Dhumal steps in to end St Bede’s strike in Himachal

Shimla: With the strike by the faculty of St. Bede’s, the country’s oldest all-women college here, continuing for over a week, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Tuesday intervened to end the impasse.

Dhumal directed the state’s education secretary and education director to convene a meeting of the college management and the striking employees to resolve the crisis on priority, an official statement said.

Dhumal said it was the responsibility of the college management to protect the interests of its employees and pay them all benefits due to them from time to time.

The stalemate continued for the ninth day Tuesday as the teaching and non-teaching staff abstained from work.

The striking teachers and administrative staff said they would resume duty only when the management fulfilled responsibility of paying 23 percent dearness allowance and restoring employees’ provident fund (EPF).

The college authorities reduced employees EPF to 12 percent from 23 percent from June.

This is unprecedented in the 108-year-old history of the college that all the staff have struck work.

St. Bede’s, which has been imparting education since 1904 and boasts of alumni such as actress Preity Zinta and late model Persis Khambatta, has 850 students, including 100 boarders.

IANS

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