BENGALURU: A protest was held at Freedom Park, Bengaluru on February 8, 2017, by the ‘Karnataka State Government First-Grade Colleges Guest Lecturers’ Association’, to put forward their grievances and demands. Around 250 representatives from all over the state gathered here to bring to the notice of the Siddaramaiah Government, the hardships they are facing because of wage discrimination and unprofessional management policies.
The teachers marching for equal wages RAUNAQ
Professor Ajay Kumar, a guest lecturer from Raichur district said, ” Our salary is around Rupees 10,000/- per month, and we are finding it hard to make ends meet. We are demanding that it should be increased to Rupees 25,000/- under the University Grants Commission norms, as it has been done in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.”
Classes in government first-grade colleges are likely to be affected from February 8, as the guest lecturers have threatened to go on strike against the government’s decision to recruit more lecturers on a permanent basis. M. Shivmurthy, a protestor from Bellary District, speaking to The Beacon said, ” We have been asking the Government, for the last 10 years, not to recruit new teachers in the permanent category. We should be put in that segment immediately, as many of us have valuable teaching experience and Masters and even Doctorate degrees.”
Their other demands include three months maternity leave for women teachers, timely payment of salaries, fixed number of holidays and clearly defined job responsibilities as the bulk of the work is put on their shoulders. They strongly feel they are being overworked and underpaid.
AnthishRudrappa, another peaceful protestor, spoke of how their status in the college would go up if they were made permanent. ” He said, Sometimes, even a peon gets more respect and has more authority than us. We are working hard in spreading knowledge and educating young people. The time has come for the government to take a bold step and compensate us fairly.” Job security, wage discrimination, timely payment of salaries and better working conditions are what the teachers are demanding.