Pune: A total academic closure was witnessed at the Kashibai Navale Medical College on Friday with the faculty going on a day long strike against non payment of salaries for the past five months. However, the clerical staff continued with their work and were seen present in the college office, going about their routine tasks. The Management however, has reassured the striking teachers that their salaries would be cleared by the end of April. The reason that the management has given for the disruption of payments is the freezing of accounts by the IT department.
In a conversation with the Mirror, on the day of the strike, M N Navale, Founder-President, Sinhgad Institute, said, “The IT department froze our accounts, and we have recently got an order from the high court, which will allow us to access those accounts again. As soon as it happens, the payment process will begin
The strike however, is an expression of the faculty’s growing determination to have matters settled once and for all. A doctor on condition of anonymity told Pune Mirror, “We had a meeting among ourselves and decided to take charge of the situation, instead of endlessly suffering. We were hoping that the management would take action, considering they would not want the students to suffer. While initially it was going to be an indefinite strike, the management has now promised to clear all our dues by the end of April. So, we will resume teaching from Saturday. ”
The college management is believed to have handed over a one month pay check to the lower staff on Friday, barring the 450 doctors of the college hospital. A source revealed that vendors supplying material to the college have also called it a day and stopped supplying material, till they receive their full payments.
M N Navale, who visited the campus and held a meeting with the doctors, assured them that payment would be cleared by the end of April. “Navale met us and has assured to clear all dues this month. They have given us a break-up of how they are going to manage the funds. Hopefully, everyone should be paid. If his promises are not met, then we will come up with another plan of action,”said a doctor.
The students of the college expressed concern about their academic course getting disrupted due to the strike. “The portion is quite huge and if the syllabus is not completed in time, there will be extra classes, which will result in us getting lesser time for preparatory leave before exams. We are the ones going to suffer in the end,” said the worried student.
Another student while taking an understanding stance towards the teacher’s protest said that the tussle would affect their grades in the long run.
The teachers had earlier also called a strike on 20th and 30th of March . They had on both occasions called off the protest, when the management had appealed to them to return to work .However, when they later saw their discussions not taking on any direction, the Friday protest was planned.