The Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers’ Association (FBUTA) threatened on Tuesday to continue their strike until the government fulfils its demands.
Public university teachers have rejected Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina’s call to withdraw their strike against the new pay-scale and to return to classes.
FBUTA president Farid Uddin Ahmed came up with the announcement while talking to journalists in front of Dhaka University’s Arts Faculty over the PM’s recent remarks about public university teachers.
“We’ve been trying to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the last eight months. If we have a chance to meet her, then we’ll be able to explain it to her,” he said.
Farid Uddin alleged that some vested quarters have provided wrong information to the PM about them.
“We don’t compare ourselves with secretaries as we make secretaries, but you (PM) need to keep in mind your teachers were also Dhaka University teachers,” said Farid adding, “We’re firm about our decision…we’ll continue our strike until the government fulfils our demands.”
Earlier, teachers of the country’s public universities went on an indefinite strike on Monday protesting what they said discriminations against them in the 8th national pay-scale.
Public university teachers have been on protests since the 8th National Pay-Scale was announced on May 14, advocating for a four-point demand that includes the formation of a commission to initiate an independent pay scale for public university teachers.
The other demands of the teachers are salary and allowance parity between senior professors and senior secretaries, and between professors and secretaries; upgrading the status of teachers in the warrant of precedence; and the provision of cars and other allowances for teachers similar to provisions given to bureaucrats.
“We did not drift in here. We are here because of our qualification. We did not get any grace or quota facility,” Ahmed said.
“We have never been backbenchers,” he added.
On Monday afternoon the PM said: “The government will certainly consider if there is something to do about the teachers. But please do not stop teaching. The children will not accept it.”
The teachers, upset over ‘discrepancies’ in the Eighth National Pay-Scale, began their protests about nine months ago when the draft of the new pay scale was revealed.
They argued that it had downgraded their status by abolishing the time-scale and selection grade.
Teachers of 37 public universities across Bangladesh are taking part in the strike called by the FBUTA from Monday.
The PM said that salaries had been raised up to 123 per cent in the new pay-scale.
“Why are they so agitated even after such a hike in salaries,” she wondered.
In reaction, the head of the teachers association, Prof Ahmed, said, “Have only the salaries of teachers been increased? The salaries for peons and above have all been increased.” , according to UNB. – DH