PGI nurses who are on probation and had taken part in a strike on February 26 to press for their demands are likely to face action.
More than 2,000 nurses of PGI took part in the 24-hour strike to protest against the recommendations of seventh pay commission and the working hours of the new nurses. More than 400 of them are on probation. The strike had caused inconvenience to the patients.
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A PGI official said the institute is likely to initiate action against the nurses soon. “Some of the nurses who had joined the one-day strike are on probation period. The section concerned has proposed some action against the nurses, which has to be approved by the competent authority of the institute. A showcause notice would be issued and it could even lead to dismissal,” the official said.
Asked about the action on other nurses, the official said “for the rest of the nursing staff, there will be no salary, no work for that particularly day”.
The nurses on probation are demanding that their working hours should be changed. The PGI has three working shifts – each of eight hours. The nursing staff is demanding that the three shifts should be morning (six hours), evening (six hours) and night (12 hours).
The nurses who are on probation have now changed their working hours “on their own”. According to PGI officials, a meeting is now scheduled with the nurses’ association and PGI to discuss the issue on Monday.
A source in the administration said the contract employees have changed the working hours without PGI’s permission. “In the appointment letters, it was mentioned that they (nurses) have to do an eight-hour shift. They accepted the letter and in writing they mentioned that they will do their job. Now changing the duty hours on their own is a gross misconduct, which can invite action from the administration,” the official said.
A senior member from the nursing staff confirmed that “many” newly joined nurses staff have changed their hours. “The recommended hours in a month is 160 hours. Assistant nursing superintendents and deputy nursing superintendents are working for 180 hours in a month and the rest are working for 168 hours in a month. The newly joined nurses are working for 176 hours. The association is demanding a change in the working hours because they are doing extra work,” he said.
A nurse said: “They can’t take action against anyone because the health ministry has already directed the state governments to go lenient about February 26 as casual leave,” the official added.
“Several nurses have already submitted their resignation because of the odd working hours,” an official said.