The PGI Employees Union,including the medical technologists,has decided to proceed on a day long mass casual leave on Saturday. The health workers have called the 24-hour strike,starting at 6 am,in wake of the nationwide protest across the country for non-compliance of their demands by the ministry of health.
A meeting held under the Director General Health Services (DGHS) at Delhi on Friday asked the central government hospitals,like PGI,to take strict action,including freezing of salary,against the striking staff.
Routine work at the PGI may take a hit as the administrative and secretarial staff,laboratory and X-ray technicians are expected to be part of the strike. The nursing staff,resident doctors,faculty members and staff on contractual and ad-hoc basis will,however,work during the strike.
Interestingly,the PGI authorities have termed the strike as illegal.
We do not expect a large number of employees to take part in the strike as the patients will eventually suffer. We had terminated the services of 15 contractual and ad-hoc employees last year for proceeding on mass leave and that should act as a deterrent for the existing contractual staff, said Deputy Director Administration,A K Gupta.
Gupta added: We have chalked out plans to deploy staff wherever there is a shortage. All heads of departments have been asked to report about those employees who keep themselves away from work.
The rule of no work,no pay and termination of contractual and ad hoc staff and salary cuts will be imposed,said the DDA.
The PGI has nearly 350 technicians,of which 50 are employed on contract basis. The strength of the administrative staff stands around 500,of which 100 are on contract. The sanitary and house keeping workers,including security staff,are already outsourced and hence will not take part in the strike. The PGI authorities have,meanwhile,written to the Centre seeking permission to impose ESMA if the strike continues.
Representing the PGI Employees Union,Ashwini Munjal said: The employees union is proceeding on mass leave after a gap of 15 years. While we cannot comment on the number of people expected to join the strike,we have approached different categories of employees in the last few days.
Centre talks tough
The meeting under the Director General Health Services to review the nationwide strike has observed:
* All heads of institutions to ensure that notice is served on protesting employees directing them to join duties immediately.
* Immediately terminate the services of protesting temporary/daily wage staff.
* Salary of protesting employees for February 2009 be stopped.
* Absence of duty to be treated as break in service