People voice opinions over Govt directive to study regularizing contract employees

On its first day in office, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) issued an Executive Order on establishment of a committee to study regularization of contract employees. The study or report is to be submitted to the Government within a period of one month.

This brings out a range of opinions from individuals directly affected by the contract system.

Sangay Dema, says that the moment she heard about the regularization of the contract she had been praying to get it approved. The 26-year-old teacher mentions that it is a stable profession, however, with the contract system it has lost its value that could last just a course of two years.

She adds, “Therefore, I felt an immense joy to hear about the pledge regarding the regularization of contract employees.”

Aita, who did his PGDE in economics from Samtse College of Education works as a contract teacher and he thinks that the given directive should be planned well with the RCSC keeping in mind the shortage of teachers in Bhutan.

He thinks that if individuals like him could get a regular job it would not only be a great help to the needy nation but also help individuals like him to sustain.

 Kinley Choden highlights that if they are regularized, it would not only provide them with a stable job but also improve the quality of work done by the employees. Nevertheless, she doubts that as most of the contract employees fall under the autonomous authority of RCSC, the directive would not be successful.

Tshewang, who works in one of the hospitals says that contract employees should be regularized and given equal opportunities. Nonetheless, he feels that the fulfillment of the pledges by the ruling party has always been a subject of debate.  He says, “Many of the pledges are not fulfilled, instead the government started focusing on something that was not even in their manifestos during the election campaign.”

In spite of that, Bimal, who worked as a contract teacher for five years is very positive about the outcome of this directive. He says, “I think the new government will help regularize contract employees as they promised to do so.”

In Rigyel’s case, he expresses that he was happy about the particular directive amidst the human resources shortage that the country is facing. However, he states that it is unfair for those who got regular jobs through the competitive exams and evaluations.

Damchoe also says that she studied hard to be regular employee under the government. She believes that the directive is at advantage for those contract employees, however, most of the contract employees are doing better jobs at Thimphu and if they are regularized, they would be working in the capital city.

She says that she did well in her main exam and is a regular employee, but she did not get her desired placement. She adds, “If given the choice I would have chosen to be a contract employee as well.”

The general sentiment among the employees is a mixture of anticipation and skepticism toward the proposed regularization of contract employees by the new ruling party. Most of the employees are waiting to hear the finalization of this directive, some hoping for it to be fulfilled, while some don’t.

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