Sassoon General Hospital, which is the biggest government-run tertiary care hospital in the city, is facing an acute shortage of Class IV employees. Existing employees are reportedly facing immense work pressure as 234 posts are lying vacant under various categories.
Another issue being raised by Class IV employees is that many staffers who have been working in the hospital since the past 15 to 20 years are still on temporary basis. According to high court orders, any staff working for more than 240 days should be made permanent employees.
The staff continues to follow norms applicable for temporary employees and miss out on facilities given to their permanent counterparts.
There are around 60 such employees working in the hospital for more than 10 years and they continue to be on temporary basis.
“We have been fighting for the rights of the temporary staff for some time now, but it has been in vain. These workers serve society and in turn are exploited and denied their basic rights,” said Meena Sapera, leader of Sarva Majdoor Sangha, Sassoon’s employees Union.
“I am working here as a temporary staff for the past 10 years and still have not been considered as permanent. We are not given any allowances or benefits and in case of being absent, our salary is deducted,” said Vishal Thorat, an employee in Nursing College.
Bajirao Jagtap, a Class IV employee in the records department said that there has been no change despite working for the past 13 years.
“I am forced to do work of a Class III employee along with my own work and yet continue to be on temporary basis. For over 13 years now, I have been expecting a change. There are so many vacant Class IV posts and yet the authorities are reluctant to make us permanent,” Jagtap said.
Dr D G Kulkarni, medical superintendent of Sassoon General Hospital said that decisions can only be taken by higher-ups.
“Though there is a Class IV staff crunch, we are helpless as all the hiring and promotion has to be done by the higher authorities. The government decides the rules and their implementation procedure. Due to extra burden on employees the rate of absentees is also high, which increases the problem,” Kulkarni said.
Dr Pravin Shingare, chief of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) said that the vacant posts will be filled up shortly.
“I have sent a proposal to the cabinet for filling up the vacant posts and hiring temporary employees as permanent six months ago. Most probably, the vacant posts will be filled in two months time, whereas turning temporary employees into permanent ones will take some more time,” Shingare said.