Peshawar - The ongoing strike by Class-III and Class-IV university employees has prompted vice-chancellors from four public sector universities to appeal to the provincial government for the release of essential funds to cover staff salaries and pension increases.
On the other hand, a protest campaign by the employees of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan is also underway against the Vice-Chancellor Zahoorul Haq for alleged malpractices.
In the latest move, the vice-chancellors convened on the main campus to address the financial and administrative challenges plaguing their institutions, exacerbated by the ongoing protest that has brought university affairs to a standstill. The teaching staff of the four universities is also supporting the protest campaign.
The meeting was attended by prominent figures including Prof Dr Iftikhar Hussain, VC of the University of Engineering and Technology, and Prof Dr Muhammad Idrees, VC of the University of Peshawar, Prof Dr Jehan Bakht, the VC of the University of Agriculture, and Prof Dr Gul Majid Khan, VC of the Islamia College University.
The meeting declared that the primary demand of the employees pertained to the salary and pension increases outlined in the 2023-24 budget by both federal and provincial governments.
Despite previous appeals to the provincial government for funds to cover these increases, no action has been taken. The vice-chancellors, representing various universities, urged the provincial government to release the necessary funds for the salary and pension increases.
In a plea to the protesting employees, the vice-chancellors requested an end to the strike, emphasising the importance of returning to duties for the sake of students, staff, universities, and society at large. The vice-chancellors have decided to engage with the Governor, Chief Minister, and Chief Secretary to discuss the financial and administrative challenges faced by the four universities, seeking their personal involvement in resolving the ongoing issue.
Meanwhile, the employees of AWKUM continue their protest against their vice-chancellor and for other demands including DRA allowance and cancellation of recent transfer notification of employees. They are also demanded a probe into alleged corruption by the VC.