Controversy over flood relief fund in KU

KUTO, Syndicate spar over contribution to CMDRF

The controversy over the flood relief fund refuses to cease at Kerala University (KU) with a section of the teaching faculty registering their protest against the move to initiate disciplinary proceedings against them for having questioned the mode of relief contribution.

The issue was triggered by the discordant note that the teachers, affiliated to the Kerala University Teachers Organisation (KUTO), had struck towards an appeal that had been made by the Vice-Chancellor to contribute one month’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

Unsatisfied by the responses submitted by the KUTO office-bearers to two memos that were served to them, the university has decided to conduct a personal hearing of the forum’s general secretary.

The standing committee of the Syndicate on Staff, Equipment and Buildings was entrusted to conduct the hearing.

In its latest memo, the Syndicate has also cautioned that the failure to attend the hearing will result in the initiation of disciplinary action.

Questions propriety

While the organisation has expressed willingness to attend the hearing, the KUTO questioned the propriety of the Syndicate standing committee on Staff, Equipment and Buildings, which is chaired by a research scholar, of conducting disciplinary proceedings that involved the teaching faculty of the varsity.

They stuck to its stance that the proceedings were being undertaken in a unilateral manner. They also argued that they were yet to be provided the minutes of the initial meeting that had been held on September 3 to discuss the implementation of the ‘salary challenge’.

The organisation claimed that the employees were permitted to make their contributions in 15 instalments and the varsity would not insist on ‘no consent letters’ from those who did not wish to contribute.

However, the university soon issued an order that implemented the provisions of the government order, allegedly in contravention to the consensus that had been arrived at the meeting.

While the university viewed KUTO’s stance as an ‘attempt to subvert the process of rebuilding,’ the organisation rubbished the claim and pointed out that its members have played active roles in organising fund raisers for the cause.

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