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Public universities’ teachers continue demonstration for separate pay scale

35Teachers of public universities across the country continued their demonstration for the second consecutive day demanding separate pay scale for the public university teachers and protesting at remarks of finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Wednesday.

Teachers and students of Dhaka University formed a human chain at Aparajeya Bangladesh to press for the demand.

Jahangirnagar University Teachers Association (JUTA) observed work abstention on Wednesday as part of their two-day work abstention programme protesting irresponsible remarks about teachers’ movement by the finance minister.

Terming Muhith’s comments unexpected and inconsistent, JUTA announced two-day long work abstention from September 9 to 10 on Tuesday night soon after his remarks.

The association also demanded unconditional apology from the minister and withdrawal the comment which the teachers found ‘derogatory’. The association president Khabir Uddin said the minister could make such irresponsible remark because of his lack of knowledge about the teachers and the educational activities.

Bangladesh Agricultural University Teachers Association on Wednesday afternoon called work abstention for indefinite period demanding review of the new pay scale and a separate pay scale for university teachers.

Leaders of the teachers association from a meeting at its Mymensingh campus take decision of work abstention for indefinite day after Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers Association enforced day-long work abstention at all public university campuses on Tuesday.

Bangladesh Agricultural University Teachers Association president Khandakar Shariful Islam at about 2:30pm said that they would go for work abstention for indefinite period from that time.

No classes and examinations will take place on campuses during the work abstention, said Khandakar Shariful Islam.

The association also protested at the finance minister AMA Muhith’s Tuesday comments that the minister found ‘no justification’ for the movement by the teachers saying ‘they (the teachers) are ignorant about the facilities given in the new pay scale.’

Beside, all classes and examinations were suspended at Jagannath University on Wednesday following the teachers’ demonstration and they would take no classes and examinations tomorrow either, our correspondent reported.

The Islamic University Teachers’ Association this morning announced that they would observe a day long work abstention on Thursday over the matter.

IUTA president Mizanur Rahman said that they would observe a day-long work abstention and hold a sit-in programme in front of the faculty building of the campus on Thursday.

University teachers are on the street from May 14 by putting forward their four-point demand includes keeping senior professors and senior secretaries on the same pay scale and at an equal level of payment and benefits as enjoyed by the same grade of government officials, and proper place in the warrant of precedence for teachers.

The cabinet on Monday approved the new pay scale raising the maximum monthly salary of a public servant to Tk 86,000 from Tk 45,000 and the lowest basic pay to Tk 8,250 from Tk 4,100 with effect from July 1, 2015.

Finance minister AMA Muhith on earlier on Tuesday said the most educated class of the country is waging a movement for lack of knowledge. ‘There’s no reason for their (university teachers) work abstention. They don’t even know what is there or not there for them in the new pay scale,’ he told reporters at his secretariat office.