Teachers at all public sector universities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) boycotted classes on Friday to protest the nonpayment of salaries. The government announced 15 per cent salary raise for all government employees in the budget. However, universities teachers in K-P have still not received the raise, almost three months after the budget announcement, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association president told The Express Tribune. The strike has brought educational activities to a grinding halt all over the province, he added. On Friday, K-P Universities’ Employees Federation, University of Peshawar (UoP), Peshawar University Teachers Association and associations of grade three and five employees protested over the non-payment of the announced salary raise.
“The government has ensured payment of the announced amount to the other government employees, while only university teachers and other employees remain deprived of it,” a teacher told The Express Tribune. He believed that the concerned authorities should ensure payment of the announced increase to university employees immediately, as the government has been dragging its feet over the issue for many months. A UoP press release estimated that Rs2 billion is needed to pay for the wage raises and other allowances at the 17 public universities in K-P.
Public sector universities had also asked the K-P governor, who is chancellor of all public universities in the province, to steer them out of the financial crisis. In a statement, they said that vice-chancellors of all public sector universities had declared after a meeting last month that 50 per cent salary raises from last year and 15 per cent for the current year had not been included in their wages, and the HEC had responded by flatly stating that it had no funds available to provide assistance to the universities. Teachers and other unions will hold a protest over the nonpayment of salary raises at the K-P Agriculture University on Saturday. The leaders of teaching staff associations are also scheduled to meet the K-P governor the same day.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2011.