KOCHI: Usually, those working in aided or private educational institutions find themselves discriminated against when it comes to pay scale and other remunerations. However, senior lecturers of government colleges have found themselves left getting the short end of the stick now.
Though the teachers received a favourable ruling from the High Court, which directed the higher education department to increase the pay scale of the senior lecturers to make it on a par with the juniors, the department issued a GO granting payment of arrears of the increased salary only to those working in aided and private colleges, not government colleges, that too only for two years. Following this, the additional chief secretary has been summoned by the HC in a contempt of court complaint that will be heard on Tuesday.
As per the public litigation petition (PIL) filed at the HC, after the fifth and sixth UGC pay revisions, the senior lecturers ended up with lower pay than the juniors. According to V Santharam, IPS and the petitioner, the contempt of court case regarding the improper implementation of the court order will come up for hearing on Tuesday.
Explaining the issue, Santharam said, “The UGC’s fifth pay revision granted two additional increments to college teachers having PhD. However, the sixth pay revision granted three increments to the PhD holders. So, senior lecturers who got PhD in 2004 were given two increments as per the fifth pay revision, but junior lecturers who got their PhD in 2008 were given three additional increments with effect from 2010 as per the sixth pay revision order of 2009.”
The result was senior lecturers ended up drawing salaries lower than the juniors from 2010 to 2019, Santharam said. The senior lecturers in the aided and government colleges faced the same situation. “However, they approached the HC seeking its intervention in righting the wrong. The HC directed the department to take measures to increase the pay scale of the seniors to bring it on a par with the juniors,” he said.
The department filed an appeal against the single judge’s ruling. “This appeal was dismissed by the HC division bench, which also rejected a revision petition. The court, in its ruling, extended the benefits given to the aided college teachers to government college teachers as well,” said the petitioner.
However, the department decided to interpret the court’s ruling in its own way. Citing an old GO, the department issued an order stating that the arrears after the pay revision of senior lecturers will be limited to two years, said Santharam.