Visitors to the civil surgeon's office were a harried lot on Wednesday as the clerical staff went on an indefinite strike. Earlier the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association had announced to go on three-day strike across the state.
The association members are demanding time-bound promotions, increased pay scales and filling up of vacant posts in the various offices under the health and family welfare department.
The employees at the civil surgeon's office sat on dharna and raised slogans against the state government and director of health and family welfare department. Even the senior officials, who were not part of the strike, failed to complete their work.
According to the department, the strike will hit issuance of birth and death certificates the most, besides replies to RTI applications.
Jagjit Singh from Rara Sahib, visited the civil surgeon's office to submit application to get a copy of birth certificate but he had to return empty-handed. “I took leave from my office especially for the said work. The employees should not harass public like this,” he said.
Sukhjeet Singh of Mullanpur said, “I had come here early in the morning but nobody informed us that the Suvidha centre counter will remain closed. The work at the Suvidha Centre should not suffer come what may.”
Meanwhile, Dr KS Saini, assistant civil surgeon, admitted that the work was badly hit due to the strike. “We are helpless but making efforts so that the employees can end their strike,” he added.
'Strike will continue until demands are met'
State president of the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association Sukhwinder Singh said, “We met director of health and family welfare on Tuesday, but it remained inconclusive. Earlier the strike was for three days, but now it is indefinite.”
“We are demanding from government to give increased pay scales to the clerical employees. The government should recruit new superintendents, stenos, senior assistants and clerks. We are also demanding to issue 50% selection grades to stenos and to give promotions to the old employees. New staff should be recruited at various districts where posts were lying vacant,” he added.