MUMBAI: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences was forced to send termination notices to 100 staff members after the institute failed to receive the funds that support them from the Tata Trust.
On Friday, the TISS administration sent termination letters to nearly 100 staff members of the institute, informing them that their contracts will not be renewed and service ends on June 30, 2024.These staff members who were previously funded by the Tata Education Trust will become unemployed after years of service at TISS.
As per the TISS authorities, these staff members have been at the institute since 2008 and were running various teaching and research programmes at the premier social science institute. Close to 60 of them were faculty and the others were non-teaching members.
“We have been speaking to the Tata Trust officials for several months. But they have not yet released any salary to pay these staff members. Even the last month’s salary of Rs 75 lakh was paid from the TISS reserve fund, which we are not supposed to use for payment of salary,” explained a senior TISS official.
The Progressive Students’ Forum has demanded that the TISS administration “immediately revoke the mass termination and make necessary arrangements with the Union Government and the University Grants Commission to take responsibility for those previously employed under the Tata Education Trust.” “Alternatively, they must hold urgent discussions with the top management of the tata education trust to reinstate funding for these positions so that all jobs are protected.”
TISS authorities clarified that none of these posts are permanent government positions and all of them are contractual staff members who were supported by funds that came from the Tata Trust. “Once the funds come from the Tata Trust, all these staff members will be taken back to their programmes,” said TISS authorities.
With the change in the norms of the University Grants Commission, the governing board of TISS will be replaced by an executive council headed by the government-appointed vice-chancellor as chairperson. Recently, the government appointed D P Singh, former chairman of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council as the TISS chancellor.