THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Senior contract teachers above the age of 60 may not get service extension after March 2019 at the University Institute of Technology (UIT) centres as the University of Kerala is yet to take a decision on fixing their retirement age at 65.
Earlier, the senior teachers had submitted a memorandum to former VCs to extend their retirement age from 60 to 65. Sources, however, indicated the varsity would fix the retirement age at 60. A university order, sent to 29 UIT centres in the state earlier this year, specified that engagement of staff on contract basis is not permitted after the age of 60 years and hence asked principals of UIT centres not to forward the engagement requests of staff above the age of 60. The rule also applies to those who are completing the age of 60 during the contract ending period in March 2019. The order has many senuior teachers worried.
“Since we have no pension, we will be left high and dry without any income after retirement. However, if the university proceeds with that action, we have only one demand. UIT principals’ retirement age is 65. So we request the university to hike the age limit to 65 for all teaching staff,” said Sreekumar (name changed), a senior teaching staff.
At present, the UITs have both contract and guest lecturers in service. The principals of the centres are the retired professors from government educational institution. Of 29 centres, many teaching staffs fear they might lose the job if the university failed to extend the retirement day.
According to M Lenil Lal, former University Syndicate member, there were differences of opinion in the former syndicate over raising the retirement age of senior staffs of UITs and a final call on this would be made in January. “We did discuss this issue in many syndicate meetings. But there was no consensus. Some members wanted to raise the age of teaching staff while some wanted to appoint young teachers to give them the opportunity. So we have not decided yet on this and our priority would be to raise this issue in the first syndicate meeting to be held in January. We hope that the issue gets resolved in January itself,” he said.
Most of the teachers in UITs are highly qualified and took up their job in the hope that sooner or later their service would be regularised. Meanwhile, University of Kerala vice-chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai told Express the matter has not been brought to his attention. “I am unaware of this issue as it has not been brought to my attention. So I am not authorised to comment now,” said Pillai.
University to fix retirement age at 60
Earlier, the senior teachers had submitted a memorandum to former VCs to extend their retirement age from 60 to 65. Sources, however, indicated the varsity would fix the retirement age at 60.