AS THE strike by National Health Mission Employees Association entered the third day, the Haryana Health Department terminated the services of 53 employees. The government has imposed Section 144 on an area of one kilometre around hospitals and issued directions that no tents can be put up for protests in all districts.
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NHM employees began their protest on Tuesday for fulfilment of their demands, including regularisation of jobs and wages on a par with regular employees. On the first day of the protest, six office-bearers of the association were sacked.
Among the terminated employees are three from Bhiwani district, four from Faridabad, two from Hisar, six from Sonepat, three from Rewari, nine from Gurgaon, two from Karnal, five from Panchkula, six from Palwal, four from Palwal and nine from Sirsa. According to the government, they have been terminated as they were not letting other employees join back even though they wanted to.
Health Minister Anil Vij said orders have been issued to all civil surgeons to engage new drivers in place of the ones at Referral Transport, who went on strike, so that patients do not suffer. He added that NHM employees have also admitted that their services could not be regularised yet. Vij claimed that former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had appointed his own people at NHM by setting aside all rules. Now, these employees were forcing others to go on strike.
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Vij further stated that although he himself had taken the initiative to provide age relaxation of five years and eight points for a maximum of eight years’ experience for fresh recruitment as the present government was a well-wisher of its employees, the latter still went on strike. The minister added that adequate arrangements have been made so that patients do not suffer.
Calling the strike “illegal”, Vij had earlier stated that employees on contract could not go on strike and their services could be terminated without notice. He has directed officials to make preparations for fresh recruitment.
After the termination orders were issued on Thursday, some of the protesting employees joined work in a few districts.