Three years ago (March 2006) the Court of First Instance ruled that doctors could not ask to be paid for working overtime, but should be paid for working on holidays and rest days. The Hospital Authority has since paid 4,600 doctors a total of HK$629 million dollars. But more than 400 university-employed doctors were not covered in that settlement. These doctors are now pressing the university of Hong Kong and the Chinese University for compensation. Apparently, HKU does not disput that. It claims, however, that it does not know where the money should come from. (SCMP, Monday, 27th July, 2009)
What, then, about professors who work on holidays and rest days? Professors give lectures, lead tutorials, advice students, carry out research, attend meetings, participate in retreats, join unversity-wide functions, greet applicants on information days, travel to recruit students, set up collaborations, take students on exchange and service learning trips, etc. - on holidays and rest days. Shouldn’t professors be reimbursed for such work as well?
I am not saying that professors should be reimbursed for work done on holidays and rest days. I consider that part of the job as long as the amount is not excessive. However, if university-employed doctors should be reimbursed for such activities, shouldn’t other university-employed academics be treated similarly?