Many Kerala University lecturers haven't been receiving salary for six months

The condition of guest lecturers in aided colleges is worse as most of them are denied salaries for months
University of Kerala
University of Kerala

Over 300 guest lecturers working in aided and government colleges under Kerala University are yet to receive their remuneration for the past several months. The highly qualified lecturers are working on an hourly basis and they are getting a maximum sum of Rs 500 per hour.

In a month, each lecturer is told to conduct 60 hours of lectures so that they could earn Rs 25,000 on a monthly basis. Even though they took classes on an hourly basis, the varsity gives salary only after the completion of the month. However, the salary payment is allegedly entangled in procedural delays. Sources said many teachers need to get the remuneration of three to four months. Though they approached the Finance department of the varsity, the delay in the process of releasing the salary cited to be the reason.

The condition of guest lecturers in aided colleges is worse as most of them are denied salaries for months. There were times where they got salaries for the previous academic year only the next year as salary bills were kept pending.

According to a circular issued by the Directorate of Collegiate Education dated October 9, 2013, while submitting the salary bills of permanent lecturers, the college authorities are required to give a certification that there are no pending bills pertaining to guest lecturers.

As per the process, the head of the institute has to send the details of classes the lecturers have taken to the varsity, for approval. The approval takes a lot of time and this creates an inordinate delay in processing the salary.

A guest lecturer requesting anonymity said that she needs to get the salary from February this year. " I am getting a sum of Rs 500 per hour. So If I take 60-hour classes in a month, I am entitled to get a sum of Rs 25,000. But It is impossible to complete 60 hours. So the authorities can give by limiting the remuneration of Rs 15,000. But we did not get even that amount due to the sheer apathy shown by the varsity authorities. Not only me, but many lecturers are also taking classes without pay. It is an irony that a majority of guest lecturers have cleared UGC NET exam", a lecturer said.

Meanwhile, the All Kerala College Guest Lecturers Union is planning to launch an agitation demanding timely payment of salary and hike. " A junior guest lecturer gets Rs 1,130 a day while a senior guest lecturer gets Rs 1,365. Since 2007, guest lecturers have been getting Rs 500 per hour and a maximum of Rs 25,000 a month only if they work for 16 hours a week. So the government has not revised the pay and now their irresponsibility causes hardships for lecturers", said an office bearer of the union.

Speaking to Express, VP Mahadevan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala University said that there was some technical issue and that issue had been solved.

" All the issues related to the pending salary of guest lecturers have been solved. The only issue remaining is the salary payment of lecturers in UIT centres. In this case, each lecturer needs to sign a contract agreement and to hand over to the section concerned. There will be no delay and the salary can be dispensed within three days. The matter was discussed in the last syndicate meeting and the university has issued an order to dispense the pending salaries", Pillai said.

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