Written by Gauraangi Anand
THE SILENT protest by the PGI Nurses Welfare Association continued with the sporting of black badges even as authorities promised them a departmental promotion committee (DPC) meeting within two to three days. The resistance is in light of non-fulfilment of long pending demands for promotion and 112 senior nursing officer posts being vacant for the past four years. The association stalled the protest march and burning of effigies of authorities for now which was planned earlier.
“They have made us suffer for 21 long years now with the continued delay in promotions of nursing officers despite numerous vacancies,” said Satyaveer Singh Dagur, General Secretary of the association. “But we will still continue with our work as the patients should not become casualties of our conflict with the authorities,” he added.
The nurses said that they will continue their protest till the authorities accede to their demands. They have been donning the badges since July 10 but without interrupting patient care services and now wait eagerly for the promised DPC meet. When asked about the possible reasons for the procrastination, Dagur said that the authorities cited legal issues which they find unconvincing.
The nursing association has demanded the medical superintendent to be promoted to the post of deputy director, increase in supervisory posts among nursing officers to do justice to the heavy workload, provision of accommodation for all nursing officers and a relief from night duties in the OPDs. “We work round-the-clock in emergencies and give full eight hours (from 8 am to 4 pm) to the OPDs and yet are not credited sufficiently. An employee is required to work 40 hours a week and despite our 45 hours a week, we remain neglected by the authorities,” complained Dagur. He said if the issue remains unresolved they might even approach the court adding that their patience is wearing out from the long wait. However, the association is hopeful of finding amicable solutions to the issue.
The secretary cited a similar delay in delivering justice to demands of medical technologists who fought their DPC related case for 25 years. Even though the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the technologists, PGI is yet to take action.