highly qualified and most of the candidates working in the colleges have crossed the upper age limit. Some are at the verge of becoming educated unemployed youth,” another college contractual said.
The academic arrangements urged the Lieutenant Governor of J&K and advisor KK Sharma for their personal intervention into the matter.
“In the prevailing crises, everyone is in fear and is trying to find ways to help the government to contain spread of COVID 19. Some employees are dedicating their one-day salary towards the government for the cause. But we fear our families will die of starvation because we have nothing to feed them,” he said.
The academic arrangements were hired in February 2018 for a period of one year and were later allowed to continue till July 2019. “After that the candidates got status quo from High Court in our favour, we were allowed to continue services beyond July 2019. However, since then we didn’t get paid by the department,” one of the college contractual said.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor J&K, K K Sharma said the matter will be looked into. “Now that the new academic session 2020-21 has started, we will see how the issue can be resolved,” he said.