Emergency services at AIIMS will be shut on Friday after 5,000 nurses planned to go on a mass casual leave, protesting “discrimination” in the Seventh Central Pay Commission. The AIIMS Nurses’ Union has also threatened to go on an indefinite strike from March 27 if their demands for revision of their pay scales and a hike in allowances are not met.
“Emergency services will be shut on Friday as the nurses’ union has decided to go on mass leave. However, the outpatient department and follow-up services will be functional,” Dr Amit Gupta, AIIMS spokesperson, said.
Harish Kumar Kajla, president, AIIMS Nurses’ Union, said, “We are protesting the retrograde recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. We demand that entry pay grade for staff nurses to be enhanced to Rs 5,400 from Rs 4,600, and that nursing allowance be enhanced by Rs 7,800. Besides, risk and night duty allowances should be given to all nurses just like other government employees.”
Sources said the move will not only hit emergency services but also the functioning of operation theatres.
AIIMS officials said the pay scales’ proposal has been sent to the Union Ministry of Health for consideration, while the Centre’s report on allowances is yet to be finalised. “We have fully communicated to the union about the proposal. Till Thursday evening, we were in talks with them. However, they have decided to go on a mass leave,” Dr Gupta added.
However, the nurses’ union said the AIIMS administration, despite giving assurances, has not addressed their issues for over a year. “After the assurance by the management in a meeting regarding recommendation of enhanced pay scale, an agitation called by the All India Nurses’ Union was withdrawn on February 26, 2016,” a union member said.