Dawn News

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24: After failing to get their salaries during the last three months due to a dispute over appointments, over 50 employees of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi staged protest outside the campus on Wednesday.

They chanted slogans against the administration and appealed to the Punjab Governor Latif Khosa, who is also chancellor of the university, to intervene and get their salaries released.

They were appointed by the former vice-chancellor of the university and were issued letters on July 30, the very next day of the VC’s retirement.

The management of the university says their salaries cannot be released unless their appointments are approved by the syndicate, Dawn has learnt.

Faculty members Dr Abdul Khaliq and Dr Ghulam Jilani addressed the protesters.

They said the management had not paid salaries even to six security guards and female employees who had been appointed on Rs8,000 per month.

Assistant Professor Arshad Nawaz while talking to Dawn said that the university selection board had approved their appointments but final approval lied with the syndicate.

Even the salaries of around 25 teachers, who have been working in the university for years and were upgraded by the former management, could not be released.

“They have got a raise of up to Rs5,000 but university management is not even paying their previous salaries,” he said.

Prof Nawaz said they passed Eidul Fitr without salaries and it seemed Eidul Azha too would go with their pockets empty.

Upon the retirement of regular VC, Prof Dr Irfanul Haq was given charge of the acting VC in the last week of May till July 29, 2012 (age of superannuation) to run day-to-day affairs of the university. During this period he advertised 129 posts.

As a result, all the elected members of the university syndicate and ASA decided to oppose the decision.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman also took notice and asked the vice-chancellor to stop the process, but he continued with it and appointed over 50 employees.

Academic Staff Association (ASA) and employees unions think that appointments were made in violation of rules and they had affected their seniority.

President ASA Prof Nadeem Abbasi said since the appointments were bogus, they had not been placed for approval before the syndicate.

The university’s spokesman, Mohammad Musa, said the chancellor had stopped the management from submitting the name of the employees to syndicate for approval. “Salaries cannot be released unless the syndicate approves their appointments,” he said.

“University management is not against the appointments but we have to follow the rules. We have been trying to resolve the issue,” he said.

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