KP universities’ staff protests at Banigla for regularization

ISLAMABAD: Ad hoc employees from public sector universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), who earlier had dispersed from their protest sit-in camp outside PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Banigala residence after negotiations with the party leadership, have gathered again to protest as their demands were not met by the provincial government.

Hundreds of the contractual employees of 32 public sector universities have staged a sit-in in favor of their demands as according to them, the provincial government was not even honoring a unanimous resolution passed by the KP assembly regarding regularization of the employees.

The provincial government, which has recently regularized over 38,000 ad hoc teachers across the province, is reportedly reluctant to regularize around 8000 contractual employees despite earlier assurance and a subsequent resolution unanimously passed in the provincial assembly.

Over 400 employees of the universities, who according to them are representatives of employees of 32 public sector universities, have announced to stay outside Imran Khan’s house till their demands are met.

The contractual employees of public sector universities assembled at Banigala on Saturday evening.

The same employees had earlier ended their protest at Bani Gala after former minister of Kashmir Affairs and PTI central leader Ali Amin Gandapur assured the protesting employees that since contractual employees of public sector universities in Punjab had been regularized, the same would be adopted in KP.

According to Secretary Information All Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Contract Employees Association (AKUCEA) Dr Latif Shinwari claimed that there were at least 8,000 teaching and non-teaching contractual employees of the universities waiting for regularization for years.

He said every university had about 30 PhD degree holders who had been at the job for up to 13 years and were still waiting for their regularization.

He said thousands of teaching and non-teaching employees in 32 public sector universities in the province had decided to protest to push for their demands.

The PTI government in Punjab resolved a similar matter in April 2019.

A protesting employee warned that if the matter was not resolved, thousands of the contractual employees would join them outside Imran Khan’s house in Islamabad.

He said a written demand had been made to Mr Khan when he was the PM that KP and Punjab assemblies had imposed a restriction that there will be no extension in the contracts of the contractual employees beyond three years.

According to President of AKUCEA Kashif Naseer, on August 2, 2022 the KP assembly had unanimously passed a resolution moved by Mian Nisar Gul Kakakhel of JUIF demanding regularization of contract and daily-wage employees in all the universities of the province. Subsequently the Higher Education Department of the province was also asked to implement the resolution within two months. However, the HED officials and provincial government were reluctant about implementing the resolution which ultimately forced the employees to gather at Bani Gala again.

According to him both KP and Punjab assemblies passed “Regulation of Services Act” in 2018 to save the services rendered by contractual employees in both provinces.

On the basis of this act, all contract employees except the employees of public sector universities were regularized in KP and Punjab. After the exclusion of university employees from regularization process, both the governments were approached by the employees and the Punjab government regularized the employees in 2019 after a complaint was lodged in Pakistan Citizen Portal by Punjab universities contract employees, but the KP government failed to do it till now.

It may be recalled here that the thousands of schoolteachers were also regularized in the province following their march towards Banigala on July 19 to press their demands. After intense negotiations the representatives of the provincial government agreed to regularize them.

Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


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