Pvt college staff without pay for months

Written by Ardhra Nair | Updated: Mar 26 2013, 18:02pm hrs
Pvt college
Teaching and non-teaching staff from several private institutes have not been getting their salaries for the past few months.

Meanwhile, the institutes claim they are yet to get their dues from the Social Welfare Department (SWD). They claim that they are running on losses, with dues of some institutes going up to Rs 100 crore.

A professor from one of the Sinhagad institutes said, We have not been getting our pay since November. Even one month without pay is difficult. It has been four months now, and we are yet to receive any money. Recently, we got a proposition from the college, asking us to apply for a personal loan against our pending salary with a maximum limit of Rs 5 lakh on each of us. The college has said it will pay the EMI. But we are worried.

Admitting that they have been unable to pay the salaries since November, the Sinhagad education society said they have made alternative arrangement for their staff.

Yes, we have asked the teachers to take a personal loan from Central Bank of India. Our education society has entered an agreement with the bank where we will pay the interest. Almost 90 per cent staff have already availed this facility and only 10 per cent remain. They too will get their salaries within four to five days, said MN Navale, founder-president, Sinhgad Technical Education Society.

However, the teachers are worried that taking the personal loan will mean being tied to the institution for the next three years. The college has not yet shown any written agreement with the bank. We have just been told that they will give the EMI on our loans, but what if they dont asks a professor from Sinhagad institute. Another thing is what about the three years re-payment period of the loan document. What if we want to leave the institute Will the college still pay back our loans

Responding to such a query, Navale said, We will pay the EMI on pending salaries even if the teacher wishes to leave the institute. We have been facing delay in payment from SWD for the past three to four years. Currently, an amount of Rs 1,12.5 crore is pending with the SWD. Last year, we filed a writ petition in court regarding this. It was repeated this year too.

Executive director MIT group of institutes Rahul Karad said, Fee is the main source of income of any institute. Only when we get full fee will we able to pay our staff. Reserved category students do not pay any fee, as the government is supposed to reimburse their fee. But if the reimbursement of scholarships for reserved category students do not come on time, the institute is left to fend for itself. MIT group of institutes have over 45 crore fund pending with the SWD which has made paying the staff literally a struggle.

But this is not the first time SWD has failed to provide funds on time. The worst-affected are the smaller private institutions, who have no other way of getting funds. For the past two years, we are facing the same problem. We too had entered an agreement with the Bank of India in the past, but this time even that arrangement could not be worked out. We have not been able to pay the teachers since February. The department is saying that the funds will be available only in July. An amount of Rs 4.5 crore is pending with the department, said RP Joshi, director of PVG college of Engineering and Technology.

When contacted, assistant commissioner of social welfare department MM Atram said, I look after the reimbursement of fee, belonging to SC and ST, and as far as that is concerned, 83.57 per cent of the fee has been reimbursed to colleges. Out of the budgetary allocation of 875.15 crore, 716.30 crore has been released. The problem lies with the OBC fee reimbursement.

When contacted, joint director of SWD Sadanand Patil, who looks after the VJNT and OBC category, said, We have disbursed the amount received by us from the budget to district officer Ravindra Patil Kadam. There is also a 40-crore balance left after disbursement. So I do not know why there is still a fee reimbursement problem.

Despite repeated attempts, SWDs Additional Commissioner Ravindra Kadam Patil was unavailable for comments.