• Move will severely affect patient care: Officials
• Will fight tooth and nail, move SC: Employees
Patient care in Valley’s major hospitals is likely to be affected as the government has rejected regularisation of over 800 academic arrangement employees working in the associated hospitals of GMC, Srinagar since 2011.
In December last year, the government formed a high-level committee to examine regularisation of academic arrangement employees in various government departments including the Health and Medical Education department.
A few days ago, the committee issued recommendations and rejected the regularisation of the academic arrangement employees in GMC Srinagar.
The committee dwelt into the scenario of academic arrangements in the Health department and made recommendations, which the employees said were against their interests.
“The committee felt that this won’t be appropriate in view of the fact that contractual arrangement between the government and these persons is clear and such arrangement doesn’t amount to regular appointment and will violate the quality of opportunity to others,” a report of the General Administration Department said.
It said that at any point of time, there were vacancies due to various reasons and such dispensation would perpetuate appointment without due process which could not be recommended.
“Considering the fact that these persons have been working for several years, due weightage not exceeding 5 percent of the total appointments should be given to the experience achieved during past engagements,” the committee said. “Relaxation of age bar not exceeding 10 years in case of those candidates who were within prescribed age limit at the time of initial engagement on academic arrangement.”
The recommendations of the committee that have been accepted by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu Kashmir said that minimum remuneration to the candidates engaged on academic arrangement should be Rs 12000 in respect of non-gazetted posts and Rs 15000 in case of gazetted posts.
“The engagement shall be made for one academic session only and the duration must be specified. The candidates shall be disengaged after the specified period and re-engagements, if any, shall be subject to due procedure,” the recommendations read.
It stated that the rules for engagement on academic arrangement for various departments including health and medical education were being notified by GAD adding that the Health department had already notified rules for such engagements.
The committee has directed the Administrative Secretary to implement the recommendations in a time-bound manner.
However, the 800 employees working on academic arrangement in the associated hospitals of GMC Srinagar, said they feel deceived after serving for nearly a decade.
The appointment of employees like laboratory assistants, x-ray technicians, theatre assistants, anesthesia assistants, nurses, pharmacists and others were made on temporary basis in 2011 without any regularisation policy.
They had to be terminated after six years until filling of permanent posts at their places, but continued their services.
However, they were neither terminated nor did the Government Medical College release their salary after uninterrupted service beyond six years.
An employee in one of the hospitals said they had then approached the High Court that had given directions for release of their salary beyond six years and their salary was released after they continued their services.
The employees said they were the backbone of the major tertiary care hospitals and accused the government of exploiting them over the years.
Now they are uncertain about their career.
The aggrieved employees said they would fight tooth and nail for their regularisation stating that they would even move Supreme Court for justice.
“We have been working here from the past nearly 10 years. We have served the department over these years. This is sheer injustice with us,” the employees said.