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September 2, 2015

HED employees unpaid for three months


September 2, 2015

A large number of commerce stream employees of the Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab are waiting for a miracle to happen so that they can get their salaries, due for the third consecutive month, ahead of Eidul Azha.
The employees comprising teaching and non-teaching staff have not got their salaries for the months of June, July and August making it difficult for them to make ends meet while their concerns have now multiplied in the wake of upcoming religious festive occasion.
The delay, vis-à-vis salaries to the commerce stream employees, is not new as unfortunately they have been facing delays ever since their transfer to the HED from Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) in July 2012. The frequent delays in payment of salaries have made them somewhat “familiar” to cope with such situations but the prevailing one has especially become tough as many would be unable to buy sacrificial animals or even contribute for the same ahead of Eidul Azha.
These employees were getting salaries from Tevta since their transfer to HED but after June, 2015, the Tevta stopped their salaries as the Higher Education Department was supposed to do the same now. The Punjab government’s Contract Appointment Policy 2004 was applied on the commerce staff vide notification dated 28.07.2015, which was highly appreciated by the employees.
After this notification, the mode of salaries disbursement was changed from Tevta to AG Office and District Accounts Office (DAO) concerned but the salaries of the contract employees in many districts are still not yet completely released making it really hard for them to manage their affairs. In some districts, salaries have been issued partially while in some districts, including Lahore the employees are still waiting for the same.
Sources privy to the developments said few of the District Account Offices had approached the Accountant General Punjab office for the clarification regarding

pay protection and fixation of Teaching and Non-teaching commerce stream contract employees fall under their jurisdiction while the rest of the districts issued salaries.
Talking to The News, president of Commerce Professors & Lecturers Association (CPLA) Mirza Javed Iqbal said the commerce staff of various districts including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad and Rahimyar Khan etc had yet to get their salaries for the last three months. He said change in mode of salary disbursement had caused problem this time and there was a need to address the same on immediate basis. He demanded the authorities to address the much-awaited regularisation of services of the contract employees.
Meanwhile, the HED authorities sealed the Directorate of Commerce a couple of days back following a complaint from some employees over alleged corruption in promotion of the teaching staff. The record of the directorate has been moved to the Directorate of Public Instruction (Colleges) while an inquiry has been initialed against Director Commerce and members of promotion committee.
Director Commerce Dr Syed Aziz Haider talking to The News refuted the allegations against the promotion committee and said some individuals with vested interests had misguided the HED authorities. He said he was pressurised by some employees to process their cases at the earliest which could not be done owing to seniority related issues. The recently posted Secretary Higher Education Irfan Ali, when contacted, said the delay in salaries to commerce staff was not on part of the department. He however claimed that the issue would be addressed soon and the commerce stream employees would get salaries before Eid.
About the Directorate of Commerce, Irfan Ali (who is also Chairman of the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team), said that office of the directorate was not sealed and only record was shifted to the office of DPI Colleges. He said the inquiry was ordered following a complaint and its recommendations were still awaited.

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