THE PGI administration has issued orders stopping the salaries of 575 newly-joined nurses for allegedly changing their working hours without approval from the administration. The nurses, all on probation, have also been served advisory notes.
Chandigarh Newsline had last week reported that PGI was mulling action against the nurses, who allegedly changed the duration of their shift times in the last week of March.
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Official sources told Chandigarh Newsline on Tuesday that the PGI administration issued its orders on Monday. “The decision has been taken after nurses on probation changed their working hours without any approval from the administration,” a senior PGI official said.
A PGI spokesperson also confirmed the administration order. “The salary of the nursing staff has been stopped from March 24,” the spokesperson said. “PGI is planning to take action under the relevant rules if these nurses do not revert to their duty as per the condition in their appointment letters.”
There are three shifts, each of eight-hour duration, for the nurses. The nurses, however, had recently begun demanding that their shifts be changed to morning (6 hours), evening (6 hours) and night (12 hours) instead of the morning (8 hours), evening (8 hours) and night (8 hours) shifts.
“If they (nurses) have signed appointment letters for eight-hour shifts, how can they now go against the administration and change the shift hours on their own,” said a PGI official. “The administration will deal with this issue very strictly”. The official termed the step taken by the nurses as “dangerous” which can lead to “termination of their services.”
A PGI nurse too confirmed the development. “Yes, an advisory note has been issued in which we have been asked to report back to the eight-hour shifts in the next 48 hours,” she said. Defending the change of working hours, the nurse, also associated with the PGI Nursing Association, told Chandigarh Newsline the working hours are more than the recommended norms. “If PGI takes any disciplinary action against the nurses, we will immediately launch an agitation which will be supported by the All India Nurses Federation,” the nurse said.