Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has asked the striking National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) employees to go back to work or their services will be terminated as per the contract rules.
The NRHM employees have been sitting on strike since March 10 demanding regularisation of pay scales. They said that they would not go back to work even if the government terminated their services. They had a meeting with Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh, where he told them that he would be going to Delhi on April 26.
If the union government agreed to hike their pay scales, they would add the subsequent share from their side or otherwise the Punjab government would support the employees on their own. There are 8,000 NRHM employees and 75% of the salary is given by the Centre and the remaining share is contributed by states.
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Nurses are being given salaries ranging from Rs 8,000-10,000 per month. But they said that it was too less compared to inflation rate.
Karamjeet Kaur, president of the Nursing Union of NRHM Employees, said, “We will not go back to work till our demands are met.”
The employees had worked for nine days in March before sitting on strike from March 10. They have not been given salary from March onwards. Even in 2011, they had sat on strike for three months but no salary for this period was given to them.
The employees said that they had also held protest rallies at Dhuri. But after the poll results, they were being threatened with termination of their services whereas earlier the government was playing safe.