Srinagar: Due to the ‘exploitative recruitment policy’ of Jammu and Kashmir government, the contractual employees have been suffering for over 15 years. While they agree to over-work for meagre salaries, the delay in monthly reimbursement of salaries/ wages leaves them frustrated with zero job satisfaction.
Be it the ‘contractuals’ appointed at the state or central level, the pattern is same: they are made to work as much as, rather more than permanent employees for almost half of their salaries. The irony is that their salaries/ wages are not reimbursed on time (monthly basis), despite various orders passed by the government. This leads to more difficulties for them.
Dr Peerzada Bahudin, President, Contractual’s Association told Free Press Kashmir that there are two types of funds that the Education Department is supposed to avail for paying the employees: Pool fund and Clear Vacancy.
“Pool fund is the fund that a college gets from dues paid by students and Clear Vacancy comes from the government treasury. The salary of permanent employees comes from the pool fund which is always available while for ‘contractuals’ the delay is because it takes time for offices to give clearance for our salaries,” he says.
The contractual lecturers are paid as per their work. Bahudin says that it takes the finance department time to calculate the work done by these employees. “The contractuals teach the same that the Assistant Professors do but their salary is not as much,” he adds.
Recently, the government has asked the Nodal principals from Jammu and Kashmir to submit data of employees who have given a continuous service on ad hoc basis for 7 or more years. Those employees would be regularised, says Bahudin. However, he points out, “After our contracts end in March, we ought to re-apply for the job. In the process, we get to sit at home for around a month until the time counselling session ends. That ways, even those who have served for more than 7 years do not fit in the criteria of ‘continuous service’. This is a mere eyewash.”
He adds, “We cannot ask for a hike in salaries because technically, we are not paid salaries. We are paid a lump sum remuneration. Even that gets delayed.”
For employees who work under rural development schemes like MG-NREGA, the ordeal is the same. With the announcement that salaries would be reimbursed on monthly basis directly in accounts of NREGA employees, the contractuals were happy. However, even after being ‘online’, the procedure takes around 3 days to transfer their salaries to their bank accounts.
“The process is not really online. The money is transferred in accounts of the main officers of our respective offices. Then they go to the bank and from their accounts, it is forwarded to our accounts. Imagine!” exclaim the employees.
“They have money for wages of people we employee in rural areas. But, for us, who get them the livelihood, they have nothing but delays. Our salaries are delayed for at least 3 months. Some have not been paid for 6 months and like that. Despite government orders, our salaries were not paid on time on occasion of Eid,” say the NREGA employees.
“In the day, I called the clerk who handles accounts to check why our salary was not deposited yet. He was shopping for Eid while we had no money. I had to push him a lot to bring him back to the office so he could submit our cheque at the bank,” says an MG-NREGA employee.
With no job security, low wages/ salaries as compared to ‘permanent employees’, no social, medical or family security, the delay in paying dues to employees only adds to their miseries. Instead of addressing the issues, the authorities deny having any issues at all.
Qazi Sarwar, Director Rural Development Department says, “Contractuls are paid according to their work. The salaries of permanent employees are paid by the state government while their funds come from the centre and sometimes, it takes time. It may be delayed by 3 months, not more than that.”