More than 100 computer operators hired on contract by the Punjab government in the health department were Friday relieved of their duties, reportedly, without serving them any prior notice.
The move comes days after several computer operators were appointed by the government under National Health Mission (NHM).
Those who have been relieved of their duty were hired on contract 4-5 years ago and were paid salary in the range of Rs 11,000-Rs 15,000 depending on the years of service.
As per the information, most such operators received emails Friday evening stating that new computer operators have been appointed by the state government and if any operator is already posted at a particular station, he/she should be sent back to the outsourcing agency from where the person was hired.
“This is shocking. It was a working day for us. We came to know that we have been relieved via emails only after we reached home. No doubt we are on contract, but we can’t be relieved just like that,” said a computer operator from Fazilka, requesting anonymity.
In Fazilka, nine such operators have been relieved. Another such operator, from Ferozepur, said, “We were sent on training recently and now we have been asked not to report on duty”.
It may be mentioned that earlier this year, 15 Ayurvedic doctors on contract had also been relieved and till date their posts have not been filled.
So far operators have not decided on their future course of action. A few said that they will seek legal course after deciding over the matter this weekend.
Contacted, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said,”We have appointed about 38-40 computer operators on regular rolls. These contract staff could also have applied for regular jobs, we have to relieve the contract staff in order to absorb the regular employees, but if the contract staff have any grievances, they can come and meet me, I am open for discussion”.