Tuesday saw a signed declaration from the Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab addressing staff wages. Vice-chancellors of Punjab’s public institutions were reportedly notified that staff did not qualify for the grant of a 15% special stipend.
The HED Punjab had asked the Finance Department Punjab for guidance regarding the eligibility of the special allowance for employees of autonomous entities till the year 2022.
“I am directed to refer to the subject cited above and to state that an advice regarding the admissibility of special allowance-2022 to the employees of autonomous bodies i.e. universities has been received from Govt of the Punjab, Finance Department, vide letter No. SO (C) Misc-1/21 (Temp), dated 08.03.2023 in which it is clarified that in the instant case, universities are autonomous bodies under the administrative control of HED.”
The note from the HED Punjab to the VCs states, “The staff of universities are not civil servants; therefore, they are not entitled to payment of 15% special allowance as per the letter of the Finance Department bearing No. FD.SR.V.3-1/2021, dated 20.07.2022.”
It is important to note that Academic Staff Associations (ASAs) of public universities, such as the ASA of Punjab University (PU-ASA), had previously voiced concerns about the Finance Department’s perspective and had demanded the awarding of a 15% special allowance to university staff members in light of the inflationary trend.