Non-teaching staff observe strike
ISLAMABAD, Feb 12: Non-teaching staff in model colleges of Islamabad on Tuesday observed a strike to press the government for acceptance of their demands.
They also staged a sit-in on Jinnah Avenue and blocked traffic for about seven hours. However, after officials from the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) reached the venue and held talks with the representatives of the protesters, they decided to put off the strike for one week.
Around 400 employees, divided into two groups each led by Sadaqat Abbasi and Sardar Sidique, reached Jinnah Avenue at 11am. They were chanting slogans for acceptance of their demands, including time-scale promotion for 8,000 employees, regularisation of 1,100 daily wage workers and payment of different allowances.
Other employees back in colleges tried to close the institutions due to which academic activities at the IMCB F-8/4 were totally and other institutions like IMCB I-8/3, Sihala College, IMCB H-8, IMCB H-9 and Commerce College, were partially affected. Bus drivers of these institutions refused to give pick-and-drop service to the students.
Sadaqat Abbasi, the general secretary of the non-teaching staff association, told Dawn that they had announced their decision to observe the strike a week back but the high-ups of CAD did not bother to resolve their issues.
“As a last option, we arranged the sit-in and halted academic activities in 20 model colleges. We had also announced that from Wednesday employees working in schools will also join the strike,” he said.
He said Atif Kiyani, adviser to the minister CAD, Rafique Tahir and Noor Zaman, joint secretaries, assured the protesters at the sit-in that their issues would be resolved. They talked to Minister Nazar Mohammad Gondal, who was in Lahore, and then asked us to send a delegation for a meeting with Secretary CAD Riffat Shaheen Qazi at her office, he added.
Later, Mohammad Aftab Abbas, Abdul Rauf Awan, Rana Rafaqat, Khursheed Awan and Sardar Sidique from the non-teaching staff and Prof Aftab Tariq and Prof Memona Butt representing the teachers held a meeting with the secretary. Mr Abbasi said the secretary assured the delegation that all the issues of the employees would be resolved. “As a result, we decided to withdraw our decision to continue the strike,” he said.
Sardar Sidique, who was also part of the delegation, said: “We were not in favour of including the teachers in the delegation because in the past they (teachers) had hijacked our campaign. During the talks, the first demand put to the secretary was that the prime minister’s directive issued in 2010 regarding promotion of teachers should be implemented,” he added.
However, the secretary assured the delegation that she would meet her counterpart in the finance division to resolve the issue of time-scale promotion and regularisation of daily-wage employees within one week.
Yasser Chattha, a lecturer at IMCB I-8/3, said he and other faculty members were against the strike because it badly affected the students.