Ludhiana agri varsity employees protest for 2nd consecutive day; threaten to go on hunger strike

Employees’ unions of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) continued to protest over non-fulfilment of long–pending demands for the second consecutive day on Friday.

They gathered outside Thapar Hall and threatened to go on hunger strike if their demands are not met.

The employees’ unions also took out a march in the varsity to garner support. As many as four employees’ unions, including the PAU Employees Union, PAU Teachers Association and PAU Class Four Workers Union, have been protesting on campus since October 13.

Among their demands is the implementation of the old pension scheme, on the lines of Punjabi University, Patiala, for employees recruited till July 9, 2012.

Besides, they also want the grade pay for library attendant and meteorological attendant to be at par with the lab attendant, promotions for JEs and SDOs, filling up of vacant posts of store-keepers, recruitment and promotion of car and jeep drivers and the problems cropping up in internal audit to be resolved.

On Thursday, they sat outside vice-chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon’s office and stopped him from entering.

A day on, the V-C tried to appease the protesting employee and urged them to not vitiate the atmosphere of the university campus, but instead, discuss their issues with the authorities.

“The PAU fraternity is like a family. When a problem arises, the head of the family comes forward to solve the issue,” the V-C said.

Dhillon further assured the employees that all their genuine demands will be addressed and urged them to stop the agitation.

RS Sidhu, registrar, said the university is aware of the demands of the employees and authorities are doing their best to address them.

On the other hand, Baldev Singh Walia, president of the PAU employees’ Union, reiterated that employees working on contract should be made permanent as per seniority. He said the V-C was deliberately stalling the promotions and appointments.

Meanwhile, the university has issued details of their position with respect to demands of employees’ unions. On the implementation of the old pension scheme, the varsity said the state government has to consider the case of PAU and other institutions together, and they will implement any orders issued in this regard.

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