HYDERABAD: Retired teaching and non- teaching staff of universities in Telangana have not being paid pension and other retirement benefits like gratuity and commutation since January.
Though the Telangana State Federation of University Teachers Associations (TSFUTA) and Telangana University Non-teaching Employees Associations (TUNTEA) had made several representations to higher officials and requested them to release funds for pension, their concerns have not been addressed yet.
More than 150 Osmania University employees have retired since January this year but not one among them has received pension and other retirement benefits. The situation is worse in Kakatiya University with retirement benefits like gratuity and commutation being stopped for the past one and a half years. Even revised pensions have not being paid since 2006 to some teaching staff.
“More than non-release of pensions whats more hurting is the indifferent attitude of higher officials and government towards universities staff. In spite of repeated representations and requests they are not even giving appointment and finding time to hear to our problems,” said B Satyanarayana, president of Osmania University Teachers Association (OUTA).
Pensions and retirement benefits to the tune of Rs 16 core are pending in Osmania University and to the tune of Rs 4 crore in Kakatiya University. Even arrears according to UGC Revised Pay Scale (RPS) 2006 have to be paid by the state government. Arrears of UGC RSP 2006 are to the tune of Rs 28.21 crore in OU and to the tune of Rs 5 crore in KU.
“Non-release of funds for pensions and retirement benefits is just a tip of the larger problem plaguing universities in Telangana. Either in appointment of vice-chancellors or recruitment of teachers or improving facilities at universities, the government has been completely neglecting universities.
When asked about salaries and pensions, higher education officials are suggesting use of funds meant for university development for payment of salaries which is an unhealthy trend,” explained former Osmania University vice-chancellor B Ramakistaiah at a round table conference held at the university here on Wednesday.
Fed up with the government’s indifference to their appeals, teaching and non-teaching staff of various universities in Telangana held a round table to discuss their future course of action.
“We hoped the status of universities and staff would improve in the new state of Telangana. But there has been no improvement. For instance, there is no increase in the block grants. While the actual requirement for block grants in OU was Rs 331 crore, just Rs 170 crore was released in 2014-15, the same amount as in the previous year under united AP government. Moreover, there is a lot of contempt about university staff and universities in general and in the new government. We will make all efforts to explain our problems to the new government. If it still remains indifferent, we may have to launch an agitation,” warned B Manohar, general secretary of OUTA.
Former vice-chancellors Suleman Siddique and V Tirupati Rao, professor Kodandaram, MLA NVSS Prabhakar, MLC Chukka Ramaiah participated in the conference.