COVID-19: Private college lecturers sore over leave policy

They say they have been asked to use their earned or casual leave if they contract the virus

Lecturers in many private colleges who have been reporting to work are up in arms against their management’s decision to not provide special leave if they test positive for COVID-19. Colleges instead are asking lecturers to use their casual leave or their earned leave during their isolation period.

Teaching staff also pointed out that colleges have also not specified the quarantine policy if they have to isolate themselves in the instance of a primary contact testing positive.

A lecturer in Bengaluru said the university had told their staff that their leaves can be “adjusted” if they contract COVID-19. “We get around 10 days leave for medical reasons and we have been told that we can utilise this. However, a mere 10 days will not be sufficient. If we need more than 10 days, we have been told that we can use our other leaves,” she said. An associate professor of a private college affiliated to Bengaluru Central University said they have been instructed to return to work after quarantine of three to four days if a primary contact tests positive. “We have been told we can get a week’s leave if we are tested positive and will have to work from home after that. The leave policy needs to be spelled out very clearly and should not be ambiguous. Most of us step out of homes only to come to college. If we contract the virus in the process, colleges need to treat this more sensitively,” he said.


In govt. colleges

The situation appears to be better in government colleges. T.M. Manjunath, president, Karnataka Government College Teachers’ Association, said lecturers can use 14 days of special casual leave if they contract COVID-19. “If a lecturer needs more time to recover, they can always submit documents and extend their leave,” he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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