Kochi

Medical college integration leaves faculty members a worried lot

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Staff complain that they have ‘lost’ years of service, promotion prospects hit

Instead of bringing joy, the ‘integration’ of faculty at the Government Medical College, Ernakulam, with the Directorate of Medical Education has disappointed those working at the institution for over 17 years. The order for bringing about the integration was issued recently.

Their grouse is that those who had joined the medical college when it was an autonomous body under the Co-operative Academy of Professional Education have either ‘lost’ all the years of service till December 2013, when the government took over, or have bleak promotion prospects.

While the teaching and the non-teaching staff had many times met the Health Minister and government officials in this regard, their pleas to consider their services at the medical college had gone unheard, they claimed. The order, issued recently, is likely to be challenged in court, said a doctor at the medical college. The faculty members alleged that the government had acted against their interests in a bid to keep a service organisation “happy”.

About 60% of the original faculty at the medical college had been badly hit by the orders, they said. Those in the posts of professor and associate professor will continue in those posts till retirement and would be considered for promotion only to posts originally created at the college. They cannot claim promotion to new posts to be created later by the government.

In case of assistant professors, they will be integrated into medical education as juniors to the junior-most faculty as on the date of integration in 2013. For those who had joined the medical college between 2000 and 2013, the 13 years of service would not be recognised. Only those who joined the medical college less than three years before the takeover have a better package as loss of a couple of years in service will not affect their career in the long run.

‘Discriminatory’

The faculty members said while it was understandable that the doctors in older government medical colleges did not want any of the doctors in Ernakulam to claim any post in those colleges, the denial of posts at the Ernakulam Medical College was highly discriminatory. All the original faculty members at the college would also not have any claim to the post of principal, they said.

Principal V.K. Sreekala told The Hindu that the package had come about after several rounds of discussions.

While the faculty members in the assistant professor-level, to be integrated into the general pool, would be absorbed as juniors to the junior-most faculty on the date of takeover, a government order was still awaited on their salaries. “The recommendation from our part was to consider the service while fixing the pay. It is up to the government to take a decision on that,” said the Principal.

The argument of the other side is that the faculty and the non-faculty staff at Ernakulam medical college had not gone through the selection procedure of the Public Service Commission unlike others. Still, they had become government employees with the integration process, said Dr. Sreekala.

In the case of professors, they have been kept away from the general pool because they have not served a medical education institution for as many years as professors at other medical colleges. However, associate professors can make a claim to the post of professor at the same institution when it falls vacant. Dr. Sreekala said she could not comment on the post of principal being barred for those originally from the institution.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:24:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/medical-college-integration-leaves-faculty-members-a-worried-lot/article24248732.ece

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