The Telangana Government Doctors’ Association (TGDA) has threatened to go on strike in the coming days if their demand for implementation of University Grants Commission (UGC) revised pay scales of 2016, that is pending for four years now, is not considered immediately.
TGDA state president Dr. Pallam Praveen alleged that the file pertaining to the implementation of the revised pay scale is stuck in bureaucracy and around 6,000 doctors are ready to boycott services and agitate to bring their grievance to the attention of CM K Chandrasekhar Rao. They want the implementation of revised pay with arrears from January 2016 to be added to GPF in installments or as a one time settlement.
Starting Wednesday, senior doctors at the Gandhi hospital will wear black badges for a week to mark their protest. A general body meeting regarding this will be held Tuesday. “Even then if the government refuses to address our issues, we will go for a full boycott of services. As we are responsible doctors, fighting the COVID pandemic, we don’t want to go on the roads and protest. The fact is we get paid much less than the state government employees and what we draw as salaries today was decided 14 years ago. It is not a financial burden for the state if CM takes a decision,” Dr. Praveen told indianexpress.com.
According to him, the pay revision of 2006 was implemented in 2009 after doctors staged a 47-day protest following which the then CM late Dr. YS Rajashekhara Reddy adopted the UGC scales for doctors’ salaries. “The PRC of 2016 is already implemented for central government employees in 2018 and for teachers in 2019. But we are still waiting for the state government to act. I have been doing rounds of different offices since March 31, and the file is with the CM’s office for the last one month. It is a legitimate demand and we want to bring this issue to the notice of CM K Chandrasekhar Rao,” Dr. Praveen added. The implementation of revised salaries will benefit around 6000 senior doctors in the State.
Meanwhile, the numbers of the outsourced nurses protesting at Hyderabad’s Gandhi General Hospital, the nodal center for COVID19 treatment in Telangana, are likely to swell if more of them join from other state-run hospitals like Niloufer hospital and Government ENT hospital.
Stating that their talks with health minister Eatala Rajender Sunday failed even as the state government accepted to raise their salaries to 25,000 from present 15,000 per month, Megha Bellapurla, president of outsourced nurses at Gandhi hospital, said that the health minister has refused to take a positive decision on regularisation of their contractual jobs and remunerate them according to the wage board recommendations.
“We have been working for the last 13 years. Is it fair to pay us on par with fresh recruits who get Rs 25000-Rs 28,000? Our demand is to regularise our jobs and pay us Rs 34,000 per month,” she said. The outsourced nurses said talks with the government will progress if they are invited for further talks, and until then regular services will be boycotted.
It was a month ago that the junior doctors at the Gandhi hospital squatted on the main road demanding decentralisation of Covid-19 treatment, immediate recruitment of additional staff, and enhanced security for all frontline workers.
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