NCERT contract staff terminated despite Centre’s lockdown advisories

Some consultants re-engaged following a complaint but some are keeping their fingers crossed.

A group of contract workers with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in Bhopal, whose jobs were terminated on March 31, have complained that the action violates the Home and the Labour Ministry advisories not to cut jobs during the lockdown.

The NCERT is an autonomous body under the Human Resource Development Ministry. The affected workers are employed by an NCERT constituent unit, the PSS Central Unit of Vocational Education.

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On March 31, about 40 employees were informed that their tenure of engagement was expiring on that day. Of their March salaries, 75% had been credited while the remainder would be paid post lockdown, once they received a no dues certificate.

“Of course, we all knew that our contract would get over. But no one expected this corona pandemic. During this time of lockdown, it is very hard to find or join another job, so the organisation should not be terminating people now,” said a junior project fellow who did not wish to be named. “I am stuck in Bhopal because of the lockdown. I cannot return to my hometown, so how will I pay rent in the city if I don’t have a job?”

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Workers complained to the Ministries of Human Resource Development, Labour and Finance and some consultants were re-engaged. On April 17, Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner for Madhya Pradesh Sunil Kumar wrote to the NCERT unit on the basis of the complaint, drawing its attention to the advisories issued by the Home and Labour Ministries. However, 11 staff have still not been given any extension on their contracts to help them tide over this crisis period.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 4:54:04 AM |

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