The Chandigarh National Health Mission Employees Union (CNEU) held a strike on Monday against the alleged pressure over them to resign and join as outsourcing employees.
The union members, who also demand a hike in their salaries, said that they had informed the NHM department, the UT administration and other higher officials of Chandigarh administration six weeks prior to the strike but they did not pay any heed to their demands.
Medical officers, staff nurses, lab technicians, ANMs, LHVs, pharmacists, DEO, counsellors, helpers took part in the protest. Staff members posted at GMSH 16, Civil hospital 22, 45, Manimajra and other allied services were also on strike.
Medical services in the city were affected due to the strike.The union plans to extend the protest for next two days if the higher officials do not come up with any solution. They said that on Tuesday weekly ante-natal check up is done at dispensaries and on Wednesday vaccination of children takes place. Both the activities will be effected by the negligence of heath department, the protesting employees said.
Amit Kumar, general secretary of the employees’ union said, “ We understand that the medical services are being hit because of our strike but we cannot help it now. We also have families to take care of. We are fighting since 2013. During February 2019, we even sat on a hunger strike. After 10-15 years of serving we are now expected to resign and join as outsourced employees. If we had to join as outsourced we could have done that in the very beginning.” The union members said that if needed they will take the protest to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Dr G Dewan, Mission Director of National Health Mission Chandigarh said, “It is not true that the medical services were affected. All health care facilities were functioning as per routine. All necessary arrangements were made in advance. They want salaries at par with the government employees. When it is not given in the rest of the country how can it be given in Chandigarh? However. we will forward their request to the Government of India.” Dr Dewan said that staff nurses, lab technicians, ANMs, pharmacists, DEOs and helpers in Chandigarh are paid salaries which are higher than that of their counterparts in Punjab and Haryana.