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11 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 11 September, 2015 01:26:32 AM
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Remarks against Varsity teachers

Sorry, says Muhith

UNB
Sorry, says Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday apologised for his remarks against the movement of public university teachers seeking for a separate pay scale, reports UNB. “I’m sorry for my remarks if those hurt anybody. What has happened is over here, I’ve withdrawn my remarks,” said the minister at a press briefing at Sylhet Circuit House. Talking to the media on Tuesday, Muhith criticised the teachers’ movement saying, “We’ve to control the corrupt practices of teachers.  I don’t see any reason why public university teachers are demanding a separate pay scale. The highly educated section is demonstrating for lack of knowledge.”
Earlier on Monday, the cabinet, avoiding traditional selection grades and time scale, approved the long-awaited pay scale for public servants.
The Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers’ Association (FBUTA) on Wednesday asked Finance Minister AMA Muhith to apologise within 24 hours for his “funny” remarks about public university teachers, saying he would be held responsible for any disorder on campuses.
Meanwhile, the teachers of 37 public universities will launch a fresh agitation demanding a separate pay scale. They said they would abstain from work on September 13 and 17 and organise sit-in at their respective campuses from 11:00am to 1:00pm. However, exams will be kept out of the agitation.
The Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers’ Association (FBUTA) yesterday (Thursday) made the announcement after holding a meeting at the provost’s office of Dhaka University’s Surya Sen Hall.
In a press release, the federation thanked finance minister AMA Muhith for withdrawing his comments against teachers within the ultimatum period of 24 hours. But the federation said: “The finance minister once again expressed a negative attitude... which is condemnable and unacceptable. When a consensus has been reached about the just demands of the teachers among people irrespective of party and class, the finance minister has tried to defend the eighth pay scaly by inserting cooked-up accounts.”
They expressed firm determination to keep the movement rolling till their demands are met. The FBUTA president, Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed, told The Independent that the new pay scale does not reflect the teachers’ demands. “That’s why we are going in for a fresh agitation.”
The teachers have been waging a movement since May 14 and have stayed away from work on different occasions.
Meanwhile, apparently referring to the ongoing movement by public university teachers over the new pay scale, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said no government in the past except this AL government could enhance the salaries of public servants to a huge extent. "I don't know why in some cases some [public university teachers] are expressing dissatisfaction over the new pay scale. Then what's the solution? Should we revoke the pay commission and bring down the increased salaries by half and then go forward with their demands," she said.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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