Srinagar May 7: The Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to fix the pay anomalies of hundreds of non-gazetted employees at the five newly established medical colleges at par with the existing ones for three years now leaving the employees high and dry.
The aggrieved employees posted as Vocational Counselors, Storekeepers, Health Inspectors, Audio and Video Technicians etc at the Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri GMCs in 2017 told Greater Kashmir that the department had been dilly-dallying over fixing their pay scales at par with GMC Srinagar and GMC Jammu for unknown reasons. The issue has been repeatedly taken up with the higher ups but to no avail even as the various committees set up by the department also failed to address the issue, the aggrieved employees said.
"We are still stuck at level 4 which should ideally have been level 6 as compared to GMC Jammu and level 7 as compared to GMC Srinagar. The GMC Principals had been asked for their recommendations in this regard, but to no avail," an aggrieved employee posted as Vocational Counselor at one of the GMCs told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity.
Another aggrieved employee posted as Storekeeper at a GMC said they had been kept in the level 2 pay scale instead of the ideal level 5 or 6.
As per the aggrieved employees, Medical Social Workers at the five newly set up GMCs have been kept in pay level 4 while as the same posts at GMC Srinagar and GMC Jammu are availing pay level 6 and 7 "leading to a salary deficit of Rs 15,000" as per an employee.
The employees pointed out that at the time of establishment of the medical colleges, the then cabinet vide its order no.175/11/2017 dated October 3, 2017, accorded sanction to the creation of 3375 posts for the establishment of five new Government Medical Colleges in J&K and accordingly, H&ME notified the posts, 675 each for GMC Anantnag, GMC Baramulla, GMC Rajouri, GMC Doda and GMC and Kathua.
Later, it was felt imperative to work out the actual pay scales of posts in new Government Medical Colleges and accordingly Government Order No.831-HME of 2019 dated September 18, 2019, and Government Order No.16-HME of 2019 dated November 28, 2019, were issued to carry out the same, the employees said.
However, the exercise was not conducted well within the specified time frame after which the Government vide order No.892-HME dated December 2, 2020 in supersession of earlier orders, set up a committee to work out the actual pay scales issues, the aggrieved employees said.
The committee, they said, submitted its report to the Finance Department for the rectification of the pay scale in October 2021.
"However, the Finance Department was not convinced with the recommendations arguing that there were no recruitment rules in place for Non-Gazetted posts in the new Medical Colleges and the necessary rectification of the pay scale cannot be carried out in the absence of the same".
The employees claimed that due to the "non-seriousness" of the H&ME in fixing the issue, several employees are switching to other departments.
"A case in point is that of GMC Baramulla where the staff recruited for store-keeper cum clerk-cum-computer operator were 53 while as currently only 25 employees are on roll and the rest have switched to other departments, " claimed an employee.
As per the employees, there was a pay scale issue with the posts of Principals in these New Medical Colleges as well. However, the Principals' grievance was resolved by the authorities leaving the non-gazetted employees to fend for themselves.
The aggrieved employees called it unfortunate that there were "no recruitment rules for the non-gazetted employees more than three years since the establishment of the medical colleges".
When contacted over the matter, Special Secretary in the J&K Health and Medical Education Department, G R Mir said that the Finance Department had made "minor observations" over the matter which the department is clarifying. Mir said the department will send the recommendations to the Finance Department and they will soon be placed before the competent authority through the GAD for approval. He hoped that the matter will be resolved in coming weeks.